Craig Fischer received his B.S. degree in Liberal Arts from Kansas State University and his M.D. from the University of Kansas, College of Medicine. He served his internship and Anatomic Pathology Residency at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, KS, and a Clinical Pathology Residency and fellowship in nuclear medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX.
Dr. Fischer entered the U.S. Army as a captain and trained at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and Army School of Aviation Medicine. Subsequently, he was assigned to the NASA Manned Space Center in 1964 as a rated army flight surgeon and research medical officer. In 1968, he was appointed to the position of Pathologist and Chief of Clinical Laboratories at the Manned Spacecraft Center and the NASA Flight Surgeon and Chief of the Crew Reception Area of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, serving in the crew quarantine area for all three lunar quarantine missions (Apollo 11, 12, and 14). Dr. Fischer served as a flight surgeon and Research Medical Officer, at the launch and recovery sites, for all manned launches and recoveries from Gemini IV thru Apollo 15, and as an operational flight surgeon for STS 1, 2, and 3. Dr. Fischer was a co-investigator for the Skylab experiment, M115 (special hematological effects), which flew on Skylabs 1, 2, and 3. He was elected, by the National Academy of Sciences, as an Astronaut Mission Payload Specialist candidate for the Space Lab-1 mission.
During his three tours at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Fischer served as Pathologist and Chief of Clinical Laboratories, Medical Operations Branch; Chief, Division of Space Science; Chief, Division of Space Medicine and Health Care Systems; Assistant to the Director for Space Medicine and Assistant Director for International Space Medicine (from which he retired in January 2007).
In addition to his time with NASA, Dr. Fischer also served in multiple capacities at other government agencies including the Department of Interior, the National Academy of Engineering, and the U.S. Air Force.
He has received numerous awards for his work on the Gemini, Apollo, and Sky Lab projects. He has been honored with the Dept. of the Air Force Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, The Russian Federal Space Agency Medal for International Cooperation in Space Exploration and the American Astronautical Society Melbourne W. Boynton Award.
Dr. Fischer is certified by the American Board of Anatomic Pathology, the American Board of Clinical Pathology, The American Board of Nuclear Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice.