CHRIS FISHER:
 
CHRIS FISHER




 
 
 
 
 
Cofounder and Director of Biology of NanoVir, LLC in Kalamazoo. Fisher is a cell and developmental biologist with extensive drug discovery experience. NanoVir’s research is focused on antiviral drug treatments for high-risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, a primary cause of cervical cancer. Recently, the company received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research into new drug candidates to fight the viruses that cause cervical cancer. The three-year grant complements a $1.8 million, five-year research grant the NIH awarded to NanoVir in May and brings total grant funding for NanoVir to more than $9.5 million since the company was started in 2004. The company also has received funding from Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. In 2006 the Small Business Association recognized NanoVir with the Tibbett’s Award for technological innovation. Prior to cofounding NanoVir with James Bashkin, Fisher was a research adviser and senior scientist for Pharmacia Corp. (formerly Upjohn) where he played a leading role in key drug discovery projects investigating the molecular machinery regulating cell division. He also served on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine where he was funded by the NIH to research embryonic development and cell biology. Among other works, Fisher is recognized as co-author of the “Hen’s tooth” paper, a classic work in evolutionary biology. He also serves as an adjunct professor in biological sciences at WMU. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the University of South Carolina and his Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Connecticut.


WHERE BORN: “Camden, N.J.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Karen Holbrook, who was my mentor as a post doctoral student and faculty member at the University of Washington in Seattle. She went on to become president of Ohio State University. Karen, more than anyone else, taught me how to write – a skill that has been a big help to growing our company. I was also fortunate to have studied under two other excellent scientists: Roger Sawyer and Ed Kollar, both of whom helped nurture my interest in embryonic development.”

LAST BOOK READ:Rubicon by Tom Holland; it’s about the last years of Roman Republic.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Intense, somewhat driven, a little pushy, friendly, forgiving.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “In general, drug discovery is being conducted less and less by big pharma and more by small companies like NanoVir, so we’re in pretty good shape. New drugs will be coming out of smaller companies.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I just got a new iPad that I love.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Saugatuck, and one of my favorite international cities is Rome.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I like riding my bike. I wish I did it more.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Pasta carbonara.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Teaching and mentoring.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “For finding a drug for treatment of human papillomavirus and as someone who left the world a better place.”