Fred Hutch, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and UW Medicine Complete Restructure of Partnership

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2021 Annual Report

Together, We Make Innovation Possible.

Teaming Up to Save Lives

When we join together, we can achieve what others have only dreamed of. An immunologist working with a data scientist, a patient with a clinical trialist, a donor with a cancer biologist — these partnerships make innovation possible across scientific divisions, across the world, across boundaries that stop others in their tracks.

Read on to learn how your partnership in 2021 fueled important new scientific strides — and take a look at what we see coming next.

Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center sits on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.

A Message from Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Tom Lynch


It was a remarkable year. Yes, 2021 was hard. But together, as a community, we worked to bring Fred Hutch, Seattle, the state of Washington and the world through the pandemic while never taking our eyes off the goal of ending suffering from cancer.

The pandemic has required us to dig deep and find ways to work and connect with each other. We learned to do our research in a way that keeps each other safe and shows our commitment to community. The exceptional people who work at Fred Hutch and your support made it possible for us to continue to enroll patients in clinical trials, make advances and share our findings with the world.

We all can feel pride in what we accomplished. Our scientific discoveries continued to be extraordinary across the board — in cancer, virology, prevention and basic sciences. The Steam Plant has come into its own; I’m always energized when I see our computational biologists working next to our immunotherapy researchers.

We were joined by 13 new faculty, each of whom brings new energy and focus to our mission. Half are from groups that are historically underrepresented in cancer research. We also saw outstanding contributions from our trainees and graduate students. In fact, one of the most important findings of the year came from then-graduate student Dr. Allie Greaney and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Tyler Starr from the Bloom Lab and grad student Meghan Garrett from the Overbaugh Lab, who showed how mutations in SARS-CoV-2 allow the virus to avoid detection by antibodies.

That is just one example of how we contributed to the pandemic effort. Trials done at our COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, which demonstrated the value of antivirals and antibody treatments, are another.

I can’t overstate how critical your support was. Federal grants fund about 70% of the science we do. That means 30% is supported by people motivated to see an end to suffering from cancer, the elimination of viral diseases and equity in health outcomes. You made a profound difference to our scientists and our mission.

I believe we’re now entering a phase of renewal. We are renewing our commitment to our mission and finding new and better ways to link our science to our patients.

Over the past year, we held important conversations about how we could rework the relationship between Fred Hutch, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and UW Medicine. The proposed Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would create a unified adult cancer care and research center that is clinically integrated with UW Medicine. It represents a remarkable opportunity to bring research and patient care closer together.

I’m grateful for the many ways we have found to connect virtually. Still, one of things I enjoy most is bringing people to our campus, showing them our labs and introducing them to scientists who have come to the Hutch from around the world because they know this is where cures happen. I look forward to showing our community of supporters how profoundly your support is changing lives.

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Thomas J. Lynch Jr., M.D.
President and Director
Raisbeck Endowed Chair

Scientific Advancements

Despite the continued challenges wrought by COVID-19, we remained committed to answering the most pressing questions about cancers, infectious diseases and other illnesses.

Innovations From Lab to Clinic

From COVID-19 to cancer, Hutch scientists pursued new ideas in 2021 to save lives. And, thanks to science-informed safety measures, our research could proceed while keeping our employees and community safe. Over the year, Fred Hutch scientists identified potential new drug strategies to target cancers’ weaknesses. They remained at the forefront of COVID-19 research at the lab bench and in clinical trials. And our decades of expertise in HIV research even contributed to the approval, at the close of December, of the world’s first long-acting, injectable drug that can prevent infection with the AIDS virus.

Highlights of Discovery

Using deep neural networks for drug discovery. Triggering RNA damage to improve cancer immunotherapy. Regenerating immunity. Getting COVID-19 vaccines in arms — and gaining insights to speed development of future vaccines and treatments. Check out these, and more, Fred Hutch scientific highlights from 2021.
 

AI Points to New Drugs

Dr. Taran Gujral and teammates demonstrated how artificial intelligence tools can screen, identify and validate compounds, including drugs approved for other uses, that could help patients with advanced prostate cancer and other illnesses.

