Annual Report 2014

Dr. Mark Groudine

Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch

Message from Dr. Mark Groudine

Acting President and Director

I joined Fred Hutch in 1979, and since then, I've seen cures start here many times over. Much of our success in generating discoveries that produce such meaningful improvements in human health is due to the Hutch's uniquely broad spectrum of research, from explorations of fundamental aspects of biology to patient trials testing new medicines and clinical tools to population-based studies that shape public health guidelines.

Our annual report provides examples of that breadth, including stories on:

  • Umbilical cord blood transplantation, a technique — built on fundamental breakthroughs made in Fred Hutch labs two decades ago — that is providing cures for cancer patients who had no other options
  • An unanticipated discovery about combined hormone therapy and the risk of breast cancer that emerged from the Hutch-based Women's Health Initiative — findings that have since saved hundreds of thousands of lives and that also underscore the economic value of high-quality research
  • A yeast enzyme re-engineered by Fred Hutch scientists to work in humans that has become a key part of a new, targeted cancer therapy now being tested in patients with glioblastoma  

You'll also read about some of the people who support and champion Fred Hutch — by jump-starting research projects in immunotherapy or global oncology, or by rallying friends to join in Obliteride, for example.

To all the individuals and organizations who partner with us to make new cures possible, thank you. Your support is truly catalytic to Fred Hutch research. For example, approximately 90 percent of our annual research budget is derived from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. As you may know, federal funding for biomedical research is becoming more precarious. Moreover, grants from these sources are committed to funding ongoing research — studies that are already far enough along to have documented proof they can succeed. In contrast, philanthropic contributions fund novel, ahead-of-the-curve ideas. With that seed funding, our investigators can generate sufficient preliminary data to obtain more conventional funding. In addition, the dollars raised from philanthropy permit us to hire the best and brightest new investigators, who bring new ideas and approaches to the Hutch that will lead to more cures in the years ahead.

Finally, I also want to thank Dr. Larry Corey, who ended his tenure as president and director this year to return to his laboratory and focus on his research. It was my pleasure to work alongside my close friend and colleague while he led Fred Hutch. It is our good fortune that Larry will remain at the Hutch as president and director emeritus.

Thank you again to a community of contributors  as diverse and dedicated as the researchers you support.


CURES START HERE

At Fred Hutch, our sights are set on a cancer-free future. This goal drives us to develop tomorrow's breakthroughs today. By supporting Fred Hutch, you can help propel our lifesaving research. Please give now.