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.