Robert S. Langer, Biopolymer Innovator, Will Receive the 2012 SCI Perkin Medal

Robert S. Langer

May 23, 2012 - Philadelphia

The Society of Chemical Industry, America International Group, announced today that the 2012 SCI Perkin Medal will be presented to Robert S. Langer. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will receive the medal at a dinner in his honor on September 13, 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 chairperson.  “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 S. Langer

Robert 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 (age 43) in history 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 nation’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 annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About the Society of Chemical Industry

SCI America International Group, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspire students to enter technical careers.

SCI America Section also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialized conferences, e-events, and publications, it helps foster best practices in fields as diverse as fine and commodity chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, and environmental protection. SCI America events are managed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). The award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at CHF on September 13.

Chemical Heritage Foundation Contact
Neil Gussman

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