From the Director: Changing the future of cancer, one life at a time

Hutch Magazine

From the Director: Changing the future of cancer, one life at a time

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Everything we do here at Fred Hutch starts and ends with patients.

Decades ago, it was one patient — baseball great Fred Hutchinson — who inspired everything that is happening today inside our labs. In the 40 years since we opened our doors, patients have continued to propel our quest for better treatments and cures.

As a physician-researcher, I’ve seen up close the impact one life — or one death — can have on a family. Each life sets off ripples that stretch out far into the future. Each life matters profoundly and uniquely.

As I take the helm of this remarkable organization during this anniversary year, I’m awed by those who’ve come before me and I’m inspired by what is ahead.

I met Dr. Don Thomas and his wife, Dottie, years ago when he was a magnificent figure in the area of bone marrow transplantation and I was a young researcher. I was awestruck when he invited me to sit down with him and talk about science and where transplantation was going.

Today, from my office in the building on campus named for him, I am reminded constantly of what’s possible with bold vision, research and drive.  

"For the past 40 years, cures have started at Fred Hutch — and we’re just getting going."

Don’s legacy continues every day at Fred Hutch. It continues through our faculty, which has an extraordinary presence nationwide and worldwide. It continues through the amazing discoveries and advances in the treatment of cancers, particularly blood-borne cancers, and key findings in the areas of prevention, detection and basic science that have come from Fred Hutch.

I’m delighted to build on the past leadership of this institution and the work Dr. Larry Corey has done to translate our findings into better care around the world. We are expanding our expertise in solid tumor biology through the work being done by Dr. Eric Holland and his team. Also, immunotherapy has as much opportunity for curing cancer as we’ve seen. We have a bold goal here: We’re looking to eradicate cancer. We can’t do it alone. We need our partners — Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s — and we need you.

Your generosity is so important to us. We have a chance, as we think about areas such as immunotherapy and precision oncology, to take a quantum step forward. Your support means we can get right to work. There’s never been a more important time to be nimble.

For the past 40 years, cures have started at Fred Hutch — and we’re just getting going.

Together, we will cure cancer.

Dr. Gary Gilliland
President and Director

 

Help start the next 40 years of cures