About the Fisher Center
In August 2006, a $5 million gift from the Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation, Inc. led to the establishment of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Center for Familial Cancer Research (Fisher Center) at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. This gift substantially expands both the clinical and research programs at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, allowing the cancer center to conduct more research on genetic predisposition to cancer, provide increased clinical trial opportunities and allow physicians to evaluate and treat more patients.
The mission of the Fisher Center is to conduct state of the art research on the prevention, treatment and management of familial cancers in order to improve the medical and quality of life outcomes of women and men at risk for or with cancer. In addition, the Center is committed to research aimed at identifying and integrating genomic information to provide more precise and individually tailored cancer risk estimates and therapies.
The Fisher Center advances our understanding of familial cancer and genetic contributions to cancer risk through a multidisciplinary approach calling on specialists in basic science, epidemiology, and cancer treatment and prevention. Our team is committed to reducing the impact of familial cancers worldwide and providing individuals with personalized guidance about cancer risk management and treatment.
Coupled with research is a dedication to cancer patients and those at risk today. We provide state of the art clinical genetic counseling and testing services. Our clinical research is designed to better understand and enhance the medical, behavioral, and psychosocial outcomes of individuals at increased risk of developing cancer.
The Fisher Center also serves as a resource to sponsor and conduct educational and research activities. We are committed to providing educational initiatives for health care providers, basic science and clinical researchers, genetic counselors, students, and the lay public.
These three components of the Center – research, patient care, and education – enable us to carry forward our model of comprehensive service and translational science.
The Fisher Center is co-directed by Claudine Isaacs, MD and Marc Schwartz, PhD, and Beth N. Peshkin, MS, CGC as Education Director. The Directors have worked together at Georgetown for over 17 years, and have spearheaded this nationally recognized program in cancer genetics counseling and research.
About the Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation, Inc.
The Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation, Inc. gift honors Cecilia “Cookie” Fisher Rudman, a volunteer at Lombardi for nearly eight years, who died Oct. 2, 2002, at the age of 58. A major part of her volunteer work included working on a landmark clinical trial, the P1 Prevention Trial, which led to the FDA approval of the use of tamoxifen as a preventative treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Claudine Isaacs, co-director of the familial cancer program, was the principal investigator of the clinical trial and worked closely with Rudman.
“Cecilia would come twice a week for four hours. I could trust her do anything . . . and [she] was great with the patients,” said Joy Dritschilo, RN, a clinical research nurse at Lombardi who worked with Rudman on the clinical trial. “She was a wonderful, giving person and a close friend.”
“Lombardi was an important part of Cookie’s life,” said John Schofield, one of the trustees of the Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation. “I have heard a number of physicians, nurses, administrators and staff speak about Cookie’s involvement at Lombardi, and we knew that a gift such as this was something she would want.”
Rudman also volunteered with the Lombardi Gala Women’s Committee. Her other philanthropic activities included serving on the Washington Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League and the Board of Directors of the Washington Ballet. She was also a mentor with the Washington, DC, public school system. Upon her passing, Rudman left nearly $1 million to Lombardi to establish a Distinguished Professorship in Breast Cancer Research to support the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research and Lombardi’s pediatric programs.
The Robert M. Fisher Family Foundation was established in the late 1960s in memory of Cecilia's twin brother, Robert, who died at a young age. Cecilia administered the foundation, which was established to support the family's philanthropic interests and to continue the pattern of philanthropy her family established.
Reducing the impact of familial cancers through comprehensive care and cutting-edge research