Scientific Advisory Board
Robert Langer, Sc.D.
Dr. Langer is the David H. Kock Institute Professor at MIT. Dr. Langer has written over 1,380 articles. He also has over 1,130 patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history. 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. Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards. He is one of 7 individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He also received the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, the 2013 Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is the also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 82 recipients of this award have subsequently received a Nobel Prize. Dr. Langer is one of the very few individuals ever elected to the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Langer received his B.S. from Cornell University and his Sc.D. from MIT, both in Chemical Engineering. He currently serves on the board of directors of Advanced Cell Technology and previously served as a director of Momenta Pharmaceuticals from 2001 to 2009, Wyeth from 2004 to 2009, Fibrocell Science, Inc. from 2010 to 2012 and Millipore Corp from 2009 to 2010.
Sadik Esener, Ph.D.
Dr. Esener is a Professor in the NanoEngineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He has recently been recruited to the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute as the Director of the Institute’s Center for Early Detection Research and has been awarded the Wendt Family Endowed Chair Professor. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from UCSD (1987). Dr. Esener served as the Director and PI of the NanoTumor Cancer Nanotechnology Center, funded by the National Cancer Institute, the director of the DARPA funded Center for Heterogeneously Integrated Photonics Systems (CHIPS), and before that, as director of the Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors (OESP), and the Fast Read-out Optical Data Storage Industrial Consortium. His research group at UCSD has made many pioneering contributions to the fields of optical interconnects, spatial light modulation, optical data storage, bio-optoelectronics as applied to gene chips, cell sorting and manipulation, and heterogeneous integration of photonics, electronics and biological components. More recently his work has focused on the synthesis and application of nanoparticles delivery of biologics for cancer therapies, brain mapping and in vivo imaging. He has published more than 375 journal and conferences articles, and made more than 250 presentations in international scientific meetings, 60 of which were invited. He holds 18 issued patents. He has authored several book chapters, and organized and chaired scientific international conferences. Dr. Esener co-founded and served on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards of several companies, including Nanogen Inc., Call/Recall Inc., Ziva Inc., Optical Micro Machines, and Genoptix and Devacell. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America.
Omid Farokhzad, M.D.
Dr. Farokhzad is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a physician-scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Farokhzad directs the Faorkhzad Lab and the Center for Nanomedicine at BWH. Dr. Farokhzad’s research is focused on the development of therapeutic nanoparticle technologies; most notably, he pioneered the high throughput combinatorial development and screening of multifunctional nanoparticles for medical applications. Dr. Farokhzad has authored approximately 135 papers and holds more than 145 issued/pending US and International patents. The technologies that Dr. Farokhzad has developed with collaborators at HMS and MIT formed the basis for the launch of four biotechnology companies: BIND Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BIND), Selecta Biosciences, Tarveda Therapeutics (formerly Blend Therapeutics), and Koan Biotherapeutics, which are translating the aforementioned academic innovations toward commercialization and societal impact. He was a recipient of the 2013 RUSNANOPRIZE, one of the largest international nanotechnology prizes, for the development and industrialization of nanoparticle technologies for medical applications. In 2014, he received the Golden Door Award from the International Institute of New England. In 2015, he was named as one of The Worldview 100 by Scientific American. In 2016, he was among the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his scientific, societal and economic contributions to America as an immigrant. Dr. Farokhzad was elected to the College of the Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 2012. He was selected by Thomson Reuters among the Highly Cited Researchers in 2014 and 2015. Dr. Farokhzad completed his post-graduate clinical and post-doctoral research trainings, respectively, at the BWH/HMS and MIT. He received his M.D. and M.A. from Boston University School of Medicine.
Victor Nizet, MD
Dr. Victor Nizet is Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Basic Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chief of the Division of Host-Microbe Systems and Therapeutics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Nizet is a graduate of Reed College, received his medical training at Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a Residency and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at Harvard University's Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and a then a Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington’s Children's Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Nizet leads a large basic and translational research laboratory focused on discovering virulence factors of invasive bacterial pathogens, elucidating mechanisms of host innate immunity, and novel approaches to infectious disease therapy. He is also spearheading the for the UCSD Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes (CHARM) which debuted in Fall 2019. Dr. Nizet has authored over 450 peer-reviewed publications and collaborated with several biotechnology interests in developing new antibiotic and immune-based therapies against drug-resistant pathogens. Dr. Nizet's work has been recognized by the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, American Lung Association Career Investigator Award, American Asthma Foundation Senior Investigator Award, E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, NIH Merit Award, ISI Highly Cited Researcher, and the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Award for Faculty Excellence in Research in Science and Engineering. Dr. Nizet has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Academy of Microbiology.
Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D., Founder
Dr. Zhang is a Professor in the NanoEngineering Department and Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Zhang directs the Laboratory of Nanomaterials and Nanomedicine at UCSD. His research is focused on creating cutting-edge biomimetic nanotechnologies and exploiting them for various biomedical applications with a particular focus on drug delivery, biodetoxification and vaccination. Dr. Zhang invented a novel cellular membrane coated nanoparticle technology for biodetoxificaiton and drug delivery. The “Nanosponge” technology developed by Dr. Zhang formed the fundamental platform for the launch of Cellics Therapetuics. Dr. Zhang has published 135 peer-reviewed articles and holds 51 issued/pending US and International patents. Dr. Zhang has received the American Chemical Society’s Victor K. LaMer Award in 2009, the Best Teacher Award from the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD in 2011, the American Chemical Society’s Unilever Award from in 2012, the MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Innovator Award in 2013, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Allan P. Colburn Award in 2014, the Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 Award in 2016. In 2015 Dr. Zhang was elected to the College of the Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Zhang holds B.E. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in China. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) in 2006, followed by a postdoctoral training at MIT. He joined the faculty at UCSD as Assistant Professor in July 2008 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in March 2012, and to Professor in July 2014.