Fred Hutchinson's Groudine Elected to Institute of Medicine

SEATTLE — Oct. 27, 2003 — Mark Groudine, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and head of the center's Basic Sciences Division, has been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences.

He is among 65 new U.S. members and five foreign associates in the IOM's class of 2003, which was announced today at the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Groudine, who received his medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, began conducting research at Fred Hutchinson more than 25 years ago while he was completing his clinical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where today he is a professor of radiation oncology.

As director of Fred Hutchinson's Basic Sciences Division, he heads extensive, diverse programs of research in cellular and molecular biology. The division's research has been recognized internationally for furthering knowledge about cell-cycle regulation, cellular differentiation and development, and the molecular basis of gene activity. Scientific advances in these areas are essential for understanding cancer formation and growth.

In addition to his leadership talents in creating an atmosphere where other scientists can flourish, Groudine is internationally noted for his own research contributions on the control of gene expression and the structure of chromatin, the substance in the nucleus of living cells that forms chromosomes and contains genes.

His research team discovered mechanisms that orchestrate the structure of certain chromosomal regions and thereby either activate or silence large sets of genes. Groudine's most recent studies focus on the relationship between gene activity and the organization of the cell nucleus. For example, his laboratory has shown that certain DNA elements and associated protein complexes establish gene activity by keeping genes away from nuclear compartments that silence gene expression.

In addition to laboratory research, Groudine is nationally recognized for expertise in oncology, and he has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Division of Cancer Treatment of the National Cancer Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Allison Eberlein Fund Award, which recognizes major contributions in the field of hematology/oncology.

Other Fred Hutchinson researchers who've been elected to membership in the IOM include Public Health Sciences Division investigators Ross Prentice, Ph.D., former division director; Maureen Henderson, Ph.D., a founding member of the division's Cancer Prevention Research Program (now retired); and epidemiologist Noel Weiss, Ph.D., and biostatistician Norman Breslow, Ph.D., both of whom are based at University of Washington and have full joint membership at Fred Hutchinson.

IOM members, who serve without compensation, are elected by the incumbent membership on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect public health.

Members contribute their knowledge and professional judgment to the development of findings and the formulation of recommendations, most of which relate to public policy.

Established in 1970 as a unit of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM is broadly based in the biomedical sciences and health professions, as well as related aspects of the behavioral and social sciences, administration, law, the physical sciences and engineering.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at