Franz Greiter — The Man and His Work
Professor Franz Greiter was born in Wittberg, Tyrol in the mountains of Austria in December 1919, and died at age 66 in 1985. He completed his early studies in Bregenz, Austria in 1945. As a devoted mountain climber and skier, Greiter frequently suffered from severe sunburn, one of the worst occurring on climbing Piz Buinm the highest mountain of the Silvretta area at the Swiss Austrian border. The experiments that led to the most effective sunscreens were begun in a small room in the paternal house. Because Greiter’s sunscreens were particularly effective for mountaineers, they were sought after by climbers in the Himalayas, Andes and Mount Everest. In 1962, Greiter introduced the concept of SPF into Photobiology and industry; he was the first to develop sunscreens absorbing UVA as well as UVB, and developed water resistant products. At age 53 he returned to the University and completed work for a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1977. One of his many major contributions was the founding of the Institute for Applied Physiology in Vienna, which rapidly became an interdisciplinary team of physiologists, psychologists, chemists and biologists. In addition to his industrial pursuits, Franz Greiter was a thoughtful scientists, as can be seen in the 160 publications and 6 books. His university honored him with the title of Professor, and his country awarded him the Decoration of Merit and the Cross of Honor for Science and Art. I think he was proudest of the official gold sports badges for Austria and Germany. Franz Greiter was that most unusual combination of successful businessman and superb scientist. His contributions to photobiology and photodermatology were outstanding. We, his colleagues, collaborators and friends miss him sorely.