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Dr. Nancy E. Davidson receives Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research

New chair will encourage collaboration between Fred Hutch and the University of Washington

May 23, 2019 | By Sabrina Richards / Fred Hutch News Service

With their latest endowment, the Raisbecks became the first donors to endow three chairs at Fred Hutch. The Seattle philanthropists presented the Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research to Dr. Nancy Davidson May 16 at a luncheon at Fred Hutch honoring their long history of support. Seated: Raisbeck chairholders Drs. Nina Salama, Nancy Davidson and Sunil Hingorani. Standing: Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland, Sherry Raisbeck, Fred Hutch Senior Vice President and Deputy Director Dr. Fred Appelbaum and James Raisbeck.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, a world-renowned breast cancer oncologist and researcher, wears many hats. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, she is senior vice president and director of the Clinical Research Division. At the University of Washington School of Medicine, Davidson is professor and head of the Division of Medical Oncology. And at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutch’s clinical-care partner, she serves as president and executive director.

Davidson now has another prestigious title that reflects her role as a bridge-builder across these cancer-research and treatment powerhouses: the Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research. The new chair was created to facilitate collaboration between oncology researchers at Fred Hutch and UW. Seattle philanthropists James and Sherry Raisbeck presented the chair to Davidson May 16 at a luncheon at Fred Hutch honoring their long history of support,

“I am thrilled to be the first recipient of this chair, which was made possible by two creative and innovative people, Sherry and James Raisbeck, who want to support creative and innovative research across Fred Hutch, UW and SCCA,” said Davidson, who previously held the Endowed Chair for Breast Cancer Research at Fred Hutch. “This fund will make it possible to jump-start new cross-institutional initiatives to address our collective urgency to reduce the burden of cancer.”

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Stephen Piscotty of the Oakland A's wins 54th annual Hutch Award

Right fielder honored for overcoming personal tragedy, demonstrating a commitment to scientific research and exemplifying the spirit of Fred Hutchinson

May 22, 2019 | By Tom Kim / Fred Hutch News Service

Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty

Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty is the 54th annual Hutch Award winner.

Photo courtesy of Oakland A's

Oakland Athletics' right fielder Stephen Piscotty is being recognized as the 54thannual Hutch Award® winner. Presented by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Hutch Award honors a Major League Baseball player who best represents the courage and dedication of the late Fred Hutchinson.

The A’s nominated Piscotty in part for the courage and commitment he displayed when his mother, Gretchen, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Playing for St. Louis at the time, the Pleasanton, California, native was eventually traded to Oakland to be closer to his family. Piscotty and his family supported Gretchen through her illness and subsequent death last year. They continue to honor her memory by raising funds and awareness for ALS, and they launched the ALS CURE Project to fund research focused on curing the disease.

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Landmark scientific paper turns 40

First unequivocal proof in humans of immune cells’ cancer-curing power laid the groundwork for cancer immunotherapy, modern bone marrow transplantation

May 21, 2019 | By Susan Keown / Fred Hutch News Service

Photo of a patient in a bed in an isolation room with a medical provider preparing medications on the outside of the isolation curtain.

Fred Hutch's development of bone marrow transplantation — to help patients like the one shown here — offered the first definitive and reproducible proof that the human immune system can cure cancer. This photo was taken in the Fred Hutch transplantation clinic in the 1980s. The patient is isolated to protect him from infection until his immune system recovers after transplant.

Fred Hutch file photo

Forty years ago this month, a team of scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center published the first unequivocal report in humans that immune cells called T cells have the power to cure cancer.

The finding, published in 1979 in the New England Journal of Medicine, emerged from patients who’d received a bone marrow transplant from the Hutch’s pioneering transplant team. They found that the donated bone marrow cells did not simply rescue patients from the high doses of radiation and chemotherapy they’d received to kill their cancer. Instead it was, in fact, those donor immune cells that were key to the potential cure.  

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