Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > American Chemical Society's highest honor goes to pioneer of controlled-release drugs

Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., the David H. Koch Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named winner of the 2012 Priestley Medal by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

American Chemical Society's highest honor goes to pioneer of controlled-release drugs

Washington, DC | Posted on August 18th, 2011

The award recognizes Langer's cutting-edge research that helped launch the controlled-release drug industry and the field of tissue engineering. His work cuts across disciplines to deliver advances in pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering and medical devices from the laboratory to patients. The annual award, the highest honor bestowed by ACS, consists of a gold medallion designed to commemorate the work of Joseph Priestley, as well as a presentation box and a certificate. One of the founders of modern chemistry, Priestley is perhaps best known for his discovery of oxygen in 1774. The award was presented at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the ACS, which is taking place here this week.

"Professor Langer is a talented scientist who is motivated by a sense of responsibility to help people," says longtime collaborator Joseph P. Vacanti, M.D., a tissue engineering expert and pediatric surgeon at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. "His pioneering work, in particular in slow-release medicines, has helped millions of people throughout the world."

Langer pioneered the field of slow-release medicines, which provide consistent amounts of a drug over a long period, reducing the number of pills that a patient has to take. In one of his first discoveries, Langer found that certain materials could be dissolved, mixed with large molecular weight drugs and formed into new materials that slowly release these drugs into the body.

Another contribution was to revolutionize the way that biomedical devices are developed. Before Langer's group became involved in this line of research, clinicians would typically take off-the-shelf materials that somewhat looked or functioned like the tissue or organ they were studying and modify them. Langer took a different approach and used chemistry and chemical engineering concepts to design the biomaterials they needed.

A third key contribution was helping start the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering to address the problem of donor-organ shortages. More than 100,000 people in the United States are currently awaiting organ transplants, and many die while on the waiting list. Langer and colleagues created degradable polymer scaffolds on which human cells could grow. This innovation led to artificial skin, muscles, nerves, cartilage, bone and organs that are now used to treat patients.

Most recently, Langer's team developed contact lenses that release drugs and a gel that can help people with damaged vocal cords regain their voices. His group also is branching out into development of new surfaces on which stem cells can grow and novel ways using nanotechnology to deliver short interfering RNAs that could turn off malfunctioning genes that cause disease.

Langer runs one of the largest academic laboratories in the world, with nearly 100 members. He is an author of more than 1,100 research papers and has 800 issued and pending patents that have been licensed or sublicensed to more than 220 companies. He has also been involved in the creation of 25 companies.

The Priestley Medal is an annual award named for Joseph Priestley, who reported the discovery of oxygen in 1774. Since 1923, the ACS has recognized groundbreaking chemists with the award.


About American Chemical Society (ACS)
The American Chemical Society is a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society contact .

For more information, please click here

Michael Bernstein

303-228-8532 (Aug. 25-Sept. 1)
202-872-6042 (Before Aug. 25)

Michael Woods

303-228-8532 (Aug. 25-Sept. 1)
202-872-6293 (Before Aug. 25)

Copyright © American Chemical Society

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Organometallics welcomes new editor-in-chief: Paul Chirik, Ph.D. July 22nd, 2014

The Hiden EQP Plasma Diagnostic with on-board MCA July 22nd, 2014

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Forum on Nanotechnology Economy July 22nd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014


Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Fundamental Chemistry Findings Could Help Extend Moore’s Law: A Berkeley Lab-Intel collaboration outlines the chemistry of photoresist, enabling smaller features for future generations of microprocessors July 15th, 2014

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball' July 14th, 2014

Highlights for 2014 national meeting of world’s largest scientific society July 8th, 2014


Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

SentiMag® Now Available in Australia and New Zealand July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014


Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014


Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014

EPFL Research on the use of AFM based nanoscale IR spectroscopy for the study of single amyloid molecules wins poster competition at Swiss Physics Society meeting July 22nd, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Albany NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Prestigious Journal of Electronic Materials July 1st, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE