5 October 2016Americas

LSIPR 50 2016: Robert Langer

Name: Robert Langer

Organisation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Position: Professor

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.

Albeit clichéd, the saying could well be applied to our next candidate, Robert Langer, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and one of 13 institute professors at the university.

Aside from his scholarly duties, Langer has written more than 1,300 articles and has more than 1,000 issued and pending patents worldwide that have been licensed or sub-licensed to more than 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing.

His first patent applications, which concerned polymer systems for controlled release of macromolecules, were rejected multiple times by the US Patent and Trademark Office between 1976 and 1981.

Eventually Langer procured affidavits from the authors of a 1979 paper who said his approach was innovative.

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