Scientific Advisory Board
Robert S. Langer, Sc.D. - Co-Founder and SAB Chair
Arthur J. Coury, Ph.D. - SAB Member
Dr. Robert C. Moellering, Jr., M.D. - SAB Member
Dennis G. Maki, M.D. - SAB Member
Colin R. Gardner, Ph.D. - SAB Member
Scientific Advisory Board
Robert S. Langer, Sc.D.
Co-Founder and SAB Chair
Dr. Robert S. Langer is one of 13 Institute Professors (the highest honor awarded to a faculty member) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Langer has written nearly 1,000 articles. He also has more than 600 issued or pending patents worldwide, one of which was cited as the outstanding patent in Massachusetts in 1988 and one of 20 outstanding patents in the United States. Dr. Langer's patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 200 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies; a number of these companies were launched on the basis of these patent licenses. He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration's SCIENCE Board, the FDA's highest advisory board, from 1995-2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002.
His work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, DNA and RNAi, continuously at controlled rates for prolonged periods of time. Work is in progress in the following areas:
- Investigating the mechanism of release from polymeric delivery systems with concomitant microstructural analysis and mathematical modeling.
- Studying applications of these systems including the development of effective long-term delivery systems for insulin, anti-cancer drugs, growth factors, gene therapy agents and vaccines.
- Developing controlled release systems that can be magnetically, ultrasonically, or enzymatically triggered to increase release rates.
- Synthesizing new biodegradable polymeric delivery systems which will ultimately be absorbed by the body.
- Creating new approaches for delivering drugs such as proteins and genes across complex barriers in the body such as the blood-brain barrier, the intestine, the lung and the skin.
- Researching new ways to create tissue and organs including creating new polymer systems for tissue engineering.
- Stem cell research including controlling growth and differentiation.
- Creating new biomaterials with shape memory or surface switching properties.
- Angiogenesis inhibition
Dr. Langer has received over 150 major awards. In 2007, he received the 2006 United States National Medal of Science. In 2002, he received the Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers and the world's most prestigious engineering prize, from the National Academy of Engineering. He is the also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 70 recipients of this award have subsequently received a Nobel Prize. Among numerous other awards Langer has received are the Dickson Prize for Science (2002), Heinz Award for Technology, Economy and Employment (2003), the Harvey Prize (2003), the John Fritz Award (2003) (given previously to inventors such as Thomas Edison and Orville Wright), the General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research (2004), the Dan David Prize in Materials Science (2005) and the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2005), the largest prize in the U.S. for medical research. In 2006, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1998, he received the Lemelson-MIT prize, the world's largest prize for invention for being "one of history's most prolific inventors in medicine." In 1989 Dr. Langer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 1992 he was elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and to the National Academy of Sciences. He is one of very few people ever elected to all three United States National Academies and the youngest in history (at age 43) to ever receive this distinction.
Forbes Magazine (1999) and Bio World (1990) have named Langer as one of the 25 most important individuals in biotechnology in the world. Discover Magazine (2002) named him as one of the 20 most important people in this area. Forbes Magazine (2002) selected Langer as one of the 15 innovators world wide who will reinvent our future. Time Magazine and CNN (2001) named Langer as one of the 100 most important people in America and one of the 18 top people in science or medicine in America. Parade Magazine (2004) selected Langer as one of 6 "Heroes whose research may save your life." He has served, at various times, on 15 boards of directors and 30 Scientific Advisory Boards of such companies as Wyeth, Alkermes, Mitsubishi Pharmaceuticals, Warner-Lambert, and Momenta Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Langer has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, the ETH (Switzerland), the Technion (Israel), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), the University of Liverpool (England), the University of Nottingham (England), Albany Medical College, the Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University and Uppsala University (Sweden). 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.[ back to top ]
Arthur J. Coury, Ph.D.
Dr. Arthur J. Coury is a widely recognized leader in the biomaterials space, with a 30-year career as a leader of novel biomaterials research within Industry. His industrial career includes positions as: Senior Research Chemist at General Mills, Inc. (1965-1976), Director, Polymer Technology and Research Fellow at Medtronic, Inc. (1976-1993), Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Focal, Inc. (1993-2000), and Vice President, Biomaterials Research at Genzyme Corporation (2000-June 2008).
Dr. Coury's career focus has been polymeric biomaterials for medical products such as implantable electronic devices, hydrogel-based devices and drug delivery systems. He holds more than fifty distinct patents and has published and presented widely in his field. His teaching positions have included adjunct appointments at the University of Minnesota and the Harvard-MIT Graduate Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Coury's professional service has included: Chair, Minnesota Section, American Chemical Society (1989-1990); President, Society for Biomaterials, USA (1999-2000); President, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2003-2004) and membership on several university, society and corporate advisory boards.
