Annual Report 2014

Dr. Larry Corey

Dr. Larry Corey stepped down as Fred Hutch president and director this year to return to the lab and his passion of hands-on research. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

'Miracles really do happen in the labs'

Dr. Larry Corey steps down as Fred Hutch president and director, sets sights on achieving an AIDS-free world through hands-on research

By Linda Dahlstrom

At the helm of Fred Hutch, Dr. Larry Corey championed high-impact initiatives and encouraged everyone around him to share the story of Fred Hutch's lifesaving research and the people conducting it.

After three and a half successful years leading Fred Hutch, Corey stepped down June 30 as president and director.

"I've loved this job. The notion that cures start here now permeates the place," Corey said. "We are no longer looking backward — we are looking forward."

Corey, who for decades dedicated his career to unlocking the secrets of HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases and finding treatments that have now saved countless lives, has returned to his passion — making a difference through hands-on research.

Corey is now working full-time with his lab and colleagues in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division. He's a member of the faculty, and has the title of president and director emeritus. Dr. Mark Groudine is serving as Fred Hutch's acting president and director while the Board of Trustees conducts a national search for Corey's successor.

"The Hutch's loss of Larry as president and director is a major gain for the field of HIV vaccine research," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Robert Day, former president and director of Fred Hutch, was one of the people who recruited Corey as a researcher in 1996.

"I'm a big fan of Larry. This is a very difficult time for biomedical research and he's dealt with that difficulty very well," Day said. "Now he'll be able to apply his full attention (to research) and I think it's a good time for that."

While better treatments have been developed for people living with AIDS, Corey has set his sights on a vaccine. He's the founder and director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, a collaboration of scientists around the world working toward an HIV vaccine.

"I want my grandchildren to grow up in the AIDS-free world that I did," Corey said. "I want them to be able to get vaccinated for HIV and for herpes and to not have to worry. That's the dream."

There is much to do, and after all these years, Corey still feels the same sense of urgency and is eager to get back to it.

"Miracles really do happen in the labs," he said.


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