Senator John Heinz

RELATED NEWS

  • Leila Janah, Samasource and SamaUSA are profiled by BBC News go >>
  • Jonathan Foley is interviewed for Marketplace on NPR go >>
  • Jonathan Foley's Five Point Plan to Feed the World is the cover article for National Geographic go >>
  • James Balog awarded Duke University LEAF Award for fine arts contributions in the environment go >>
  • John Luther Adams is the 2014 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music go >>
  • Richard Jackson pens article on healthy communities for the Idaho Statesman go >>
  • Mario Molina receives the Knight medal of the French Legion of Honor go >>
  • Dan Simpson, columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes Op-Ed on this year's Heinz Awards go >>
  • Salman Khan is named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship go >>
  • Peter Matthiessen, renowned writer and naturalist, and 6th Heinz Award recipient for Arts and Humanities, dies at 86 go >>
  • Peter Matthiessen's extraordinary life is profiled in The New York Times Magazine go >>
  • Hugh Herr gives his 2014 TED talk including a dance finale by a survivor who lost her lower leg in the Boston Marathon bombing go >>
  • Ann Hamilton commisioned to create large-scale public art installation for Seattle’s new waterfront reconstruction project go >>
  • Leila Janah's SamaUSA is profiled at NationSwell.com go >>
  • Paul Famer interviewed by Ray Chambers at The Huffington Post about ending tuberculosis go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his lab help Boston Marathon victim to dance again at TED go >>
  • The new documentary about Cary Fowler's work, Seeds of Time, is profiled at Grist.org go >>
  • Mario Molina and other AAAS scientists sound the alarm on climate change go >>
  • William Thomas is interviewed by Next Avenue on his new book on aging: Second Wind go >>
  • Abraham Verghese interviewed by the El Paso's News Paper Tree go >>
  • Leila Janah profiled in the March issue of Chronicle of Philanthropy go >>
  • Jacques d'Amboise lends his expertise and teaching methods to ten educators from across the country go >>
  • Khan Academy to gain exclusive partnership with College Board to offer free test prep courses go >>
  • Seeds of Time, a documentary that follows Cary Fowler as he works to stock the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, debuts at SXSW go >>
  • Jonathan Foley and his work is profiled at MinnPost.com go >>
  • Millie Dresselhaus is one of two Heinz Awardees in 2014 class inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame go >>
  • Ashok Gadgil is one of two Heinz Awardees in 2014 class inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame go >>
  • Leroy Hood's Institute for Systems Biology to test P4 ideas with nine-month pilot study, the Hundred Person Wellness Project go >>
  • After 23 years Geoffrey Canada will step down as chief executive of the Harlem Children's Zone go >>
  • Al Gore reviews Elizabeth Kolbert's book, The Sixth Extinction, for The New York Times Sunday Book Review go >>
  • Janine Benyus talks with Tim Brown of IDEO as part of a new TED editorial series, â??Questions Worth Askingâ?? go >>
  • Paul Ehrlich to receive the 2014 Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Ecology and Conservation Biology from the BBVA Foundation go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert's newest book, The Sixth Extinction, is reviewed by The New York Times go >>
  • Mason Bates co-curates Chicago Symphony Orchestra's reimagined MusicNOW series go >>
  • Dee Boersma's work on Magellanic penguins is profiled on NPR go >>
  • Dee Boersma's 28 year study on the direct impact of climate change on Magellanic penguins is profiled in The New York Times go >>
  • The New York Times reviews "Jacques' Art Nest," a benefit performance for Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute go >>
  • Christopher Field is the 2013 recipient of the 400,000 euro BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in climate change go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert interviewed at newyorker.com on her writing on species extinction go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski writes Op-Ed for The Baltimore Sun go >>
  • Hugh Herr's BiOM prosthetic and upcoming research is profiled in Boston magazine go >>
  • Robert Langer is one of six recipients of the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski is interviewed in The New York Times go >>
  • Millie Dresselhaus receives the 2013 Von Hippel Award from the Materials Research Society go >>
  • Richard Lugar receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom go >>
  • Hugh Herr is profiled in Men's Fitness magazine go >>
  • Paul Farmer and Melinda Gates are interviewed for Wired magazine go >>
  • Christopher Field to receive the 2013 Max Planck Research Prize go >>
  • Herbert Needleman's work to protect children from lead poisoning is profiled by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner go >>
  • Aaron T. Beck receives the first ever Kennedy Community Mental Health Award go >>
  • Amory Lovins writes a piece on what the 1973 oil embargo can teach us today go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco co-authors piece calling on policymakers to plan for climate change go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco shares the 2013 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence go >>
  • George Hatsopoulos (with brother John) is profiled in The Boston Globe as an example of how age has little to do with entrepreneurship go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman and Children's Defense Fund celebrate 40th anniversary go >>
  • Peter Matthiessen to put out a new novel, "In Paradise" go >>
  • Ruth Patrick, a pioneer in studying the health of freshwater rivers and streams, has died at the age of 105 go >>
  • Joseph Rogers to receive lifetime achievement award from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration go >>
  • Ralph Cavanagh writes OpEd piece for The New York Times on energy consumption go >>
  • Nancy Rabalais and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium profiled in The Scientist go >>
  • Karin Chenowith reflects on Freeman Hrabowski's early involvement in the civil rights movement go >>
  • James Goodby co-authors piece on recent agreement between North and South Korea go >>
  • Richard Jackson is elected to honorary membership in The American Institute of Architects go >>
  • Robert Moses featured on NPR's Morning Edition go >>
  • Terry Collins' TAML activators are one step closer to commercial use go >>
  • John Harbison’s "Gatsby" performed at Tanglewood in honor of his 75th birthday go >>
  • Hugh Herr is profiled in The Wall Street Journal's Weekend Interview go >>
  • Ralph Gomory writes On Manufacturing and Innovation for The Huffington Post go >>
  • Chris Field to share the Max Planck Research Prize for his research on climate change on ecosystems go >>
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra honors John Harbison with Mark M. Horblit "Merit Award" go >>
  • Jay Keasling's work on biofuels profiled on NPR's Morning Edition go >>
  • Ralph Gomory pens editorial in The Washington Post on the role of human nature in business go >>
  • Daniel Sperling receives the 2013 Blue Planet prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation go >>
  • Steve Wozniak interviewed in Ireland's Silicon Republic about innovation, the technology economy and Apple go >>
  • Leroy Hood guest blogs at The Wall Street Journal on what "Nonprofits Can Learn from Startups" go >>
  • Mary Good to head new center focused on data visualization at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock go >>
  • Janine Benyus to share the 2013 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development go >>
  • Mark di Suvero awarded gold medal for the arts by American Academy of Arts and Letters go >>
  • Mary Good and her career in chemistry is profiled in a short film by the Chemical Heritage Foundation go >>
  • Jay Keasling to receive 2013 George Washington Carver Award for innovation in industrial biotechnology go >>
  • Jay Keasling and his current work on artemisinin profiled in San Francisco Business Times go >>
  • Joint BioEnergy Institute, headed by Jay Keasling, to be renewed until 2018 go >>
  • The Nuclear Threat Initiative, with Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, proposes new strategy to reduce conflict and to encourage security go >>
  • Robert Langer pens a piece for Project Syndicate on Going Against Conventional Wisdom go >>
  • Robert Langer is interviewed on NPR's Science Friday go >>
  • C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general, has died at age 96 go >>
  • Marian Wright Edelman to receive Harvard Graduate School of Education's Medal for Education Impact go >>
  • Susan Seacrest is profiled by the Lincoln Star Journal go >>
  • Jay Keasling's semi-synthetic anti-malarial artemisinin now being produced in bulk and ready for introduction go >>
  • Hugh Herr speaks on cutting edge bionics at the Digital-Life-Design Conference go >>