RNA-Altering Drugs in Cancer Immunotherapy

McIlwain Family Endowed Chair in Data Science holder Dr. Robert Bradley and collaborators demonstrated how RNA-altering drugs might improve cancer immunotherapy. Their lab studies show that drugs that trigger errors in RNA can cause tumor cells to appear as foreign, resulting in immune attack.

Advancing COVID-19 Vaccines

In addition to their landmark trials evaluating safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 Prevention Network scientists defined measurements of immune responses that could help trials of future coronavirus vaccines be run more quickly and with fewer participants.

Guiding Neuron Function 

Using tiny worms with well-mapped nervous systems, Dr. Aakanksha Singhvi and teammates answered a longstanding question about the role of accessory brain cells in supporting neuron function, knowledge that could help shed light on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's diseases.

Coronavirus Mutations and Immunity

Researchers in the Bloom and Overbaugh labs studied coronavirus mutations and how they affect neutralization by antibodies. These studies aim to show how the virus could escape our immunity and inform the design of future vaccines and treatments.

Insights Into Immune Regeneration

Dr. Jarrod Dudakov’s team boosted immune function in mice with an experimental compound that targets a central molecular player in natural immune regeneration. This work opens a door for the creation of future drugs to protect people with reduced immunity, like cancer patients.

What breakthroughs are coming next?

Investments in Innovation

With the support of our donors, we continue to invest in leading-edge scientific technologies, facilities, services and expertise to spur discoveries and bench-to-bedside translation across every scientific division.
 

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Scientists solved their first molecular structure in our new cryo-EM facility in 2021. This technology, which is part of our Electron Microscopy shared resource, reveals once-unsolvable structures of proteins at a fine-grained scale never before possible, accelerating cell biology research, drug development and more.

Business Development

It takes partnership with industry to ensure that patients benefit from our discoveries. In our fiscal year 2021, our investment in business development led to more than 200 new investment disclosures and over 70 revenue-generating deals that are helping translate our innovations into new drugs and other products to help save lives.

COVID-19 Clinical Research Center

More than a year since it opened, research in our donor-supported CCRC has helped to identify effective COVID-19 treatments, and CCRC scientists continue to conduct clinical trials of investigational treatments for people with, or at high risk for, COVID-19 or long-haul COVID-19.

Philanthropic Highlights

Our work moved forward thanks to the many individuals, foundations and corporations who united to support our mission.

Fearless Researchers. Total Commitment. Your Support.

Hutch scientists drove progress toward cures in 2021 thanks to the power of the many. Longtime supporters stayed true while new ones found us by tuning into our virtual events or reading about our COVID-19 research in the media and Twitter feeds. More than 2,700 people attended a special Science Says on #GivingTuesday to hear comedian and host of “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah interview Hutch scientists. Businesses joined the cause, hosting Hutch researchers at Lunch & Learns during which we shared the latest information about cancer and COVID-19 with employees and community members and gained new supporters. 

Donors like you helped us launch crucial initiatives and gave us the flexibility to pursue bold ideas. You accelerated our efforts to prevent and treat — or cure — dozens of forms of cancer as well as diseases like COVID-19. You also supported recruitment and labs for a new cadre of scientists who will help us prevent future pandemics and find the cures we seek for cancer. 

$90M

In Philanthropic Support
Individuals, foundations and corporations accelerated our research in cancer, infectious diseases and more.

66K

Donations
Longtime and new supporters generously contributed to our breakthrough research — many more than once.

15K

Virtual Attendees
People from across the U.S. attended our virtual events to hear the latest in cancer and COVID-19 research and ask questions.

38

Lunch & Learns
Hutch scientists shared their expertise with community members and corporate audiences.

Answering the Call to Support Fearless Science

Around the country, people rallied their friends and families through peer-to-peer fundraising. They offered challenge matches and donated memorabilia to motivate others to make gifts. These are just a few examples of what we can achieve when we come together to fuel fearless science. 

