V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Discovering Preventive Abilities of SERMs

Research Area: Cancer Prevention

Portrait of V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc.
V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Discovering Preventive Abilities of SERMs

V. Craig Jordan, Ph.D., wrote his doctoral dissertation on a new group of medicines to be investigated as “morning after pills” but the medicines did the opposites in women. Jordan chose a different path. He moved on to experiment with tamoxifen as a breast cancer treatment, at a time when the clinical community considered cytotoxic chemotherapy would cure all cancers.

Dr. Jordan and team described and deciphered translational research for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. This strategy with tamoxifen revolutionized women’s health. He subsequently discovered the properties of a new class of drugs known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs).

Five SERMs with discovery links to Jordan’s laboratory have since been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To this day, tamoxifen is one of the world’s most successful cancer drugs and is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. (PDF, 475 KB)

Dr. Jordan has said that he led a “double life” for much of his career, which spanned more than 50 years. He pioneered using tamoxifen to save millions of women’s lives worldwide for his day job, and at the same time served as a reserve officer in the British Special Air Service, regarded as one of the most elite military units in the world.

Learn more about Dr. Jordan here.