Innovation and curative therapies are in sight

Hutch Magazine

From the director: With 40 years behind us, innovation and curative therapies are in sight

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

It is with gratitude and delight that I write this last President’s Letter of Fred Hutch’s 40th year. What a year it has been.

When I arrived at the Hutch, just in January of this year, I knew that I was joining an organization populated with world-class scientists doing lifesaving research. My personal connections with the people and the place made it feel a bit like coming home. And the year did not disappoint.

In this magazine, we started the year with a 40th anniversary commemorative issue in which we looked back at 40 things, big and small, that have happened over the decades to make Fred Hutch what it is. In this issue, the last of 2015, we celebrate what took place this year — a momentous anniversary year filled with scientific advances, individual recognitions and center-wide firsts.

As you learned about the researchers in these pages and about just how much we have moved forward this year, I’m sure it was clear that our mantra, “Cures start here,” is embodied in everything we do. Because, we mean it: We are not here just to treat cancer and related diseases. We have been working, every day of our 40 years — and now as we launch into our 41st — to find cures. We have developed stem cell transplantation as a curative therapy for certain types of blood cancers. During the next 10 years, in time for our 50th anniversary celebration, we aspire to apply what we are learning about cancer biology and our immune system to develop curative therapies for most if not all cancers. It is a bold and provocative goal — but the innovation happening right now is finding those answers, those curative therapies. Most of us have worked our entire careers to stand on this precipice.

Our community has also never been so strong. It is fitting that in a year with record-breaking fundraising from you, we also invited the community to join us in new ways. So many of you came to campus this year, to learn, to share, to be a part of something. And now we have a place for you to visit and share your own story: our recently opened Visitor Center, right here on campus in the Arnold Building. Please come and visit, anytime.

You are why we are here, after all.

As the calendar turns to 2016, we know there is so much more to come. Our scientific strategies and research capabilities have never been more clear. We look forward to sharing all of that with you in the coming months and years.

Cures start here,

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland
President and Director



Fred Hutch faculty, programs and our president won a number of prestigious scientific awards this year. We want to recognize some of them here:

Dr. Sue Biggins

Dr. Sue Biggins

The geneticist and biologist in the Basic Sciences Division was selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Linda Buck

Dr. Linda Buck

The Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist in the Basic Sciences Division was elected to the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science.

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland

The president and director of Fred Hutch and an expert in cancer genetics and precision medicine was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (previously known as the Institute of Medicine), one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

The Women’s Health Initiative

The nationwide study coordinated by Fred Hutch under the leadership of Dr. Garnet Anderson won the 2015 Team Science Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science