David A. Edwards is an American professor, engineer, author, and innovator. He is a Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University, [2] a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and the founder of Le Laboratoire, an experimental art and design center where artists and scientists collaborate in Centrale Paris. [3]

Youtube Video
David Edwards' TED Talk, "Eating Better with Digital Scent" (uploaded on December 5, 2017)

Edwards is also the creator of inhalable insulin​,[16]​ edible food packaging​,[14]​ and digital scents.[15][📁]

Research & Entrepreneurship

Edwards' scientific work concerns the research and development of advanced new drug delivery platforms for treating infectious diseases in the developing world. He has published many scientific papers and two textbooks in the areas of applied mathematics and advanced transport analysis. He is a founder of Advanced Inhalation Research, or AIR, now part of Alkermes, Inc., of Pulmatrix, and of Medicine in Need, an international non-governmental organization aimed at developing new drugs and vaccines for diseases of poverty, such as tuberculosis. [5]



Creating Things That Matter: The Art and Science of Innovations That Last (book cover)

David Edwards' artistic work includes two founding books of Le Laboratoire. His novel Niche (Editions Le Laboratoire and École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 2007), on which he has collaborated with the American novelist Jay Cantor and the photographer Daniel Faust, explores the conceptual bases of Le Laboratoire's creation.


Edwards' essay Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (2008, Harvard University Press) describes the nature of the creativity catalyst at the frontier of what is conventionally viewed as art and science, the artscience innovation.

In 2018, Edwards published his manifesto, Creating Things That Matter: The Art and Science of Innovations That Last.[15]


Edwards studied chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University as an undergraduate, receiving a B.S. in 1983, and going on to a Ph.D. in 1987 in the same subject from the Illinois Institute of Technology. After a brief postdoctorate and lecturership at the Technion in Israel, he taught for four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and for three more at Pennsylvania State University before leaving academia in 1998 to found Advanced Inhalation Research. In 2002, he was hired as the McKay Professor of the Practice at Harvard. [6]

Awards & Honors

Edwards was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001. [7] He has also been honored three times by the American Pharmaceutical Association with their Ebert Prize, and has won the Jerusalem Fund's Theodor Herzl Award, the European Aerosol Association's Smoluchowski Award, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Professional Progress Award. [2] In 2007, he was awarded the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction by his alma mater Michigan Tech, its highest honor. [8]