Crowdfunding Empowered Supporters and Scientists 

Hutch scientists are making rapid progress in developing treatments for kids with acute myeloid leukemia thanks to more than $1 million contributed to Project Stella. Supporters across the U.S. are inspired by 2-year-old Ella Siders (left), who is living with the disease, and Stella Novotny (right), who died at the age of 4.

Businesses, Employees and Customers Banded Together

Companies like Haselwood Auto Group in Bremerton, Washington, and Smith Brothers Farms supported us through cause marketing. Others engaged their employees. Qualtrics’ 5 For The Fight Employee Giving campaign supported the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, which focuses on reducing the economic and human burden of cancer.  

Foundations Spurred Innovation 

One hundred and eighty foundations supported our cutting-edge research. With a $1 million award from the W.M. Keck Foundation, Drs. Susan Bullman and Chris Johnston will test whether bacterial systems may be able to change how our genes are turned on or off and whether these changes could promote cancer.

Donors Gave Creatively and for the Future 

Supporters like John DeVore (pictured above) gifted sports memorabilia, cryptocurrency and 55 cars. We received more than $15.5 million in support from donor-advised funds, IRA charitable rollovers and stock. In addition, 22 people became new members of the Thomas Legacy Society.

A Banner Year for Obliteride

As we gathered worldwide for our ninth year and second virtual season, the passion and commitment of the Obliteride community closed the distance between us. Together, we honored loved ones and funded research to improve and save lives. It was a record-breaking season: More than 5,400 people from 40 countries, all 50 U.S. states and six continents biked, hiked, kayaked, read poetry, cooked and more. They joined up with more than 9,800 donors and 21 corporate sponsors to raise more than $4.2 million for Fred Hutch. 

Join us on Aug. 13, 2022, in Seattle for our in-person bike ride and 5K walk/run — or participate virtually from wherever you are.

Members of the DocuSign Obliteride team gather outside and pose for a photo.

DocuSign expanded its teams by an astounding 700% and raised over $445,000 — more than any other corporate team in Obliteride history.  

Members of Amazon's German team stand 6-feet apart with two thumbs up.

Amazon/Amazon Web Services (AWS) was Obliteride’s first global sponsor, with teams in 40 countries. The German team, pictured here social distancing, was Obliteride’s largest with 566 participants. 

Portrait of Lianne Cruz Horvath with her family.

"Being diagnosed with cancer, especially during a pandemic, can be isolating, but participating in Obliteride allowed my family and friends to join me and, in a way, fight it with me,” said Lianne Cruz Horvath.

Supporters at the Heart of the Hutch

Using creativity and passion to support Fred Hutch research in good times and hard ones, too.

Financial and Operational Highlights

We continue to strengthen our organizational foundation as we look ahead to our future discoveries.

Leading the Way

Fred Hutch is a place where scientists can set their creativity free. And that requires not only well-equipped labs and scientific resources, but visionary leadership, sound finances, and a firm commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. We enter 2022 on solid footing to make the next great scientific leaps.

Financial Summary

This financial data is for our fiscal year 2021, which ended on June 30, 2021. Review our complete financial data and impact reporting.

Operating Revenues

Fiscal Year 2021

Total: $984,018
Operating Revenues graph
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Contracts and Government Grants
$705,389 (71.7%)

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Gifts and Philanthropic Grants
$86,395 (8.8%)

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Investment Income
$105,910 (10.8%)

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Other Income
$86,324 (8.8%)

Sources of Philanthropic Contributions
 

Philanthropic Giving graph
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Gifts from Individuals
44%

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Philanthropic Grants
41%

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Planned Gifts
8%

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Corporate Gifts
4%

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Fundraising and Community Events
3%

Operating Expenses

Fiscal Year 2021

Total: $844,266
Operating Expenses graph
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Program Services and Research
$755,404 (89.5%)

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Management and General
$75,757 (9%)

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Fundraising
$13,105 (1.6%)


All figures in thousands. Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

Highlights of New Leadership and Honors

In 2021, several of our researchers received notable honors for their contributions to science, and new leaders stepped up to help us bring our vision to life.

