Isaiah J. Fidler, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Director, Metastasis Research Laboratory, R. E. “Bob” Smith Distinguished Chair in Cell Biology,
Professor, Department of Cancer Biology, University of Texas MD Anderson
Cancer Center (UTMDACC), Houston, TX
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.