About us


Those affected by cancer are seeking a more sophisticated understanding of their treatment opportunities, especially around the new, breakthrough field of cancer immunotherapy. UCIR's mission is to meet that curiosity by providing a sound level of basic knowledge and up-to-date information for all who want to learn more about this new pillar of cancer treatment.


When Jan, Ed Fritsch’s wife of almost 40 years, passed away from breast cancer in 2011, he was trying to find some way to battle back against this terrible disease. Ed searched the recent cancer literature daily, and came across immunotherapy. Sadly, four years later, Ed’s son Matt passed away from melanoma. Matt was a successful engineer at SpaceX and had expressed the wish to his friend that if the cancer took him, he wanted his SpaceX stock donated to cancer research. Ed and Matt’s sisters, Lisa and Katie, all thought this was a wonderful request to honor.

Trying to find a creative way to use the funds, Ed recalled the value of staying up to date on the current literature. Applied to the rapidly expanding and fast-moving field of cancer immunotherapy, regularly digesting the rapid advancements of the field and making this information freely available to researchers too busy to invest the time individually would be an exceptional resource. This was how the Fritsch Foundation, a charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was born – inspired by the kind and selfless generosity of a cancer victim.

Excited by the idea, Ute Burkhardt teamed up with Ed and in the fall of 2015 they formed ACIR (Accelerating Cancer Immunotherapy Research) to carry out the mission of the Fritsch Foundation. ACIR is now helping researchers around the globe to stay up to date with the advances in this important field.

Just about four years later, in early 2020, in the same spirit of sharing knowledge, they launched UCIR - a service dedicated to patients, caregivers, and loved ones to help them understand the science behind the therapies that are being increasingly utilized.

Who We Are

Ed Fritsch

Co-Founder - President

Ute Burkhardt

Co-Founder - Executive Editor

Lauren Hitchings

Senior Scientific Writer and Illustrator

Gaëlle Lespinasse-Llambi

Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Julia Holland

Contributing Scientific Writer

Stan Wolf

Contributing Scientific Writer and Editor

Ethan Burk-McCoy

Contributing Scientific Writer

Shishir Pant

Freelance Scientific Writer

Contact us today

Understanding Cancer Immunotherapy Research