Message from the president

Annual Report 2015

Message from the president

Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch is a spectacular place, with world-class researchers and exceptional supporters. Building on our 40-year legacy of curing blood cancers with stem cell transplantation, we are pushing forward on new ways to harness the power of the immune system to achieve less-toxic, less-risky curative therapies for many types of cancers, including solid tumors. Our goal is not merely to treat but to cure cancer.

These breathtaking advances spring not just from the work of Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and his wife, Dottie, the father and mother of bone marrow transplantation, but from the breadth and depth of our researchers’ contributions to the scientific understanding of all aspects of cancer in all five Fred Hutch scientific divisions. 

Our Public Health Sciences Division is home to the long-running Women’s Health Initiative, which has vastly increased our knowledge of cancer in women and women’s health in general. Our Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division researches ways to prevent, detect and treat virally mediated diseases. VIDD is home to the headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network — the largest international program working toward an HIV vaccine. The division’s Global Oncology Program is working in Uganda, where infections are a common cause of cancer. 

The Clinical Research Division, home to many of our physician-scientists, conducts laboratory research and patient-centered clinical trials to develop and analyze treatments for cancers and other diseases. Their work in concert with their patients has saved countless lives, something brought home this summer when hundreds of bone marrow transplant survivors gathered at Fred Hutch for a reunion.  

Some of the most important discoveries in our field spring from work in areas in which the relevance to cancer is not always directly apparent. Fred Hutch is unique in this focus: We have extraordinary investigators exploring diverse, open-ended questions in our Basic Sciences and Human Biology divisions and producing insights that direct us down paths we may never have imagined.

The stories we have highlighted for you in this Annual Report — stories of our researchers, our patients, our volunteers and our benefactors — help to explain why I find it a privilege to lead this remarkable place at this pivotal time. I am immensely grateful to all the individuals and organizations whose energy and support sustain us. Now more than ever, private support can be truly catalytic. Unlike any other point in my career, I see that we are on the verge of cures. 

At Fred Hutch, our mantra is Cures Start Here. It’s true. Cures have started here, and lives have been saved and changed. There is so much more to do, but now we truly have the tools. Let’s be bold. Let’s push forward. We owe it to the patients.  I can’t wait to report back at Fred Hutch’s 50th anniversary.

Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland
President and Director
 

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