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Global leader in cancer treatment research to give lecture at Purdue


Robert Langer
Robert Langer
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An international leader in cancer treatment research will give a Jan. 17 lecture at Purdue University on advances in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Robert S. Langer, a chemical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who received the 2006 National Medal of Science, will talk at 12:30 p.m. in the Deans Auditorium, Room 241, in Pfendler Hall. A question-and-answer session will follow.

"Advances in drug delivery and tissue engineering -- including those pioneered by Dr. Langer -- are revolutionizing medical therapies," said Philip Low, Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and executive committee member of Discovery Park's Oncological Sciences Center. "New drug-delivery technologies, including novel polymers and intelligent microchips, promise to create new treatments for cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses.

Philip Low
Philip Low

"And by combining mammalian cells with synthetic polymers, new approaches for engineering tissues are being developed that may someday enable rapid repair of tissues for patients with burns, damaged cartilage, paralysis and vascular disease."

During the 1970s, Langer teamed with oncologist Judah Folkman at Children's Hospital Boston to develop methods that would allow large proteins to enter membranes in a highly controlled manner to combat angiogenesis, the process by which tumors recruit blood vessels that sustain them. The treatment helped fight cancer by making it more difficult for tumors to spread to other organs.

As a National Medal of Science winner, Langer was cited for "revolutionary discoveries" that led to better ways to administer drugs. These treatments, the citation said, "have profoundly affected the well-being of mankind."

He has written more than 950 articles and has more than 600 issued or pending patents worldwide. His patents have been licensed or sublicensed to more than 200 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies, and a number of companies were launched on the basis of these patent licenses.

Langer also is a member of the National Academy