22 Facts About Amanda Fisher


Dame Amanda Gay Fisher is a British cell biologist and Director of the Medical Research Council London Institute of Medical Sciences at the Hammersmith Hospital campus of Imperial College London, where she is a Professor leading the Institute of Clinical Sciences.


Amanda Fisher has made contributions to multiple areas of cell biology, including determining the function of several genes in HIV and describing the importance of a gene's location within the cell nucleus.


Amanda Fisher later became interested in epigenetics and nuclear reprogramming, particularly in white blood cells known as lymphocytes and embryonic stem cells.


Amanda Fisher's research has used lymphocytes as a model to analyse how gene expression patterns are transmitted through cell division.


Amanda Fisher uses current technologies to address events involved in maintaining embryonic stem cell pluripotency versus differentiation towards mesoderm, endoderm and ectoderm, as well as the mechanisms of T cell and B cell lineage choice and differentiation.


Amanda Fisher produced the first functional copies of HIV, allowing her and other scientists to access biologically active material for future research of the virus's genes.


Amanda Fisher determined the roles of several of the genes in HIV.


At the NIH, Amanda Fisher developed approaches that allowed the successful introduction of exogenous DNA onto human blood cells.


Amanda Fisher showed in 1985 that molecular clones of HIV, contained within approximately 18kb of contiguous proviral DNA, were biologically active and generated cytopathic virus when introduced into primary human T-cells.


Amanda Fisher moved from the US to the UK in 1987 to study human T cell development.


Amanda Fisher established the first human thymus organ cultures in 1990, based on studies pioneered by Owen and Jenkinson in the mouse.


Amanda Fisher spent a further 3 years training in mouse genetics, transgenic and knockout technologies at the Institut de genetique et de biologie moleculaire et cellulaire Strasbourg, before being invited by the Medical Research Council to establish a research team with her partner Matthias Merkenschlager at what was then the Clinical Sciences Centre.


Amanda Fisher joined the CSC in 1993, and subsequently became its director in 2008.


In 1997, Amanda Fisher's group published an important paper on the DNA-binding factor Ikaros, that at the time was presumed to be a transcriptional activator.


Amanda Fisher's group showed that Ikaros proteins unexpectedly localised to percentric heterochromatin in cycling lymphocytes in association with transcriptionally silent genes.


From this viewpoint they began a series of studies that have subsequently shown the involvement of cohesin complexes in gene regulation and in 2002, Amanda Fisher was awarded the EMBO Gold Medal in recognition of her early work on HIV, and the role of nuclear organisation in gene regulation.


Since 2003, Amanda Fisher has been studying gene regulation in embryonic stem cells, as a model for understanding pluripotency, lineage commitment and lineage restriction.


Amanda Fisher is distinguished for her pioneering work on HIV pathogenesis, T lymphocyte development, embryonic stem cells and epigenetic gene regulation.


Amanda Fisher described the first active clones of HIV and discovered the functions of several HIV genes including tat, nef and vif.


Amanda Fisher was awarded the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres International Fellow award in 2015.


Amanda Fisher was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to medical research and the public understanding of science.


In January 2023, Amanda Fisher was elected as the Whitley Chair and Fellow in Biochemistry at Trinity College, Oxford.