Linking minds and labs around the world to spur cures

Hutch Magazine

Linking minds and labs around the world to spur cures

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

GREAT SCIENCE DOES NOT HAPPEN IN ISOLATION. Cures do not occur in a vacuum.

At Fred Hutch, and in other labs around the country and globe, scientists are working on research that will fuel more cures for cancer. The fastest way to end the scourge of cancer is by joining forces, sharing knowledge and resources, and uniting to kill a common enemy.

Collaboration is in Fred Hutch's character — and our science. Look at the teamwork among researchers across our five scientific divisions. To further enhance these collaborative interfaces, we are establishing new Integrated Research Centers at the Hutch to engender cross-divisional interdisciplinary research. Look at the Cancer Consortium — a partnership between UW Medicine, Seattle Children's, Fred Hutch and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that brings together great minds dedicated to delivering discoveries to patients to prevent, treat and cure cancer.

And look at the four pairs of colleagues you'll meet in this issue of Hutch Magazine who are merging their missions across institutions, cities and continents. At their core, those missions are the same: saving lives.

I recently met with Vice President Joe Biden when he visited Fred Hutch on his Cancer Moonshot listening tour. He asked, "Are we collaborating enough?" He and I spoke of the drive to break down silos. That means pooling the talents of people with often-divergent priorities — folks from academic sciences, medicine, government and the private sector — and convincing them to converge for this singular cause.

Our urgency is driven by the friends and loved ones — the many millions of Americans — diagnosed with cancer each year. In this country, cancer will kill nearly 600,000 people in 2016, as the statistics in this issue reveal. There is no time to waste. We must work together.

We are one of several cancer centers in the U.S. engaged in a communal effort to make immunotherapies available to more cancer patients. For example, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children's and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York have together founded Juno Therapeutics to commercialize promising immunotherapies developed by researchers at the three institutions.

We've also collaborated for years with medical researchers in China in part to better understand the spectrum of cancers that are endemic in that region of the world. And there's the new UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre in Kampala, Uganda, the first comprehensive cancer hospital jointly built by U.S. and African cancer organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. It's the latest product of a partnership that has been growing and innovating for more than a decade.

We value and encourage collaboration and I am proud to say it defines who we are, what we do, where we're headed. I believe this collegial commitment will lead us all, much faster, to cures.

Cures start here,

Dr. Gary Gilliland

Dr. Gary Gilliland
President and Director


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