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Biomaterials Awards to Langer and Fratzl Organic Chemistry Itami Honored.

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Max Planck Research Award to
Langer and Fratzl
The Max Planck Society and the
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
confer the Max Planck Research Award,
which is funded by the German Ministry
for Education and Research, to a
German and to a foreign researcher in
an annually changing research area. The
prize for 2008 goes to Robert Langer
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Boston, USA) and Peter Fratzl (Max
Planck Institute (MPI) for Colloids and
Interfaces, Golm, Germany) for their
work on structure–function correlations
in the development of biologically
inspired materials and systems.
Robert Langer finished his chemical
engineering studies in 1970 at Cornell
University (Ithaca, NY) and received
his Sc.D. in 1974 in this field at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT). He worked
as a postdoctoral
fellow in J. Folkman9s group at the
Children9s Hospital in Boston. He
then returned to
MIT, where he has
been an Institute
2005. He was chairR. Langer
man of the scientific advisory board
of the American Food and Drug Administration and received honorary doctorates from the ETH Z<rich and Technion
in Haifa. Langer is the youngest scientist
to be appointed to all three of the US
national academies (engineering, science, and medicine). He is a member
of the International Advisory Board of
Angewandte Chemie. His research
focuses on polymers, especially for
drug transport, and on shape memory
polymers and switchable surfaces. He
recently reported in Advanced Materials
on biodegradable polymers based on
xylitol[1a] and in Angewandte Chemie on
an aptamer–doxorubicin conjugate as a
novel platform for drug delivery.[1b]
Peter Fratzl completed his studies in
1980 at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris,
and received his
doctorate in physics
at the University of
Vienna. Between
1981 and 1985 he
worked as a postdoctoral fellow at
the Austrian Academy of Sciences, at
(Saclay), at the
P. Fratzl
Institute in Berlin, and at New York
University. In 1986 he was made Assistant Professor and later Full Professor at
the University of Vienna, where he
completed his habilitation in 1991 on
solid-state physics. In 1998 he received a
chair in metal physics at the Montan
University Leoben, and was made
Director of the Erich Schmid Institute
for Materials Science of the Austrian
Academy of Sciences. He has been
Director at the MPI in Golm since
2003. His research group is interested
in the mechanical properties of natural
materials produced in the course of
evolution, in particular mineralized
tissue as well as plants and their cell
walls. He recently reported in Advanced
Functional Materials on the consequence of the layered structure of
sponge biosilicates on their tensile
strength[2a] and in Advanced Materials
on the spreading of fractures in materials with a periodically varying Young
received this prize
for his work on
transition-metalcatalyzed functionalization of olefins,
arenes, and carbon
nanomaterials. His
methods allow the
synthesis of biologically and optoelecK. Itami
recently reported in Chemistry—A
European Journal on a strategy for
rapid and systematic generation of
molecular diversity[3a] and in Angewandte Chemie on palladium-catalyzed
convergent synthesis and the properties
of conjugated dendrimers based on
triarylethene.[3b] After a research stay
with J.-E. BFckvall, Itami received his
PhD under the guidance of Y. Ito and M.
Murakami at Kyoto University. In 1998
he was made Assistant Professor at
Kyoto University, and in 2005 he was
made Professor at Nagoya University.
[1] a) J. P. Bruggeman, C. J. Bettinger,
C. L. E. Nijst, D. S. Kohane, R. Langer,
Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, 1922; b) V. Bagalkot, O. C. Farokhzad, R. Langer, S. Jon,
Angew. Chem. 2006, 118, 8329; Angew.
Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 8149.
[2] a) A. Miserez, J. C. Weaver, P. J. Thurner,
J. Aizenberg, Y. Dauphin, P. Fratzl, D. E.
Morse, F. W. Zok, Adv. Funct. Mater.
2008, 18, 1241; b) P. Fratzl, H. S. Gupta,
F. D. Fischer, O. Kolednik, Adv. Mater.
2007, 19, 2657.
[3] a) K. Itami, J.-i. Yoshida, Chem. Eur. J.
2006, 12, 3966; b) K. Itami, K. Tonogaki,
T. Nokami, Y. Ohashi, J.-i. Yoshida,
Angew. Chem. 2006, 118, 2464; Angew.
Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 2404.
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200802771
Merck–Banyu Lectureship for
K. Itami
Merck Research Laboratories (USA)
and the Banyu Life Science Foundation
International has annually presented the
Merck–Banyu Lectureship to an outstanding young Japanese scientist since
2004. In 2007, Kenichiro Itami (Na-
2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 5280
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