The Heinz Awards

2007

Hugh Herr

Dr. Hugh Herr receives the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment for his pioneering work in new prosthetics that merge body and machine.

An MIT professor, researcher and inventor, Dr. Hugh Herr is pioneering revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics - technology that marries robotics and human biomechanics. A double amputee himself, he is responsible for breakthrough advances in prosthetics and orthotics, giving greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities.

There was a time that prostheses were hampering devices, causing jerky movements and unnecessary exertion for their users. Each unit had to be oriented to the individual, by a professional, and based on stride length, weight, flexion and other measurements. Even after all of this, the resultant stride was rigidly the same, whether the wearer was walking, running or climbing rocks.

And that brings us to Hugh Herr, who at age 17 became one of those statistics. He lost both of his legs below the knees following a rock climbing accident on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. It was his personal experience with prostheses that spurred him to focus his talents on improving the movement of disabled individuals through enhanced artificial limbs.

He returned to the classroom after a few years to earn an undergraduate degree in physics, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard. Today, directing the Biomechatronics Group within MIT's Media Lab, his work focuses on human amplification and rehabilitation systems - technologies that interact with human limbs that amplify function.

With more than 36,000 new amputees in the United States every year - including hundreds of American soldiers who have lost limbs in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 - Dr. Herr is helping improve mobility and enhance the quality of life for many physically challenged people around the world. The holder (or co-holder) of numerous patents, including the Computer-Controlled Artificial Knee (commercially available as the Rheo Knee), the Active Ankle-Foot Orthosis, and the world's first Powered Ankle-Foot Prosthesis, he is advancing an emerging field of science that applies the principles of muscle mechanics, neural control and human biomechanics to guide the design of biomimetic robots, human rehabilitation devices and other technologies.

Given the high number of U.S. soldiers returning home with crippling injuries, the Department of Veterans Affairs is funding a $7.2 million research project involving Dr. Herr's group to develop new technologies for amputees, specifically "biohybrid limbs" made up of regenerated tissue, lengthened bone, titanium bone implants, implantable neural sensors and external robotic limbs.

Dr. Hugh Herr is not simply an example of the human spirit overcoming adversity; his work is a triumph of intellect and innovation over what has scarcely been imagined. His breakthrough advances in rehabilitation technologies are immeasurably improving the quality of life for thousands of people with physical challenges.

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.

Speech

10/22/2007 - Acceptance Speech


It is indeed a tremendous honor to receive the Heinz Award. Thank you Teresa Heinz and thank you to all the members of the Heinz Family Foundation for this prestigious award.

Like all people, I do not operate in isolation, I do not work in isolation, but rather I gain tremendous support from many people.

Therefore, with utter humility, I would like to include in this honor my many students and colleagues for their kind support and inspiration throughout these years.

I'd also like to thank my mother and father, who are here tonight, John and Martha Herr, for bestowing upon me the simple idea that there's no obstacle too great when confronted with the power of the human spirit.

I'd also like to thank my beloved wife, Patricia, who's also here this evening, and our two lovely girls, Alexandra and Sage Dylan. My experience of joy and beauty is inexplicably tied to you.

I'd also like to thank Albert Dow who volunteered to walk into that horrible blizzard on Mount-Washington in search of two lost boys.

Nearly half of the world's population suffers from some form of cognitive, emotional or physical disability. One of the great challenges of this century will be to advance technological interventions to improve the quality of life of the disabled, not only in developed nations, but across the entire world's population. Indeed, I feel great joy and privilege to make a small contribution to this effort, this global effort, for there is no greater gift than the gift of giving back.

Thank you.
Hugh Herr
Hugh Herr