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Before taking the mound at Fenway Park last week to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, Institute Professor Robert Langer figured he ought to practice a little. So his 12-year-old son, Sam, devised some stretching and throwing exercises and worked with Langer for a couple of days before the big moment.
The practice must have paid off, because Langer delivered a strike for the ceremonial first pitch before the July 28 Red Sox game against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park.
"It was a real thrill to throw a strike in front of over 35,000 Red Sox fans, including a number of my students, at Fenway Park," Langer said. "I'm really honored the Red Sox selected me as a Medical All Star and asked me to throw out the ceremonial first pitch."
Before the pitch, the Red Sox public address announcer introduced Langer as "a world-renowned biomedical scientist (who) specializes in drug delivery systems and tissue engineering, while heading the largest biomedical engineering laboratory in the world at MIT."
Langer, who had to wait out a two-hour rain delay before throwing his pitch, describes himself as a big Red Sox fan and says he enjoys taking his sons, Sam and 16-year-old Michael, to games (his 15-year-old daughter, Susan, prefers to watch football). All three children, plus Langer's wife, Laura (Ph.D. 1989), attended Friday's game. The Sox lost, 8-3.
Langer holds more than 500 scientific patents and has published more than 800 research papers. Last month he was honored by colleagues at a symposium, "Celebrating Thirty Years of Robert Langer's Science."