Making Cancer History Voices Collection
Emil Frei, III, Interview 1
Dr. Emil “Tom” Frei, III, attended St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri before attending Colgate University through the Navy’s V-12 program during WW II. From there, Dr. Frei attended Yale Medical School and graduated in 1948. Dr. Frei also served during the Korean War as a physician. He began his civilian career as the Chief of Medicine at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1955 before moving to MD Anderson in 1965. During his time at MD Anderson, Dr. Frei became the first Head of the Department of Development Therapeutics, which evolved into the Clinical Research Center. He continued at MD Anderson until 1972, upon which time he moved to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. During his career, Dr. Frei has authored many articles regarding the treatment of cancer, particularly the areas of Hodgkin’s disease. He has also been noted for his successful combinations of chemotherapy in children’s leukemia as well as post-surgical chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Frei has also received many awards during his career. Some of them include: Mary Lasker Foundation award (1973); Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award (1978); NIH Distinguished Alumni Award (1990); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999); Pollin Prize (2003); and AARC Lifetime Achievement Award (2004). In 2007 the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Southern Nevada Chapter held the inaugural Dr. Emil Frei III Symposium, which is a continuing medical education program for oncologists, hematologists and other personnel. Dr. Frei is retired, but continues to serve as Physician-in-Chief, Emeritus, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Emil “Tom” Frei, III, speaks to Lesley W. Brunet about his career during and after MD Anderson, his time in the service, and his work with chemotherapy. The interview took place on December 18, 2001 at the Division of Medicine Conference Room, Faculty Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
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Interview conducted between Emil Frei, III, and Lesley W. Brunet on December 18, 2001, in Houston, Texas
Emil Frei, III, Interview 1, December 18, 2001, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Oral history was edited by Elvira Lynn Alayon, UNT Intern, Summer 2011