pa3916c.jpg Paul Lachine

Going Against Conventional Wisdom

Throughout history, scientists have often had to fight conventional wisdom in order to advance human knowledge and capabilities. But the rewards of scientific discovery are worth the sacrifices, particularly career-wise, that heresy invites.

CAMBRIDGE – When I finished my graduate studies in 1974, I had the wonderful fortune of doing postdoctoral work with Harvard Medical School’s Judah Folkman. Dr. Folkman had a theory that the progression of tumors could be arrested by cutting off their source of nourishment. He suggested that tumors emit a substance called tumor-angiogenesis factor, which causes surrounding blood vessels to grow toward it, supplying nutrition and removing waste. Folkman hypothesized that this process, angiogenesis, is crucial to the tumor’s survival.