“Engineering is such a wonderful way to contribute to society,” said Dr Robert Langer, upon learning of our Create the Future report. MIT’s David H. Koch Institute Professor is renowned for his innovative take on combining chemistry and medicine, and in 2015 he won the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for his novel approach to drug delivery.
“The two things that give me the greatest satisfaction,” Dr Langer continued, “are discovering principles or making inventions that enable people to have happier, healthier lives; and seeing people who train in our lab do well and get jobs where they become leaders in engineering themselves.” The lab in question is nothing if not a purveyor of medical wonders. From it, Langer and his team have created new ways to tackle cancers, treated everything from diabetes to mental illness, and even invented brand new materials from scratch.
Outside of the human body, engineering continues to make a noticeable mark on the world of healthcare. Computing power is proving an invaluable resource in both diagnosis and treatment of disease. Professor John Hennessy, President of Stanford University, suggested computers that can analyse the relationship between the genome and disease will be critical to creating new therapies for chronic diseases. “Computers are also being deployed to search for cost effective medicines for diseases in the developing world,” he added.
In a look at an ‘ideal future’, the Create the Future report picked out addressing energy and healthcare as the top priorities for engineers in the coming years. Across the world, all markets emphasised the importance of importance of improving healthcare such as better medicines and more effective treatments.
Throughout November, we will be exploring how engineers are helping to shape healthcare and improve the lives of billions worldwide. First up, we hear from Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of Water Aid. Tackling the sixth goal of the UN’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, Frost gives her thoughts on how we can use data to deliver clean water and sanitation to all.
We also peek behind the laboratory doors of QEPrize winner, Dr Robert Langer, learning what two current students are working on at the moment.
Finally, we are delighted to feature guest blogs from across the field of biomedical engineering, including insights from Professor Molly Stevens of Imperial College and Professor Eleanor Stride.
“DNA lab” by University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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