Hutchinson Center grows to five scientific divisions

SEATTLE — July 6,2010 — The three-year-old Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has become the Hutchinson Center's fifth scientific research division and has been renamed the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division (VIDD). The other four divisions are Clinical Research, Public Health Sciences, Basic Sciences and Human Biology.

"Divisions serve many purposes but their primary function within the institution is to provide an environment for the career development of faculty," said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., Hutchinson Center president and director. "With 20 primary faculty and 25 affiliate investigators and grant revenue of more than $130 million, VIDD is a substantial component of the Center's research activities."

The original institute was formed in 2007 to encompass the Hutchinson Center’s infectious disease, population science, immunology and vaccine development programs. It also is the core of the Center’s global health efforts, which include the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and a partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute to research infections that cause cancer. About 20 percent of all cancers arise from infections, with developing nations bearing the biggest burden of such cancers.

"Infectious agents could have a greater role in the cause of cancer than is currently appreciated and this new division will help us explore that possibility," said Mark Groudine, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and deputy director.

VIDD research also focuses on a wide range of infectious pathogens, including herpes simplex viruses, cytomegalovirus, infectious fungi, and cancer-associated infections such as human herpesvirus-8, among others. Research areas concentrate on treatment and prevention of infectious diseases by studying immune responses to these pathogens, the course of infection, and pursuing various vaccine development strategies.  Many of these infections are especially devastating in immunocompromised people, such as HIV positive persons or transplant patients.

VIDD will have three co-directors: Larry Corey, M.D., head of the infectious disease sciences program; Julie McElrath, M.D., Ph.D., head of the immunology and vaccine development program; and Steve Self, Ph.D., head of the populations sciences program. Corey will represent the division as its senior vice president.

Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-2896


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