M. Judah Folkman papers
The M. Judah Folkman papers, 1907-2012 (inclusive), 1950-2006 (bulk), are the product of Folkman’s publishing, research, and professional activities, as conducted throughout his professional appointments, including Assistant Surgeon and Associate Director of Sears Surgical Laboratory, Boston City Hospital, Surgeon-in-Chief, Senior Associate in Surgery, and Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Instructor in Surgery, Associate in Surgery, Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery, and Professor of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston.
- 1907-2012 (inclusive)
- Majority of material found within 1950-2006
- Folkman, M. Judah (Person)
Language of Materials
Papers are predominately in English. Occasional scientific paper reprints and newspaper clippings are in French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Consult Public Services for further information.
Access to Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, and Ohio State University records are restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I-IV, and VI-VIII. Records labeled confidential by corporate funding agencies are also restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series II-IV, and VII. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I-VIII. All items in Subseries VB, VC, and Series IX are closed to access until the entire series can be assessed for patient related content. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records.
Access to electronic records in this collection (as found in Series II-V and VIII-IX) is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the ability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit. Access to audiovisual records in this collection (as found in Series I-III, V, and VIII-IX) is premised on the availability of necessary playback equipment and the condition of the media.
Conditions Governing Use
The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.
Extent119.56 cubic feet (117 records center cartons, 11 oversize flat storage boxes, 1 letter size document box, 2 half letter size document boxes, 2 half legal size document boxes, and flat file storage cabinet)
22.5 Gigabytes (electronic records on 76 compact discs, 27 3.5 inch floppy disks, 5 USB flash drives, 1 DVD, and 1 Zip disk)
The M. Judah Folkman papers, 1907-2012 (inclusive), 1950-2006 (bulk), are the product of Folkman’s publishing, research, and professional activities, as conducted throughout his professional appointments, including Assistant Surgeon and Associate Director of Sears Surgical Laboratory, Boston City Hospital, Surgeon-in-Chief, Senior Associate in Surgery, and Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Instructor in Surgery, Associate in Surgery, Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery, and Professor of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston. The M. Judah Folkman papers consist of nine series: Series I. Professional Records; Series II. Research Records; Series III. Speeches and Lectures; Series IV. Writings and Publications; Series V. Audiovisual Materials and Visual Works; Series VI. Subject Files; Series VII. Student and Professional Training Records; Series VIII. Biographical and Personal Records; and Series IX. Electronic Records.
Professional records (Series I) consist of meeting minutes, administrative records, teaching records, appointment books, notes, and reports generated by Folkman while holding positions at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Research records (Series II) include laboratory notebooks, research data, patient records, grant applications, correspondence, and drafts pertaining to Folkman’s heart block, pacemaker, silicone rubber and Silastic implants, and angiogenesis research. Speeches and lectures (Series III) contain copies of talks given by Folkman at conferences, symposia, classes, and other events, as well as related notes, reprints, correspondence, event programs, and presentation materials. Writings and publications (Series IV) consist of article drafts and reprints, notes, correspondence, research records, and photographs supporting the development of Folkman’s manuscripts and book chapters. Predominant subjects include antiangiogenesis, endothelial cells, tumor dormancy, hemangiomas, and interferon. The papers also contain: slides, filmstrips, and photographs from surgeries, experiments, and lectures (Series V); collected reprints, newspaper clippings, and notes about vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF), endostatin, macular degeneration, and various other medical subjects (Series VI); Folkman’s student notebooks, examinations, course syllabi, correspondence, patient case summaries, and administrative records from Ohio State University, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital (Series VII); Folkman’s awards, certificates, scrapbooks, and photographs, as well as articles about Folkman and his research (Series VIII); and compact discs, floppy disks, and other electronic records containing Folkman’s lectures and research (Series IX).
Papers are predominately in English. Occasional scientific paper reprints and newspaper clippings are in French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.
Moses Judah Folkman (1933-2008), B.A., 1953, Ohio State University, Columbus; M.D., 1957, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, as well as Surgeon-in-Chief (1967-1981), Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory (1981-2003), and Director of the Vascular Biology Program (2003-2008) at Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts. Folkman was known for his contributions to the field of angiogenesis, the study of the process by which a tumor attracts blood vessels to sustain itself. Folkman was a pioneer in the research of antiangiogenesis therapy for the treatment of cancer.
