The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 457 - 462 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 5-6

Special Issue: Invasion in Cancer and Embryonic Development

From here to there; a life based on migration. An interview with Isaiah J. Fidler

Published: 1 September 2004

Ian R. Hart

Tumour Biology Laboratory, Cancer Research UK Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, John Vane Science Centre, London, U.K.


As part of the technological advances of our age, it proved possible to conduct this interview across "the ether" using the medium of e-mail. Not the most satisfactory medium for me and not just because I failed to add to my air miles by foregoing a trip to Houston. It was disappointing for me because, as a former pupil of Josh's, I was well aware of the warm and generous hospitality I could have expected from him and his wife Margaret had I visited their home. However of greater import for the flavour of this review is the fact that by not going to Houston I am forced back on fairly distant memories that could have done with being refreshed. Josh is one of the great teachers in modern tumour biology and his teaching skills are indivisible from his personality (his larger-than-life personality). Just as people say you have to see great rock bands, like the Rolling Stones, on stage in order to appreciate how good they are, so you need to have seen Josh Fidler lecturing in the flesh in order to really appreciate what an impact he has had on the field of metastasis research. To have "bathed" in that charisma again after a long absence from personal interaction would have helped gel some of the points I would like to get across in this interview. Hopefully though I still will be able to convey the excitement of working under Josh's direction in the late 70's and early 80's; it was a time when Josh made a number of seminal observations and drove the field forward almost by his sheer will-power. Before we leave the analogy drawn to rock musicians though, let me encourage any reader that, should Fidler be playing at a venue near you in the near future, a trip to a live-lecture will always be an event on a par with anything the world of rock-and-roll has to offer!



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