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Biopolymer innovator Robert Langer receives 2012 Perkin Medal

Robert Langer and Ellen Kullman

8 Nov 2012

The 2012 Perkin Medal was presented to Robert S Langer, David H Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by the SCI America International Group. He received the medal at a dinner in his honour on 13 September 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Philadelphia.

'Bob Langer shows just how far one person can go and how much one person can achieve in chemical engineering,' said Ellen Kullman, Chair of the Board and CEO of DuPont and SCI America chair. 'Bob has been a true pioneer in one of the most exciting fields in science today - the intersection of biology and chemistry. He is our leading innovator in biomedical engineering, biopolymers and tissue engineering. His contributions are unparalleled.'

About Robert Langer
Robert S Langer is the most cited engineer in history. He has written more than 1,100 scientific articles and has more than 600 issued and pending patents worldwide. His patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 220 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.

At MIT, Langer runs the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world with approximately 100 researchers and more than $6 million in yearly grants. It is so well respected that each year about 3,000 graduate and postgraduate students apply for only five open lab positions. His research has spawned more than a dozen biotechnology firms and more than 35 products that are either currently on the market or in human testing.

Langer was the youngest person, at 43, to be elected to all three of America's major national science academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Institute of Medicine. Parade magazine selected Langer as one of six heroes whose research may save your life, while Time magazine named him one of 'America's Best' in its list of the 100 most important people in America.

During his career, Langer has received more than 130 scientific awards, including the $500,000 Charles Stark Draper Prize - considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers - and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the US's largest and most prestigious prize for invention. He just received the 2012 Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society and was the 2002 recipient of the Othmer Gold Medal, presented by Chemical Heritage Foundation. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in Chemical Engineering.

About the SCI Perkin Medal
The Perkin Medal is the highest honour given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates Sir William Perkin's discovery of the first synthetic dye in 1856. This significant step forward in organic chemistry led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry.

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