Frank W. Fitch, MD, PhD | 1929-2021

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. 

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Obituary

In Memoriam: Samuel W. French, MD

1926-2020

We were saddened to learn that long-time ASIP member Dr. Samuel W. French passed away on Christmas day at home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Dr. French was 94 years old. As many of you know, he was an exceptional pathologist, educator and researcher with tireless and insatiable academic passion for more than half a century. His prolific and original research particularly on alcoholic liver disease (ALD), resulted in nearly 500 publications. His seminal contributions to science on hypoxia, nutrition, and Mallory-Denk bodies in ALD, were recognized by highest honors including Lifetime Achievement Award by Research Society on Alcoholism and the 2014 ASIP Gold Headed Cane Award. Dr. French was an active ASIP member from January 1, 1965 until his death.


He graduated from UC Berkley and UC San Francisco Medical School and trained in UCSF General Hospital and New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He was Vice Chairman of Pathology at UC Davis (1978-82), Chairman of Pathology at University of Ottawa (1982-1990), Chief of Anatomic Pathology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (1990-) and Distinguished Professor of Pathology at UCLA (2004-). He was one of the original 4 principal investigators for NIAAA/NIH-supported Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis founded in 1999 and served as director of the center’s Morphology Core, providing his unmatched pathologic expertise and wisdom to numerous projects pursued by the center members and investigators across the nation and around the world. Many of us are beneficiaries of his professionalism and friendship to which we are deeply indebted. It is a huge and sad loss and he will be missed. We offer sincere condolences and prayers to Barbara, his wife, and his family members. A virtual memorial service is planned in the future. For more information, please contact Ms. Adriana Flores of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.