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Louis Recher
In Memoriam

Louis Recher

Professor of Pathology

UC Irvine
Louis Recher, M.D. was born in Ziefen, Baselland, Switzerland on October 25, 1928, and passed away in Florida, USA on August 2, 2018. Dr. Recher is survived by his wife Ursula and his two daughters Carla and Marcella.

Dr. Recher received his M.D. in 1954 from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Between 1955 and 1957 he completed a rotating internship and one year in Pathology at the Lutheran Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Recher trained as a resident in Pathology at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and two additional years at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, Florida. Dr. Recher received his Board certification in Anatomic Pathology in 1961.

From 1961-1964, Dr. Recher was an Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Pathology Department at the University of Miami, Medical School. In 1964 he worked as a Fellow at the U.C. Public Health and Leukemia Society. That was followed by another fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, University of Texas, Houston, Texas. Dr. Recher was appointed Assistant Professor of Virology at the University of Texas in 1965. In 1966 he moved to California to become the Assistant Director of Research at the Southern California Cancer Center in Los Angeles and in 1968 he was promoted to Associate Director.

Dr. Recher joined UCI Medical Center in 1975 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology. He was appointed Director of the Division of Cytology and in 1983 also became the Director of Surgical Pathology. During his stay at UCI, Dr. Recher also provided support in Surgical Pathology at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. Dr. Recher moved to a private Pathology practice in Florida and became a UCI Emeritus Professor on November 1st, 1989.

Dr. Recher’s diagnostic skills in both Cytopathology and Surgical Pathology were well recognized not only at the UCI Medical Center but also throughout Orange County. In addition, a main strength of Dr. Recher was his contributions as a team player. He supervised the development of a departmental billing system for Anatomic Pathology. He was selfless, responsible, dependable and dedicated to the Department covering everyone’s activities in all of Anatomic Pathology. For example, Dr. Recher covered the Autopsy Service for almost a year while another faculty member was on a sabbatical leave.

Dr. Recher was a stimulating and dedicated teacher and his contributions to the sophomore course in Pathology were highly valued by the Medical Students. The Pathology Residents in Surgical and Autopsy Pathology treasured Dr. Recher for his knowledge, dedication and wise analytical skills.

Dr. Recher’s major areas of research were the structural characterization of the nucleus and nucleolus in cancer and normal tissues. He also provided leading edge insights into the possible role of human papillomaviruses in the etiology of the carcinoma of the cervix and he published highly innovative findings on the structural characterization of koilocytotic atypia. Dr. Recher also spent several years working on a drug sensitivity assay for human tumor cells. At the end of several years, he abandoned this field due to the significant difficulties in obtaining reproducible data, a finding that was later on corroborated by other scientists.

An aspect of Dr. Recher that was not obvious on a daily basis was his amazing sense of humor. Dr. Recher’s professional behavior was impeccable and his seriousness and focus in his profession were a model for the rest of the faculty. The humorous side of Dr. Recher became evident in particular when giving farewell speeches for faculty members of the Department of Pathology. Dr. Recher’s presentation at the Dr. John Budd Golden Scope Award Ceremony will remain engraved in the memory of all of those who attended the event. Dr. Recher not only discussed the invaluable contributions that Dr. Budd had made to the teaching of Surgical Pathology to our Residents but also intercalated innumerable, humorous and witty remarks about the Faculty in the Department. With the drawings Dr. Recher made to accompany this presentation, they could have been published in the Harvard Lampoon magazine.

All those who knew Dr. Recher are going to miss him as a colleague and as a friend.

Luis de la Maza, Professor
Department of Pathology, UC Irvine

Gerald Spear, Professor Emeritus
Department of Pathology, UC Irvine