Spotlight on Bruce Clurman

Accelerating Lifesaving Progress

Bruce Clurman, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director

Dr. Bruce Clurman is deputy director and executive vice president of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He also serves on the board of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutch’s clinical care partner.

Clurman is a member of the Human Biology and Clinical Research divisions and currently holds the Rosput Reynolds Endowed Chair.

He obtained his Ph.D. in 1988 and his M.D. in 1989 from Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medicine) and the Sloan Kettering Institute. He joined the Hutch and UW faculties in 1997.

Dr. Bruce Clurman speaks at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Bruce Clurman speaks at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Clurman’s career at Fred Hutch has involved working across disciplines as both a transplantation physician — seeing patients with blood cancers at SCCA — and as a basic scientist — delving deep into the molecular cascade of steps that allows cancerous cells to grow and divide unchecked.

“As I started thinking about ways to extend myself beyond my own work, it was just natural for me to want to put that effort and energy here [at Fred Hutch], because I couldn’t imagine wanting to work like this anywhere else.”

But it’s only in the past few years that Clurman decided to step outside these two different but equally gratifying sides of his job and take a broader look at how he could serve the advancement of cancer research overall. That realization led him to take on other leadership roles and to work with Fred Hutch leadership to help craft a five-year strategic plan and to dive into the creation of the Hutch's Integrated Research Centers.

“As I started thinking about ways to extend myself beyond my own work, it was just natural for me to want to put that effort and energy here, because I couldn’t imagine wanting to work like this anywhere else,” Clurman said. “Gary [Gilliland, Fred Hutch’s president and director] has an incredibly bold vision which I’m completely aligned with and I think that people are really behind, but while we want to continue to support fundamental science, we also need to change the way we do some of our work to accomplish that … The opportunities are unprecedented but there’s also an urgency to accelerate our progress.”

In 1999, Dr. Clurman was one of the inaugural Distinguished Young Scholars named by the W. M. Keck Foundation. He has received the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Investigator Award and was also named a José Carreras Fellow and a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar. In 2005, he was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

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