Dr. Robert Langer

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Robert Langer is one of 13 Institute Professors at MIT (an Institute Professor is the highest honor awarded to a faculty member). His h-index of 242 is the highest of any engineer in history. He has over 1,300 issued and pending patents which have been licensed or sublicensed to over 350 companies. He served as Chairman of the FDA’s SCIENCE BOARD (highest advisory board) from 1999-2002.  Langer is one of  a very few individuals elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.  He is one of four living individuals to receive both the US National Medal of Science and the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.  He has also received the Draper Prize (considered the engineering Nobel Prize), Albany Medical Center Prize, Wolf Prize for Chemistry, Millennium Technology Prize, Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society),  Gairdner Prize, Kyoto Prize, Breakthrough Prize and the Lemelson-MIT prize, for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” He holds 31 honorary doctorates including honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale. 

Dr. George Church


George M. Church, PhD ’84, is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria.  Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science.  He has coauthored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, “Regenesis”. His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. 

Cory Kidd


Dr. Cory Kidd is the founder and CEO of Catalia Health, a healthcare technology company focused on delivering effective patient engagement and behavior change.  The company has developed a hardware and software platform that uses a combination of psychology and artificial intelligence to successfully engage patients through interactive conversations.  These conversations happen through mobile, web, and socially interactive robot interfaces; together these interfaces create a relationship that can reach patients at any time they need support.  The data reported back through the system gives Catalia Health’s institutional healthcare customers valuable information to understand the daily activities and needs of their patients.

Dr. Kidd is a serial entrepreneur who has been working in healthcare technology for nearly two decades.  Catalia Health was Startup in Residence at IDEO, the leading international design firm.  His previous company, Intuitive Automata, created interactive coaches for weight loss.  Prior to this, Dr. Kidd received his M.S. and Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in human-robot interaction.  While there, he conducted studies that showed the advantages of using a physical robot over screen-based interactions.  He conducted an extensive study showing the efficacy of his weight loss coach in helping people to diet and did work in local nursing homes with robotic companions for elderly individuals.  He also received his B.S. in Computer Science and was subsequently a research faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  While there he was a part of the Aware Home Research Initiative, a focused research effort that was looking for ways to allow older people to live in their homes longer.

Alexandra Drane


Alexandra is the co-founder of ARCHANGELS, Engage with Grace, Eliza Corporation (acquired by HMS Holdings Corp - ticker: HMSY), and three other companies (all boot-strapped).  A serial entrepreneur, she also works part time as a cashier at Walmart.  She believes retail is the front line of health, that caregivers are our country’s unsung heroes, and that a bad death is a con.  She takes an active role with the non-profits she feels are doing their best to change the world, including two she co-founded. She sits on the Board of Advisors of TEDMED, the Harvard Executive Sleep Council, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Teaching Hospital. She is a Governor appointed member of the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), and part of the Health Executive Leadership Network. Alex was named one of Disruptive Women in Health Care’s Women to Watch in 2014, and one of Boston Globe’s 2013 Top 100 Women Leaders. She appears on Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and Healthspottr Future Health 100 lists, as well as an inventor on multiple patents.  She has few hobbies outside of her passion for revolutionizing health care, and her love of family and adventure. 

Dr. Steve Projan


Dr. Steve Projan is the Head of the Infectious Diseases & Vaccines Innovative Medicines unit (iMED) at MedImmune, leading a cross-functional team dedicated to the therapeutic area strategy, prioritization and advancement of the company’s infectious disease and vaccine portfolio.

Dr. Projan joined MedImmune in 2010. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Projan served as vice president and global head of Infectious Diseases at the Novartis Institutes for BiomedicalResearch in Cambridge MA. He previously spent 15 years at Wyeth in roles of increasing responsibility with his last post as vice president and head of Biological Technologies. During his time at Wyeth, Dr. Projan started the Biologics Discovery Group (covering all therapeutic areas) and initiated multiple collaborations and partnerships, most notably with Cambridge Antibody Technology (now a part of MedImmune/AZ). Prior to Dr. Projan’s work in the industry, he spent 14 years at the Public Health Research Institute and presently has over 110 publications to his credit.

Dr. Projan received a bachelor of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and masters of arts and philosophy in biological sciences and a doctorate in molecular genetics from Columbia University.


Prior SHBC Speakers Include: