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 an AAI past-president, EIC, FASEB president, and an ASIP Lifetime Emeritus member. 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.
Dr. Fitch had a number of significant accomplishments during his 40 years as a faculty member at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. His research in Immunology lead to innovations in the treatment of Rh disease in mothers with Rh incompatibility, techniques for T-cell cloning used in multiple research laboratories around the world and the advancements in monoclonal antibody techniques that are now used as the standard for immunotherapy treatment of multiple cancers including breast cancer. While at the University of Chicago, he trained 35 PhD students and seven post-doctoral fellows.
He was the president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the recipient of the Norman McLean faculty award from the University of Chicago. He was a John Simon Guggenheim fellow a Borden research award recipient and a Lederle medical faculty award recipient. Many of his PhD students went on to accomplished academic careers leading multiple academic departments around the world.