Prof. Fritz H. Bach MD

Dr. Fritz Bach, born in Vienna, Austria, attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, took an internal medicine residency, and since 1963 has done research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and now Harvard Medical School in Boston. He has worked in genetics, immunology and recently vascular biology, with much of his work devoted to studies of transplantation. He described the mixed leukocyte culture (MLC) test for matching donors and recipients for transplantation, which led to his contributing to the description of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in humans (HLA), heading the team that did the first successful matched bone marrow transplant, defining the existence of class II loci and their antigens and establishing the existence of two types of antigens with different functions associated with the MHC.

His work in xenotransplantation included his suggestion that endothelial cell activation is the key role in xenograft rejection and, with his colleague Augustin Dalmasso, to suggest that transgenic pigs expressing a human gene to block human complement may help solve xenograft rejection. As a part of the progress in xenotransplantation, he suggested that endothelial cells might express protective genes that help to avoid rejection, which he and his colleagues have not shown to be true.

Dr. Bach has received numerous awards, including Peter Medawar Prize of the International Transplantation Society and the most recent which is the Doctor of Medicine, Honoris Causa, 2005 from the University of Vienna.