News Releases

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announces layoffs

SEATTLE – April 15, 2009 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today announced staff layoffs. These measures were taken to offset the impact of the current economic downturn on the Center’s operating budget.

Supervisors today notified 83 employees from throughout the Center that their positions were being eliminated. This number represents 3 percent of the Center’s total workforce.

"The recent global economic downturn poses unprecedented financial challenges for biomedical-research institutions nationwide. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is no exception," said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., Center president and director. "During this period, the Center's priorities are to maintain our focus on our life-saving research mission and to ensure that we have the personnel and resources necessary to support that mission."

"Unfortunately, it is clear that the only way the Center can achieve these goals while maintaining a balanced budget in the next fiscal year is through significant cost reductions, including layoffs," he said.

The Hutchinson Center is better equipped than many biomedical-research institutions to survive and overcome the current economic challenges, Hartwell said. The quality and competitiveness of the Center's faculty and research are evidenced by the fact that the Center has long ranked first or second among independent research institutes in total funding from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, the majority of the Center's revenues come from federal research grants and contracts, which so far have remained stable. However, the financial crisis has significantly reduced philanthropic giving and investment income, both of which provide critical discretionary funds for the Center.

"The budget reductions that we are implementing are critical to maintaining the momentum and excellence of our research," Hartwell said.

Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
206-667-2896 direct
206-605-0311 cell

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit