Richard G. Lynch, M.D.
Richard G. Lynch, M.D. (M '66), an internationally recognized experimental immunologist and former chair of pathology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, died at his home on Lake MacBride, Iowa, Oct. 12. He was 75.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Lynch served as a weatherman in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, where he participated in seven atomic bomb tests in the Marshall Islands at Bikini. After his service in the Navy, he completed his education at the University of Missouri and the University of Rochester School of Medicine of Dentistry.
After a residency in pathology at Barnes Hospital in St Louis, he began his research in tumor immunology, remaining on the faculty of Washington University as a teacher, clinician and scientific investigator until 1981. He went to the University of Iowa as chair of pathology and held that position until 1999. He also served as interim dean of the College of Medicine from 1993 to 1994. Until his retirement in 2004, he directed a large research laboratory, training more than 50 students, fellows and residents, and was appreciated as a teacher, mentor, scholar and friend.
Dr. Lynch wrote the initial planning grant that resulted in National Institute of Health designation of the Holden Cancer Center at the University of Iowa and served as a peer reviewer on numerous study sections at the National Cancer Institute. Alan Rabson, former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, once stated that he knew of no one else in the country who had given more time to peer review for the NIH than Dr. Lynch.
He was president of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and received the Rous-Whipple Award for his research. He served on the board of directors of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Dr. Lynch loved nature, especially birds, and spent much time photographing wildlife and traveling to birding destinations. After retirement, he began to write his memoirs, including his recollections of the Bikini atomic tests, which have been accepted for national publication.
In 1963, Dr. Lynch was married to the former Nancy Underwood in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Alison Abreu of Iowa City, two sons, Brendan Lynch of North Reading, Mass., and Matthew Lynch of Portland, Ore., four grandchildren, and a brother, James Lynch, of New Rochelle, N.Y. Gifts may be sent to the Richard G. and Nancy A. Lynch Fellowship at the University of Iowa Foundation or to Iowa City Hospice.
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