SEATTLE – Oct. 21, 2013 – Frederick R. Appelbaum, M.D., executive vice president and deputy director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. Election to IOM is considered to be one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to science.
Appelbaum, a world expert in the research and treatment of blood cancers, was among 70 new members and 10 foreign associates announced today during IOM’s 43rd annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“I am obviously honored by this award and thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to work with so many brilliant, committed and generous colleagues, staff and patients,” said Appelbaum, who before becoming deputy director of the Hutch last month for the past two decades served as senior vice president and director of the institution’s Clinical Research Division. He is also head of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and since 1998 has served as president of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the cancer-treatment arm of Fred Hutch, UW and Seattle Children’s.
Appelbaum’s research focuses on the biology and treatment of leukemias, lymphomas and other blood cancers. He was the lead author of the first paper to describe the successful use of autologous bone marrow transplantation, a therapy now used in more than 30,000 patients annually. He was also a key contributor to the discovery and development of gemtuzumab ozogamicin, known commercially as Mylotarg, the first monoclonal antibody approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat acute myeloid leukemia.
Appelbaum joined the faculties at Fred Hutch and UW in 1978 after receiving his medical oncology fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (cum laude) and Tufts University School of Medicine, and he completed his internal medicine training at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. Election to IOM comes with a commitment to volunteer a significant amount of time to IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.
Other current Fred Hutch-based faculty members that have been elected to the IOM include Larry Corey, M.D., president and director; Mark T. Groudine, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and deputy director and member/former director of the Basic Sciences Division; Nobel laureate Linda Buck, Ph.D., a member of the Basic Sciences Division; Eric Holland, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and director of the Human Biology Division; and Ross Prentice, Ph.D., member/former director of the Public Health Sciences Division.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.