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Published on 12 June 2008

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Langer honoured for drugs work


A leading US professor has been awarded the world’s most prestigious technology prize for his work in developing innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release.

Professor Robert Langer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was handed the £630,000 Millennium Technology Prize and the coveted Peak trophy at an awards ceremony in Helsinki, Finland.

The prize is awarded biennially by Technology Academy Finland (TAF) for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life and promotes sustainable development.

Professor Robert Langer’s innovations have had a significant impact on fighting cancer, heart disease, and numerous other diseases, the TAF selection panel said.

His work has also brought about significant advances in tissue engineering, including synthetic replacement for biological tissues such as artificial skin.

With more than 100 million people a year already using advanced drug delivery systems, tissue engineering is set to revolutionise medical treatment that could affect millions of other individuals. “Tissue engineering holds the promise of creating virtually any new tissue or organ,” Professor Langer said.

Known as the father of controlled drug delivery and tissue engineering, Professor Langer has been cited as “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine”. His research laboratory at MIT is the largest biomedical engineering laboratory in the world.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Millennium Technology Prize

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