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Prof. Fritz H. Bach (1934 – 2011)

Fritz H. Bach, who was awarded the first honorary doctorate from the Medical University of Vienna in 2005, has died on 14th August. It was announced that the Vienna-born scientist passed away at the age of 78, after a protracted illness, in Manchester-by-the-Sea in the USA. He leaves behind a wife and six children.

First honorary doctorate from the MedUni Vienna
The honorary doctorate awarded to Fritz Bach was the first ever in the history of the Medical University. He was one of the leading professionals in the field of immunology and transplant medicine. He was honoured as a great clinician in an obituary by the New York Times on Wednesday: “He helped develop techniques to improve people’s chances of surviving organ and bone marrow transplants.“

During the time spent researching at the Medical University of Vienna (1990 - 1995), where he was in charge of the transplant laboratory, Bach focused mainly on the development of young scientists. During his five years of work in Vienna, he was also spokesman for a specialist research division into vascular biology. Bach was born in Vienna in 1934, but had to leave Austria in 1939 due to the Nazi invasion.

In 1960, he completed his medical studies at the Harvard School in Boston (USA). After training in internal medicine, he began his illustrious scientific career at the University of Wisconsin. The honorary doctorate from the Medical University of Vienna was just one of many accolades awarded to Professor Bach. He also received the Peter Medawar Prize from the International Transplantation Society, the society’s highest award.