What we did this summer

A look back at a calendar packed with scientific discovery, celebrations and community events

From a new anti-CRISPR to Obliteride to a trip to Uganda, it was a busy summer for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Here’s a look at some of the exciting science and events that filled our sunny months. 

The summer started in Kampala, Uganda, where Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland traveled to the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre, which is jointly operated by the Uganda Cancer Institute and Fred Hutch’s Global Oncology program. There, he met up with Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the two discussed the link between HIV/AIDS and cancer. In sub-Saharan Africa, 33% of all cancers are caused by infectious agents, and HIV can make a person more prone to infection by other viruses that can lead to cancers.

Photo of Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Dr. Gary Gilliland
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, center, and Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland visit with medical staff during a visit to the Uganda Cancer Institute in June in Kampala, Uganda. Photo by Neil Thomas / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

On July 7, an event at the Seattle Mariners’ T-Mobile Park celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of our namesake, Fred Hutchinson, the professional baseball player and manager — and Seattle hero — who died of cancer in 1964. After his brother’s death, Seattle surgeon Bill Hutchinson created Fred Hutch as a promise to keep Fred’s legacy alive and to end cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death. 

Photo of Fred Hutch employees and family on the field at T-Mobile Park
About 100 Fred Hutchinson family members, donors and scientists on the field during Fred Hutchinson's 100th birthday celebration at the Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics game July 7 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Also on the ballfield, we honored Oakland A’s slugger Stephen Piscotty in July as the winner of the 54th Hutch Award

Our donors had a packed summer as well.

In September, one got a chance to meet Mariners star outfielder Mitch Haniger.

Photo of Hutch Award luncheon at T-Mobile Park
Stephen Piscotty, who couldn't make it to the event, speaks to the crowd via video during the Hutch Award Luncheon July 18 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Others climbed 14 mountains so far this year as part of our Climb to Fight Cancer, with one more ascent of the volcanoes of Mexico still to go later this year. 

Photo of mountain climbers
Fred Hutch's Climb to Fight Cancer team at Mount Kilimanjaro in late July 2019. Fred Hutch file photo

A record number of participants registered to ride, walk and run for science in the seventh Obliteride fundraiser, raising more than $2.5 million despite an unusual early morning downpour at the start of the Aug. 7 event.  

Photo of Obliteride participant
A rider finishes Obliteride, which took place Aug. 9-10 in Seattle. Photo by Connor O'Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service

Back on campus there was plenty of work going on, with interns ranging from high-schoolers to graduate students joining our teams in both scientific and nonscientific roles to learn from our experts. 

Photo of intern group
Pathway Interns group photo on the Fred Hutch campus this July in Seattle Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

We increased our understanding of cancer and other diseases, sharing our findings in papers and at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago as well as other key conferences. Here are just some of the discoveries we shared over the last few months.

Our lung cancer research was accelerated by the launch of a new Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Lung Cancer supported by a $13 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

And we celebrated the good news of numerous awards, honors and grants for our researchers that will further our efforts to find cures for cancer, HIV and other diseases. 

Now that autumn has begun, our calendars remain full of more research, the search for a new leader and events like our annual Hutch Holiday Gala.

You can keep track of our updates at Fred Hutch News and on our social channels.

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