Message from the President and Director

2004 Annual Report

Message from the President and Director

Unleashing the power of science to save lives

As a world leader in cancer research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is no stranger to landmark achievements. The past year, though, stands out — not only as one of impressive milestones for our institution’s history, but also for its future.

This year, the Hutchinson Center added its third Nobel laureate as Dr. Linda Buck won the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for her groundbreaking discoveries about the molecules that underlie our sense of smell. Also, longtime supporter Robert M. Arnold made an unprecedented $15 million gift to the Hutchinson Center. Both of these landmarks are testimony to the Center’s 30-year legacy of research excellence.

More importantly, though, these events highlight the powerful future of research at our institution. Linda’s Nobel Prize underscores the limitless potential of our Fundamental Research Initiative, in which today’s research to understand the basic properties of human cells opens doors to tomorrow’s advances in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Bob Arnold’s gift, which is unrestricted as to its use, will allow us to recruit additional creative scientists like Linda to our outstanding faculty and will fuel innovative new directions in research, like our Early Detection and Intervention Research Initiative.

The enormous impact that early detection of cancer could have on saving lives is one of the most exciting research directions of our time — and one in which the Hutchinson Center is emerging as a world leader. Dr. Samir Hanash, one of the newest members of the Early Detection and Intervention Initiative, joined the more than 50 faculty members in the initiative dedicated to discovering the most effective ways to find and treat cancer at its earliest stages through innovative technologies far more powerful than current methods. Although the field is in its early stages, already our scientists have developed a blood test to predict whether leukemia will return after treatment. They have also identified a protein that could lead to a new blood test for detecting ovarian cancer.

Our leadership in the field was recognized this year by the National Cancer Institute, which has selected us as one of only two institutions in the country to lead a project that will spur the development of simple blood tests to diagnose early stage cancer, predict the best course of therapy and monitor a patient’s response to treatment. We also have spearheaded alliances with other institutions, including representatives from several countries in Asia, to promote early detection and molecular diagnostics as an international health project.

Early detection is but one of several of new Hutchinson Center initiatives dedicated to improving human health in which our scientists are leaders in their fields. For more detail, visit All of these initiatives require significant investments of research time—and money. As a Hutchinson Center donor, you have been an essential partner in our fight against cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. With your continued support, we will continue to unleash the potential of science to save lives.

You can read more about these stories in the Spring 2005 edition of Quest.

Dr. Lee Hartwell
President and director