Eckhard Podack, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, died October 8, 2015, at the age of 72.
Podack had been an active member of the AACR since 1986, serving on the editorial boards for Cancer Immunology Research and Cancer Research, and as a member of the AACR Cancer Immunology and Tumor Microenvironment working groups.
Podack was known for his work toward more effective treatments for lung cancer, infectious diseases, and immune system disorders. He created a monoclonal antibody that sought out and attached to CD-30, a receptor on lymphoma cells, and discovered the antibacterial proteins Perforin-1 and Perforin-2, which assist the body in defense against infectious diseases. He also developed a vaccine to treat non-small cell lung cancer and solid tumors using the heat shock protein gp-96. In addition, Podack wrote or contributed to more than 305 professional articles and books throughout his career. He was also a guest professor at Shandong Gallo Institute of Virology at Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences in Jinan, China, since 2009.
Born Feb. 26, 1943, in Germany, Podack received his medical degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, and his doctorate from Georg-August University of Göttingen, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship. He moved to the United States in 1974, when he joined the Department of Immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 1984, Podack became professor of microbiology and immunology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, before settling in Miami in 1987.