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Folkman and his colleagues have shown that tumors cannot grow beyond a few cubic millimeters without sparking the growth of masses of tiny blood vessels. Tiny tumors lie dormant and undetected until an unknown mechanism triggers them to secrete growth factors that will induce angiogenesis. In the United States, angiogenic inhibitors are being evaluated in several active clinical trials for patients with cancer.
Folkman received a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1953 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1957. In 1967 he became a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston, where he began his major laboratory effort in the study of angiogenesis. The author of 265 peer-reviewed papers, Folkman has received numerous prestigious awards, including a 10-year MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute in 1989, election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1990, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research in 1995, and the Charles S. Mott Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation in 1997.
The lecture is a part of the NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series. No photographs are to be taken during the lecture. For more information, contact Hilda Madine, (301) 594-5595.