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AACR-Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research Recipients

This award recognizes an individual whose leadership and extraordinary achievements have made a major impact in cancer research.

12th Award Recipient
Isaiah J. Fidler, DVM, PhD, FAACR
Professor, Department of Cancer Biology
Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Dr. Fidler received his award during the Opening Ceremony of the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, Sunday, April 15, 2018, at the McCormick Place North/South Convention Center.

The American Association for Cancer Research established this award in 2007 in honor of Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), for her exemplary leadership of the AACR as its chief executive officer; for her sustained, outstanding work in fostering research, scholarly communications, education and training, science policy, and public education; and for her extraordinary dedication and contributions to the conquest of cancer.

The award recognizes a true champion of cancer research, an individual who embodies the sustained commitment of Margaret Foti to the prevention and cure of cancer. The award is given to an individual whose leadership and extraordinary achievements in cancer research or in support of cancer research have made a major impact on the field. Such achievements may include scientific contributions to the acceleration of progress against cancer, significant accomplishments in the national or international awareness of the importance of cancer research, or other ways demonstrating a sustained extraordinary commitment to cancer research.

The AACR honors Isaiah J. Fidler, DVM, PhD, FAACR for his consistent and long-standing impact in the field of cancer invasion and metastasis. His numerous contributions to the field of cancer research, which spans over 50 years, have significantly contributed to our understanding of the origins of pathogenesis of cancer metastasis and have dramatically changed our approach to treating many forms of cancer.

In a series of landmark findings, Dr. Fidler demonstrated metastasis is not a random process, but a selective one for the small number of cells in a tumor capable of escaping and spreading to other organs. He also showed that metastatic cells pre-exist within the cellular heterogeneity of the primary tumor, illustrating the need to target these specialized cells and explaining why conventional treatments that destroy most of a tumor ultimately fail for patients with metastatic disease.

In his distinguished career, he has authored and co-authored over 830 publications in peer-reviewed journals, many of which formed the foundation for our current understanding of the basic biology of cancer. Dr. Fidler also has mentored a large number of trainees and junior faculty who now hold leadership positions in cancer research worldwide.

Dr. Fidler is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research and the International Society of Differentiation (ISD), and he is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his many honors are the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for accomplishment in basic cancer research, the American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award, and the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award (twice). He is also on the AVMA Honor Roll and, in 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Nature Publishing. In 2013, he received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in Basic Research; in 2014, he received the President’s Recognition for Faculty Excellence in MDACC; and he received the Gold-Headed Cane Award from American Society for Investigative Pathology, in 2016.

Dr. Fidler is a Fellow of the AACR Academy.

2018 AACR Foti Award Presentation.jpg

Award Recipients

  • 2017: Carlo M. Croce
  • 2016: Waun Ki Hong
  • 2015: Donald S. Coffey
  • 2014: Webster K. Cavenee
  • 2013: Robert C. Young
  • 2012: John Mendelsohn
  • 2011: Arthur D. Levinson
  • 2010: Phillip A. Sharp
  • 2009: Anna D. Barker
  • 2008: Ellen V. Sigal
  • 2007: Margaret Foti