International Expert Named Director of James P. Wilmot Cancer Center

September 13, 2001

The University of Rochester Medical Center has appointed Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and director of Cancer Services for Strong Health. Fisher is an internationally known expert in biological research and treatment of lymphoma. He has been director of the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, in Chicago, since 1984.

“Dr. Fisher’s leadership in the cancer field is internationally recognized and he will be an asset for us as we continue to build our patient care, research and teaching programs,” says Jay H. Stein, M.D., senior vice president and vice provost for health affairs, and Medical Center and Strong Health CEO. “We have made it a priority to provide novel treatments to our patients through cutting-edge research and Dr. Fisher will be able to continue building on our long-standing tradition of excellence.”

During his tenure at Loyola, Fisher was instrumental in the creation of the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center and has worked to build a program supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He helped secure state-of-the-art laboratory space for research and championed the construction of a $35 million facility for cancer prevention, treatment and research.

“I want to build a world-class cancer research and treatment facility to provide state-of-the-art care with the newest and best treatments for patients with cancer,” said Fisher, who was also appointed chief of the Hematology/Oncology Unit in the Department of Medicine and the Samuel E. Durand Professor of Medicine.

Fisher will oversee clinical cancer services at Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital, which together provide comprehensive care for cancer patients throughout Western and Upstate New York.

"Dr. Fisher is a nationally renown cancer clinician, scientist, and educator, who brings to Rochester the kind of world class standard of excellence that represents our vision for the future. All of his science and clinical work starts with the patient at the center,” said Edward M. Hundert, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“We are thrilled he has taken on the leadership of the Cancer Center to build innovative programs that cut across all of our departments. This will ensure that our cancer patients get cutting-edge interdisciplinary care, our cancer research program develops the treatments that will benefit patients around the world, and our students, residents, and fellows become the leaders for the next generation in cancer treatment and prevention.”

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he completed an internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He held an oncology fellowship and worked as a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute from 1972-84.

Fisher’s research centers on the biology and treatment of lymphoma, cancers derived from white blood cells, and he has led national and international studies in Hodgkin’s Disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is chairman of the Lymphoma Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group, a cooperative clinical research organization that includes 283 institutions and more than 4,000 physicians around the U.S. and Canada.

He is a member of the American Joint Committee on Cancer’s Lymphoma Task Force, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Association of Immunologists, Clinical Immunology Society, Central Society for Clinical Cancer Research and the American College of Physician Executives. Fisher has authored more than 250 articles and chapters in national and international publications.

Fisher replaces Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., who has served as interim director for eight months. Rosenblatt relocated to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, in Miami, Fla., where he is chief of the Hematology/Oncology Division and scientific director.

For Media Inquiries:
Leslie White
(585) 273-1119
Email Leslie White