Last Friday, the 1991 Gairdner Foundation International Awards were presented in Toronto to six scientists--three from the United States, two from England, and one from Canada. The winners, each of whom received a $30,000 prize and a small statuette, come from a cross-section of disciplines. They were recognized for contributions to medical science ranging from the growth and functioning of blood vessels and their constituent cells to the invention of a revolutionary technique for copying pieces of DNA.

M. Judah Folkman, a Harvard Medical School professor associated with Children's Hospital in Boston, was cited for his contributions to the study of angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels. Folkman's work has profound implications in the control of malignant tumors, since these tumors co-opt the body's own angiogenic processes in order to create networks of blood vessels for nourishment.

Folkman's work, which began in the early 1960s when he was drafted into...

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