The 2007 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize was awarded to Dr. Judah Folkman at Graduation Ceremonies at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati on June 3, 2007. Dr. Folkman is the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School Director, Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital Boston. He holds honorary degrees from 17 universities and is the author of more than 400 original peer-reviewed papers and 109 book chapters and monographs. Dr. Judah Folkman is the founder of the field of angiogenesis research. He has made seminal discoveries on the mechanism of angiogenesis, which have opened a field of investigation now pursued worldwide. His exceptional achievements have been recognized by many national and international awards. In 1990, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
In receiving the Dr. Bernard Heller Prize , Dr. Folkman evoked the legacy of his father, Rabbi Jerome D. Folkman, who was ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1931, and stated, "You are graduating today as 'Ministers' – not to be served, but to enter into service. You have been attracted to your new profession, as I was to mine, through a sense of altruism, with a real desire to do good. But what is the definition of a profession? As a medical student, my dean explained 'A profession is a set of behaviors above the market place.' Being of service to your fellow human beings puts you exactly in that position."
The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize is an international award presented to an individual or organization whose work, writing, or research reflects significant contributions in the areas of Arts, Letters, the Humanities and Religion.