Frank W. Fitch, M.D., Ph.D.

Frank W. Fitch

 Brief Bio

Frank W. Fitch (1929–2021) was professor emeritus of the Department of Pathology and former director of the Ben May Institute (currently the Ben May Department of Cancer Research) at the University of Chicago. Dr. Fitch was president of The American Association of Immunologists from 1992 to 1993 and served on the AAI Council from 1987 to 1994. He also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Immunology from 1997 to 2002. From 1993 to 1994, Dr. Fitch was president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He was awarded the AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2004, the AAI Distinguished Service Award in 2002, and the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. Dr. Fitch was elected a Distinguished Fellow of AAI in 2019.

 Oral History - Full Interview

 

Interview Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Location: Chicago, IL

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 Oral History - Transcript

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 Oral History - Clips

 AAI Service History

Joined: 1961
President: 1992–1993
Vice President: 1991–1992
Councillor: 1987–1991

The Journal of Immunology
Associate Editor: 1971–1977; 1982–1983
Section Editor, 1983–1987
Deputy Editor: 1987–1992
Editor-in-Chief: 1997–2002
Committees
Membership Committee: 1971–1974
Nominating Committee: 1982–1983, 2003–2004
Publications Committee: 1985–1987, 1995–1996 (chair), 2002–2003
Awards Committee: 1994–1995 (chair)

Other Service
AAI Representative to the National Society for Medical Research: 1970–1981
AAI Representative to the Eli Lilly Committee to American Society of Microbiology: 1981–1982
AAI Representative to the FASEB Public Affairs Committee: 1983–1987
AAI Representative to the FASEB Federation Board: 1991–1994
FASEB President: 1993–1994
AAI Representative to the IUIS General Assembly: 1993–1995

 President's Address

"The Good Old Days—Past, Present, and Future"

The Journal of Immunology 151, no. 4 (1993): 1747–56.

 Awards and Honors

 Institutional/Biographical Links

 AAI In Memoriam

Frank W. Fitch

AAI extends sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Frank W. Fitch, M.D., Ph.D., DFAAI (AAI ’61), who died peacefully on April 2 at the age of 91.

Dr. Fitch served as AAI President from 1992 to 1993 and was on the AAI Council from 1987 to 1994. Following this service, he was chair of the AAI Publications Committee and then served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Immunology from 1997 to 2002. Dr. Fitch also served as the 1993–1994 president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and as a FASEB board member from 1991 to 1994.

A native of Illinois, Dr. Fitch received his M.D. (1953) and Ph.D. (1960) from the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He was then invited to join the faculty there, where he remained for over 40 years. He was dedicated to the future generations of physicians and researchers, and he trained many Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, a number of whom went on to illustrious careers in immunology. He was an accomplished experimentalist and, among other important research findings, he is noted for his seminal research elucidating the role of “T Cell Growth Factor (TCGF),” or IL2, in the clonal expansion of antigen-specific T cells in vitro.

Dr. Fitch was named the Albert D. Lasker Professor of Medical Science and served as the director of the Ben May Cancer Institute at the University of Chicago School of Medicine from 1986 to 1995. He was the recipient of the Norman McLean Faculty Award from the University of Chicago, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a Borden Undergraduate Research Award recipient, and a Lederle Medical Faculty Award recipient. A special lectureship was established in 2014 in the name of Dr. Fitch and his beloved wife, Shirley, at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Fitch’s exemplary career was honored by AAI with the Lifetime Achievement Award (1996), a Distinguished Service Award (2002), and the Excellence in Mentoring Award (2004). Named an inaugural Distinguished Fellow of AAI (DFAAI) in 2019, he remained a regular member of AAI until his passing.

A more detailed tribute to Dr. Fitch’s many scientific and leadership contributions to the field will be forthcoming, but we direct you to his interview in 2012 for the AAI Oral History Project as well as to the obituary published by the family.

Memorial donations may be made to:

The Frank W. and Shirley D. Fitch Lectureship
c/o University of Chicago Gift Administration and Business Data
Frank Fitch Memorial
5235 S. Harper Court, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60615
Check payable to: “The University of Chicago,” and write “Fitch Lectureship” in the memo line
Donate online at https://bit.ly/3dzyKWd.

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