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.

Please send checks to: The Frank Fitch Lectureship, University of Chicago Gift and Record Services, 5235 S. Harper Court, Chicago, IL 60615 payable to “University of Chicago Medicine” or visit this site and enter “Fitch Lectureship” into the “special instructions” window. 


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
Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.  Information on Assistive Listening Device

Engineering the Cancer Genome

Presented By:



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 


Personalizing Cancer Immunotherapy

Presented By:

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


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


Our speaker was Tak Mak on September 28, 2015, 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