Isaiah J. Fidler, DVM, PhD

Isaiah J. Fidler, DVM, PhD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Isaiah J. Fidler, DVM, PhD | Class of 2013

​A pioneer in the field of cancer metastasis, Dr. Fidler has devoted his research to understanding the nature of primary tumors and their ability to promote the establishment of secondary tumors. One of Dr. Fidler’s most important findings was that tumors are composed of heterogeneous cell populations. He further concluded that within these populations exist specific cell types with metastatic potential. Such findings have suggested that cancer therapies should be geared toward eliminating these small subsets of cells, thereby confining a tumor within its primary organ site.

Dr. Fidler established that cancer metastases represent non-random biologic events whose outcome depends on the interaction between unique tumor cells with unique organ microenvironments. This concept effectively transformed many scientific areas including cancer epidemiology and tumor biology, as well as drug design and development. The notion shifted the paradigm that cancer spread is genetically driven and therefore can be therapeutically targeted. Recently, Dr. Fidler has focused his expertise on understanding the basis of brain metastasis for a variety of cancers.

Career Highlights

2018  AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research
2013  Medal of Honor in Basic Research, American Cancer Society
2010  Lifetime Achievement Award, Nature Publishing
2007  Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2003  Outstanding SPORE Investigator Award, National Cancer Institute
2001  E. G. Rosenblatt Award for Scientific Achievement, USA Israel Cancer Association
1999  Bristol-Meyers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research
1997  WHO Gold Medalist for Biological Sciences
1987/1995   Outstanding Investigator Award, National Cancer Institute
1993  The First Raymond Bourgine Prize and the City of Paris Gold Medal
1988  AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
1984-1985   President, AACR
1983  Chairman, Department of Cancer Biology, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
1982-1985  Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research
1979  Director, Cancer Metastasis and Treatment Laboratory, National Cancer Institute
1970  PhD, University of Pennsylvania
1963  DVM, Oklahoma State University