Dr. Robert Bradley 
Scientific Director, Translational Data Science Integrated Research Center, Fred Hutch

Dr. Christopher Li
Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium

Dr. Trevor Bedford
MacArthur Fellow 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Dr. Frederick “Erick” Matsen 
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

 

Dr. Yingye Zheng
Fellow, American Statistical Association

Foundation for Change

To build the future we all envision — in which cancers and other deadly diseases are prevented or cured in all people — we remain committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion principles and goals. We continue to lay and build on our foundation of critical change to actualize our mission.

In 2021, we led science and educational initiatives that advance health equity, and we pursued new opportunities to foster participation of community partners in our science. We implemented recruitment practices that advance diversity in roles across the Hutch, including researchers and other professionals, and we continue to develop and strengthen inclusive recruitment strategies. Meanwhile, we created new educational experiences for our employees to engage practices that promote equity, inclusion and anti-racism centerwide. And we expanded strategic partnerships with organizations across our region and our world that can help us advance all of this mission-critical work.

Read more about our progress and commitments in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report.

A child receives a vaccine from a healthcare provider.
In 2021, we led the way in incorporating robust community engagement and reducing barriers for participation in clinical trials of new cancer treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Our aims: to advance health equity and bring the benefits of clinical research to more people.

In research and cancer care, Indigenous representation matters

Fred Hutch, UW researchers work to reduce risk and inequities and improve access to care, resources for Indigenous communities and patients
DEC. 6, 2021

Community engagement ensures equitable inclusion in vaccine trials

New study from COVID-19 Prevention Network demonstrates impacts of engaging Black, Indigenous, people of color communities
OCT. 19, 2021

Life lessons in genetics, race and social justice

Science Education Partnership’s free, open-source curriculum units help high schoolers separate bias from biology
SEPT.  20, 2021

Looking Ahead

We share our hopes for an increase in cancer screening, improved vaccines, greater trust in science and more over the coming year.

New Year, Renewed Focus

The pace of technological advancement is only accelerating with each new year. But what will remain unchanged in 2022 and beyond is our commitment to chase the big ideas that will save lives.

Here’s what a few of our scientists hope we will see this year, from breakthrough scientific technologies to early detection and new cures.

Check out the full article for more of our hopes and predictions for 2022.

Portrait of Dr. Phil Greenberg

 

“It’s going to be an explosive year for cellular therapies.” 

— Dr. Phil Greenberg
Professor and Head, Program in Immunology, Clinical Research Division and holder of The Rona Jaffe Foundation Endowed Chair

Portrait of Dr. Andrew Hsieh

 

Precise genetic engineering technology like CRISPR
“is revolutionizing the way we study cancer and genetic diseases and holds the great promising of being able to precisely engineer mutations or fixes to mutations in patients.”

— Dr. Andrew Hsieh 
Associate Professor, Human Biology and Clinical Research divisions

Portrait of Dr. Ulrike Peters

 

“It is my hope that we are getting colorectal cancer screening rates to above 80% of the eligible population.”

— Dr. Ulrike Peters 
Professor and Associate Director, Public Health Sciences Division and holder of the Fred Hutch 40th Anniversary Endowed Chair

Connect With Our Community

Image of a microscope with the title "Science Says"

About the Series

At our Science Says virtual events, Hutch experts share the latest research in cancer and COVID-19. Join us for dynamic conversations, ask questions of our scientists and gain insights that will help you make informed decisions about your and your family's health.

Join the Conversation
A child at the finish line in a superhero mask and cape with arms raised. Two bike riders in Obliteride jerseys smile as they ride outdoors.

Join Our 10th Anniversary Season!

Registration for Fred Hutch Obliteride — our summer bike ride and 5K walk/run — opens on Tuesday, April 5. Have fun with a welcoming community united to cure cancer faster. Every dollar raised fuels cancer research.

Sign Up For Updates

Every Dollar Counts

Support lifesaving discoveries today.

Content direction by David Patton. Design direction by Corey Hage. Designed by Sarah Jo White. Written by Susan Keown and Lesley Reed.
Photography and videography by Robert Hood/Fred Hutch News Service.

Questions? Contact communications@fredhutch.org.
 

Take a look back at our 2020 Annual Report

Last Modified, April 21, 2022