M. Judah Folkman was born on 24 February 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jerome Folkman and Bessie Schomer Folkman. He received his B.A. from Ohio State University in 1953 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1957. While a medical student, Folkman worked in the laboratory of Robert Gross, Chief of Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital where he invented the first implantable heart pacemaker with Fred Vanderschmidt. In 1957 Folkman began his internship and residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, leaving in 1960 to serve as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy at the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. During his service in the Navy, Folkman invented with David Long a system for the sustained release of drugs using silicone rubber implantable polymers. Folkman and Long’s patent was used to develop Norplant, a levonorgestrel intrauterine contraceptive. In 1962 he returned to Massachusetts General Hospital to finish his residency where he served as Chief Resident from 1964 to 1965. Between 1965 and 1967, Folkman was appointed Instructor in Surgery and later Associate in Surgery at Harvard Medical School, as well as Assistant Surgeon and Associate Director of Sears Surgical Laboratory at Boston City Hospital. He was then recruited by Boston Children’s Hospital to become Surgeon-in-Chief and Chairman of the Department of Surgery (1967-1981). Prior to starting these positions, Folkman spent several months in 1969 training in pediatric surgery under C. Everett Koop at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to his new positions, Folkman was named the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Harvard Medical School in 1968.
Folkman’s subsequent appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital include: Senior Associate in Surgery (1981); Director, Surgical Research Laboratory (1981-2003); and Director, Vascular Biology Program (2003-2008). His subsequent appointments at Harvard Medical School include: Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology (1979); Professor of Anatomy and Cellular Biology (1980-1994); and Professor of Cell Biology (1994-2008).
Folkman’s research focused on angiogenesis, angiogenesis inhibitors, and antiangiogenesis therapy for the treatment of cancer, a method by which certain factors can be used to shut down abnormal blood vessel growth. He first began studying angiogenesis while at the Naval Medical Research Institute and he continued this research at Boston City Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. Folkman’s laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital identified TAF, or tumor angiogenesis factor, a substance tumors secreted in order to obtain new blood vessels. At the same time, researcher Napoleone Ferrara discovered the same growth factor and called it VEGF, or vascular endothelial growth factor. The discovery of TAF/VEGF led to numerous new medical treatments for a variety of illnesses. Folkman’s laboratory developed angiostatin and endostatin, two antiangiogenic factors that were used in cancer clinical trials. Folkman’s antiangiogenesis research also laid the groundwork for new treatments for macular degeneration and for colorectal, brain, and breast cancer.
During the course of his career, Folkman authored 470 articles and over 100 book chapters. He was President of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (2005-2006), a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Cancer Advisory Board, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American College of Surgeons. Folkman lectured extensively nationally and internationally, and received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including: the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1991); Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine (1992); American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Basic Science (1993); Dr. Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award (1994); the American Academy of Pediatrics Ladd Medal (1995); and the Society for Endocrinology Dale Medal (2000).
M. Judah Folkman married Paula Prial in 1960. Folkman died in 2008 of a heart attack and was survived by his wife and two daughters, Laura and Marjorie.
