Hutch Magazine

Shooting for the moon

Dr. Gary Gilliland and Vice President Joe Biden

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

CANCER IS PERSONAL for Vice President Joe Biden. When his son Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer, Biden saw first-hand the dedicated collaboration of physicians from various institutions who were trying to save the life of his son. Since Beau's death last year, Biden has become the architect of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and has been visiting research centers around the country to learn about the latest advances.

When he visited Fred Hutch on March 21 and met with Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland along with a panel of researchers, care providers and policymakers, Biden said he felt "immense hope" that progress in cancer research will pave the way for millions of lives to be saved.

"We're at a place, in my view, where science and medicine have not been before," Biden said.

Gilliland noted that Fred Hutch is where many cures have begun, including Dr. E. Donnall Thomas' pioneering bone marrow transplant research, which laid the groundwork for today's advances in immunotherapy.

"We know you share the same commitment we do to curing cancer," Gilliland told the vice president. "Like the architects of the original moonshot, Fred Hutch also specializes in doing what people once thought impossible."