Dr. Coury's recent recognitions have included the delivery of distinguished lectureships, receipt of the 2007 Innovation and Technology Development Award of the Society for Biomaterials, being named as one of "100 Notable People in the Medical Device Industry" by MD&DI magazine, 2008, and election to the National Academy of Engineering, USA, 2009.
Dr. Coury holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware (1962), a Ph.D. in organic chemistry (1965) and an M.B.A. (1980) from the University of Minnesota.[ back to top ]
Robert C. Moellering, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Robert C. Moellering is one of the best known and most respected physicians in the United States. He is Physician-in-Chief of Harvard's main teaching hospital, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center. He is a world-renowned leader in Infectious Diseases, and has extensive experience in biomedical entrepreneurship:
- Dr. Moellering has been either a consultant to or on the Scientific Advisory Board of sixty-four (64) pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
- In 1977 there was a feature article about him in The Lancet
- He has been listed in The International Who's Who in Medicine
- He was on the Advisory Panel on Antimicrobial Resistance of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), U.S. Congress
- He was on the American Society of Microbiology Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance
- He was Chairman of the HIV Therapeutics Trials Data and Safety Monitoring Board of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health
- He has been Editor or Editor-in-Chief of a number of prestigious journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy, and Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Moellering's principal research interests are:
- Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Interactions
- Mechanisms of Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents
- Mechanisms of Action of Antimicrobial Agents
- Pharmacokinetics of Antimicrobial Agents
- In Vitro Evaluation of New Antimicrobial Agents
- In Vivo Models of Infection and Chemotherapy
Dennis G. Maki, M.D.
Dr. Dennis G. Maki is the Ovid O. Meyer Professor of Medicine, Head of the Section of Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin, and Attending Physician in the University of Wisconsin Center for Trauma and Life Support. In his activities as an infectious disease consultant, intensivist and hospital epidemiologist, Dr. Maki has devoted his research career to the study of pathogenesis, diagnosis and prevention of nosocomial infections, particularly bloodstream infections caused by intravascular devices and the management of septic shock and other life-threatening infections.
A past consultant to the CDC, NIH, FDA and HHS, he is a former President of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Councillor of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. From 1987 to 1994, he was a member of the ICAAC-ASM Program Committee and from 1989 to 1995, served on the ABIM Board of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Maki has won numerous awards for teaching at the University of Wisconsin and nationally. In 1994, he received the CIPI Award of the International Congress on Infection Control, Societe de Pathologie Infectioense de Langue Francise, the World Health Organization and the CDC, for his contributions to the prevention of infection. In 2000, he was made a Master of the American College of Physicians and received a Society Citation from the Infectious Diseases Society of America for lifetime contributions in the field of infectious diseases. In 2001, he received the Hilldale and the Belzer awards from the University of Wisconsin for achievements in teaching, research and service.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Dr. Maki was appointed to the Wisconsin Medical Society Taskforce on Bioterrorism, the Governor's Bioterrorism Preparedness Task Force and as a consultant for the National Response to Bioterrorism of the Centers for Disease Control; in 2002, he named to the U.S. HHS Secretary's Council on Public Health Preparedness.[ back to top ]
Colin R. Gardner, Ph.D.
Dr. Colin R. Gardner received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. After post-doctoral experience in Biophysics at Harvard University, in Chemical Engineering at MIT and as an SRC Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, he joined the Merrell International Research Center in Strasbourg, France, where he was a Senior Scientist in Biochemistry and Pharmacology. In 1981, Dr. Gardner joined Merck & Co., Inc., as Director of Chemical and Biological Research, Drug Delivery. He later became Vice President of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, responsible for formulation design, pharmaceutical process and analytical development, and technology transfer to manufacturing for all Merck products in human and animal health and vaccines. While at Merck he was involved in the development of 16 pharmaceutical products whose total peak annual sales exceeded $20B, along with three vaccines.
In 2001, Dr. Gardner retired from Merck to accept the position of Chief Scientific Officer at TransForm Pharmaceuticals, then a start-up biotechnology company. In this position, he was responsible for building the company's technical capabilities and developing contracts with other pharmaceutical companies who could benefit from TransForm's novel, high throughput systems to assess and design the physical properties and formulations of drugs and drug candidates (including vaccines). TransForm was also interested in leveraging its high throughput technologies into other areas involving pharmaceutical chemistry, material science, biology and informatics, such as medical devices like stents and wound dressings.
In April, 2005 TransForm was acquired by Johnson & Johnson, and continues to use its technology to assist in the development of J&J compounds and to generate products for sale through J&J commercial companies. Dr. Gardner assumed the role of SVP Research and Site Leader for TransForm. Under his leadership, TransForm successfully integrated into the Pharma sector, contributing significant technical strengths and experience to the product development process. Dr. Gardner has also spearheaded an initiative to expand TransForm's role into the area of convergence products which combine properties of drugs, devices and/or diagnostics to provide enhanced patient care.
Dr. Gardner retired from TransForm/J&J on June 30, 2009 and is now a private industry consultant.[ back to top ]