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- I. Professional Records, 1959-2006
- I.A. Boston Children's Hospital Administrative Records, 1967-2002
- I.B. Harvard Medical School Teaching and Administrative Records, 1959-2006
- I.C. Professional Appointment Books and Journals, 1966-1987
- I.C.1. Appointment Books, 1972-1987
- I.C.2. Message Journals and Memo Books, 1966-1986
- II. Research Records, 1943-2010
- II.A. Chronological Research Records, 1943-2010
- II.B. Interferon Alpha and Hemangioma Records, 1981-2001
- II.C. Research and Idea Notebooks, 1953-2005
- III. Speeches and Lectures, 1886, 1889, 1943, 1952-2008
- IV. Writings and Publications, 1850, 1867, 1873, 1907-2012
- IV.A. Manuscript and Book Drafts, 1943-2010
- IV.B. Unpublished Angiogenesis Book, 1850, 1867, 1873, 1907-1997
- IV.C. Folkman's Reprints and Publications, 1953-2012
- V. Audiovisual Materials and Visual Works, 1869, 1927, 1965-2009
- V.A. Photographs, Slides, Negatives, and Overhead Transparencies, 1869, 1927, 1967-2007
- V.B. Films, circa 1960s-1981
- V.C. Audio and Video Recordings of Lectures, 1988-2009
- VI. Subject Files, 1938, 1955-2008
- VII. Student and Professional Training Records, 1950-1990
- VII.A. Ohio State University Student Records, circa 1950s-1960
- VII.B. Harvard Medical School Student Records, 1951-1963
- VII.C. Massachusetts General Hospital Professional Training Records, 1950-1990
- VII.C.1. Internship and Residency Records, 1956-1969
- VII.C.2. Board Examination Records and Subject Review Notes, 1950-1990
- VII.D. Training Manuals, 1951-1989
- VIII. Biographical and Personal Records, circa 1950-2011
- VIII.A. Books, Publications, and Articles, 1962-1987, 1997-2009
- VIII.B. Awards, Photographs, and Correspondence, 1954-2011
- VIII.C. Scrapbooks, circa 1950-2010
- IX. Electronic Records, 1990-2007
- IX.A. Compact Discs, 1990-2006
- IX.B. Floppy Disks, 2003-2005
- IX.C. Zip Disks, 2002-2004
- IX.D. USB Flash Drives, 2001-2007
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Accession number 2011-133. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2011 June 21.
- Accession number 2013-098. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2013 April 29.
- Accession number 2014-014. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2013 June 03.
- Accession number 2016-048. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2015 September 10.
- Accession number 2016-140. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2016 April 15.
- Accession number 2016-156. Donated by Paula Folkman. 2016 June 02.
Glass slides, needles, tissue and pharmaceutical samples, Silastic tubing, a head mirror, and an early prototype of the first implantable pacemaker developed by Folkman were transferred to the Warren Anatomical Museum in 2013 and 2016. Visit the Center's digital collections portal, OnView, to view digital photographs of these artifacts and specimens.
Books accessioned with M. Judah Folkman's papers were transferred to the Center's Rare Books collection and will be cataloged at the item level. The list of books is available upon request.
Processed by Meghan M. Bannon, 2014 February, with twenty-seven additional cubic feet (now boxes 98-132) processed to the folder level by Meghan Bannon Kerr, October 2016.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were removed from three ring binders and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Files on 3.5 inch floppy disks, compact discs, Zip disks, and USB flash drives were imaged using FTK (Forensic Toolkit). Files were then extracted, surveyed, and transferred to secure storage. Due to hard drive failure, the contents of an Apple PowerBook G3 that came with the collection could not be imaged (Oversized-flat storage box 98).
- Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
- Angiogenesis Inhibitors
- Breast Neoplasms
- Cancer cells--Growth--Regulation.
- Cancer drug discovery and development.
- Carcinoma, Lewis Lung
- Cardiac pacemakers.
- Cell Shape
- Cell proliferation.
- Compact discs.
- Duodenal Ulcer
- Electronic records.
- Endothelial Cells
- Endothelial cells.
- Fibroblast Growth Factors
- Fibroblast growth factors.
- Floppy disks.
- Folkman, M. Judah
- General Surgery
- Gross, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1905-1988
- Heart Block
- Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular
- Heart block.
- Kaposi's sarcoma.
- Lantern slides.
- Levonorgestrel intrauterine contraceptives.
- Macular Degeneration
- Mast Cells
- Mast cells.
- Matrix Metalloproteinase
- Medicine--Study and teaching.
- Pacemaker, Artificial
- Pediatric surgeons.
- Retinal degeneration.
- Sarcoma, Kaposi
- Silicone Elastomers
- Silicones in medicine.
- Slides (photographs).
- Thrombospondin 1
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
- Vascular endothelial growth factors.
- Ventricular septal defects.
- Wound Healing
- Wound healing.
- Folkman, M. Judah. Papers, 1907-2012 (inclusive), 1950-2006 (bulk): Finding Aid
- Language of description
- Processing of the M. Judah Folkman papers was funded by Paula Folkman.
- EAD ID
Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository
The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.
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