Emil Frei

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Emil Frei III
Nci-vol-1838-300 Emil Frei.jpg
Born (1924-02-21)February 21, 1924
St. Louis, Missouri
Died April 30, 2013(2013-04-30) (aged 89)
Oak Park, Illinois
Citizenship United States
Institutions National Cancer Institute
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Alma mater Colgate University
Yale School of Medicine
Known for Cancer research

Emil "Tom" Frei III (February 21, 1924 – April 30, 2013) was an American physician and oncologist. He was the former director and former physician-in-chief of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He was also the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Frei was born in 1924 in St. Louis.[2] His family owned the stained glass manufacturer Emil Frei & Associates.[2] Frei received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University in 1944 and his medical degree from Yale University in 1948. He interned at Firmin Desloge Hospital, now St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, MIssouri and served as a physician in the Korean War. He worked at the National Cancer Institute from 1955 to 1965 and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1965 to 1972; while at M.D. Anderson he was the founding director of the Department of Development Therapeutics, which evolved into the Clinical Research Center. He served as physician-in-chief at the Dana-Farber Institute from 1972 to 1991. He is best known for his work on the treatment of lymphomas and childhood and adult leukemia.[3]

Involvement in Cancer Cooperative Group Research[edit]

Frei was one of the founders of the Acute Leukemia Group B which later evolved into the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB). He served as the group chair for 16 years, from 1956 to 1963, and again from 1981 to 1990.[4]


In 1972 he received the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award from the Lasker Foundation "for his outstanding contribution in application of the concept of combination chemotherapy for lymphoma and acute adult leukemia."[5] Other awards included the Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award (1978); NIH Distinguished Alumni Award (1990); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999); Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research (2003); and AARC Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).[6]


Frei died at his home in Oak Park, Illinois on April 30, 2013. He was 89.[2]


  1. ^ "Official biography". Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Fox, Margalit (4 May 2013). "Emil Frei III, Who Put Cancer Cures in Reach, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Emil Frei III". Animals in Research. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "History of CALGB". 
  5. ^ "Lasker Award". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Biographical note: Emil Frei, III". Making Cancer History Voices Collection. University of Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 

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