Fitch Lectureship


Frank Fitch, our mentor, colleague and consummate professor. Frank made enormous contributions to the academic community at the University of Chicago and beyond for over 55 years. Frank was a member of the University of Chicago faculty in the Department of Pathology, Ben May Institute (BMI) and Committee on Immunology (COI). His research was top-tier as his lab contributed to our understanding of T cell immunology, especially cytotoxic and helper T cell function (Frank was among the first to describe T cell subsets), the development of enormously valuable tools in the early days of monoclonal antibody and T cell cloning, and the field of organ transplantation (passive immunization for one). During this incredible career, Frank trained thirty-five Ph.D. and M.D. PhD. students and seven postdoctoral fellows. He taught in countless medical, graduate and undergraduate students and mentored anyone who knocked on his door.

On a national scale, Frank has been a leader in the scientific community as council member and president of the American Association of Immunologists, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Immunology and president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). In each of these roles, Frank was a leader in stressing the need for public education – for educating both the public and science and representatives and legislators on the importance of basic research. And of course, Frank has helped educate the world about the Hopi Indians.

Of course, many of you know that Frank credits all of his accomplishments in large part due to his partnership with Shirley, who he met in third grade, started dating in high school and as husband and wife for something like 65 years. His marriage and collegiality transcend his other contributions and tells us about the man and his commitment to a life of contribution, sacrifice, love and friendship.

Frank Fitch Endowed Scholarship Fund

In Frank’s memory, we are raising funds for the Frank Fitch Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports PhD students – a fitting way to perpetuate his legacy. Please consider joining us and make a gift here.

When: Monday, March 18, 2024 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Where: Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences (GCIS)
929 East 57th St., Room W301/303

Agenda: Stromal Evolution in Inflammation, Cancer, and Immunotherapy

Presented by: Dr. Shannon Turley
Vice President, Department of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine, Genentech

When: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Where: Biological Sciences Learning Center, Room 109

Description: The Frank W. & Shirley D. Fitch Lecture

Contact: Ben May Institute for Cancer Research

When: September 24, 2018

Where: Gwen and Jules Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery
900 E. 57th St., Room 1103

Engineering the Cancer Genome

Presented By:
Tyler Jacks, Ph.D.
Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research David H. Koch
Professor of Biology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Daniel K. Ludwig Scholar for Cancer Research Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Fitch Lectureship 2018 Poster 


When: October 2, 2017

Where: Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center
924 E 57th St., Room 109

Personalizing Cancer Immunotherapy

Presented By:
Robert Screiber, Ph.D.
Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor, Department of Pathology and Immunology;
Director, The Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Fitch Lectureship 2017 Poster


When: October 24, 2016

Where: Gordon Center for Integrative Science
929 E. 57th St., Room W301/303

Regulating T Cell Antigen Receptor Basal and Inducible Signaling

Presented By:
Arthur Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.
Ephraim P. Engleman Distinguished Professor Investigator, HHMI
University of California, San Francisco

Fitch Lectureship 2016 Poster


When: September 28, 2015

Where: Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center
924 E. 57th St., Room 115

Four Horsemen of the AnD-Apocalypse

Presented By:
Tak Mak, Ph.D.
Director, Senior Staff Scientist, Professor Medical Biophysics and Immunology
The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

Hosted by Tom Gajewski.

Dr. Tak W. Mak is a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics and the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto; the Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; and a Senior Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute. He received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. Dr. Mak is internationally recognized for his work on the molecular biology of cancer and the immune system. In 1984, he identified the human genes encoding the T cell antigen receptor. Subsequently, he pioneered the use of genetically engineered mouse strains to identify genetic susceptibility factors associated with various immune disorders and different types of cancer. In particular, in 1995 his group demonstrated that CTLA-4 is a negative regulator of T cell activation, helping pave the way for the development of anti-CTLA-4 antibodies for the treatment of cancer. Additionally, Dr. Mak’s group made major contributions to elucidating the functions of the protein encoded by the PTEN tumor suppressor gene and dening the relationship between the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 and defects in DNA repair. Most recently, Dr. Mak’s work has focused on the study of the functions of various gene products in normal and cancerous cells, yielding new insights to facilitate the identification of new drug targets and the development of more effective cancer therapies. He has received many honors and awards, including The Gairdner Award, The King Faisal Prize, The Sloan Prize, and The Paul Ehrlich Prize. He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of London and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and has been named to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Fitch Lectureship 2015 Poster


When: October 6, 2014

Where: Donnelly Biological Sciences Learning Center
924 E. 57th St., Room 115

Immunology Taught by Human

Presented by:
Mark Davis, Ph.D.
The Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor of Immunology
Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection Stanford University

Fitch Lectureship 2014 Poster