Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch (1962) Institute Professor at MIT, has been named one of five U.S. Science Envoys for 2018. As a Science Envoy for Innovation, Langer will focus on novel approaches in biomaterials, drug delivery systems, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, and the U.S. approach to research commercialization.
One of 13 Institute Professors at MIT, Langer has written more than 1,400 articles. He also has over 1,300 issued and pending patents worldwide. Langer's patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 350 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 253 with over 254,000 citations, according to Google Scholar).
Langer is one of four living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He has received over 220 major awards, including the 1998 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the world's largest prize for invention, for being "one of history's most prolific inventors in medicine."
Created in 2010, the Science Envoy Program engages eminent U.S. scientists and engineers to help forge connections and identify opportunities for sustained international cooperation. Science Envoys engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to enhance relationships between other nations and the United States, develop partnerships, and improve collaboration. These scientists leverage their international leadership, influence, and expertise in priority countries to advance solutions to shared science and technology challenges. Science Envoys travel as private citizens and usually serve for one year.
Previous Science Envoys with connections to MIT include Susan Hockfield, president emerita of MIT, and Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University and former chemical engineering professor at MIT.