Awards Ceremony Held for RUSNANOPRIZE 2013
RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais and Karlsruhe Institute of Nanotechnology professor Herbert Gleiter presented the annual international award in nanotechnology, RUSNANOPRIZE, at ceremonies on the last day of the Open Innovations Forum. This year’s laureates are Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Omid Farokhzad, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and physician-scientist in the Department of Anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They were awarded the prize for developing nanoparticle technologies for medical applications.
From left to right: RUSNANOPRIZE 2013 laureate Omid Farokhzad, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Karlsruhe Institute of Nanotechnology professor Herbert Geiter, RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais
Robert Langer and Omid Farokhzad created combined nanoparticles whose surfaces are covered with biological ligands, molecules specifically enabled to recognize certain targets in the body, for example, the surface of cancer cells. The inner portion of nanoparticles is composed of inert biological polymer. The nanoparticles circulate in the blood for a long time, connecting only with the surface of tumor cells while eschewing healthy cells.
The work of Drs. Langer and Farokhzad is at the intersection of biotechnology and materials science. Dr. Langer’s research laid the foundation for work in biomaterials and the use of nanomaterials in medicine and biology. In addition to devising biocompatible polymers that form controlled-release drug delivery systems and synthetic polymers for tissue engineering, the scientists created new biomaterials, like polymers with shape memory and materials with switchable surfaces.
“Robert Langer and Omid Farokhzad authored technology for producing and using nanosized polymer containers with specified surface characteristics for targeted drug deliver. These complex and important nanoparticles are built from very simple, very inexpensive self-assembling processes; the polymer containers are created in a manner similar to packaged transport containers in live cells. The approach may be used to construct extremely complex polymer materials and related items. The self-assembly technology is easily realized large-scale production,” remarked Denis Andreyuk, executive vice president of the Russian Society of Nanotechnology.
The award for commercializing the advances made by Drs. Langer and Farokhzad went to American company Bind Therapeutics Inc.. Bind developed a new class of highly selective therapeutics with targeted and programmable actions, Accurins™.
The Russian Young Scientist Award was presented by Academician Mikhail Alfimov of the Russian Academy of Sciences to Alexander Korsakov, an instructor at the Ural Federal University for advances in nanocrystal light-guide fiber: a new fiber optical waveguide and fiber scintillator for Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in the 2 micro to 40 micron spectral band, which can be used in study planets and life in deep outer space.
RUSNANOPRIZE was established by RUSNANO in 2009. It is awarded annually to originators, scientists and engineers, who have authored scientific-technological developments in nanotechnology and to the company that has introduced those developments into commercial production with earnings of $10 million or more per year.
Since its existence, the RUSNANOPRIZE has been awarded to the following distinguished scientists:
- Lev Feigin (Russia), chief research officer at the Institute for Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Dmitry Svergun (Germany) group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory—for establishing a new area in which X-ray beams can be used
- Leonid Keldysh (Russia), academic of the Russian Academy of Sciences, chief research assistant, Lebedev Physical Institute—for studying semiconductor superlattices and tunneling effects in superconducting materials
- Alfred Yi Cho (United States), doctor of philosophy and vice president of Bell Laboratories—for developing molecular beam epitaxial technology
In 2012 RUSNANOPRIZE was awarded to Sergey Lukyanov, doctor of biological sciences, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Technologies at the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry for developing technology and establishing production of florescent proteins.