Engineering the next generation of vaccine delivery technology

Vaccine Insights 2022; 1(2), 45–50

DOI: 10.18609/vac.2022.007

Published: 7 June 2022
Ana Jaklenec, Robert S Langer

The Langer lab is one of the world’s top research groups in biotechnology, materials science, and drug delivery. Vaccines have been a longstanding interest for the group. Their goal? To achieve global vaccine coverage by developing better delivery and manufacturing methods. Here, Robert Langer and Ana Jaklenec tell us about some of the most exciting projects underway in the lab, from self-boosting vaccines to microneedle patches.

Ana Jaklenec (AJ) is a Research Scientist and Co-Principal Investigator in the Langer Lab, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. She has over 10 years of experience in the area of bioengineering, materials science, micronutrient, and vaccine stabilization and delivery. She has written over 30 articles in high-impact journals and has over 20 issued and pending patents worldwide. She is the recipient of the Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr Jaklenec was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows in 2022 for her work in controlled delivery of vaccines and heat-stable micronutrients for global health and was elected to the 2022 Control Release Society (CRS) College of Fellows.

Robert S Langer (RL) is the David H Koch Institute Professor (there are 12 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member). Dr Langer has written over 1,500 articles and has over 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide. Dr Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 300 according to Google Scholar). Dr Langer has received over 220 major awards and is one of only three living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011).