New Hutch president looks for real cures among research
Though the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is best known for its studies on cancer risks, the Hutch is widening its field with the help of its next president. After a yearlong search, the Center chose Dr. Lawrence Corey (photo), an expert on AIDS and vaccines, to take the reins on January 1, 2011 after 13-year president Lee Hartwell retires. Corey has found inspiration for his new post in the Hutch's innovative breakthroughs.
"Cures of numerous cancers thanks to bone marrow transplantation, which was invented at the Center by Nobel laureate Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, and the marked reduction in breast cancer rates that has emanated from the Center's leading role in the Women's Health Initiative are just two examples of the pioneering work we will expand upon in the next decade," Corey says in a release. Corey's main concern is making sure that the Hutch's breakthroughs translate into real cures for patients. And he has already proven his worth. During his tenure as head of the Center's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, he created the first U.S. cancer clinic in Africa, which studies and treats various cancers, including virus-caused Burkitts lymphoma.
"Larry is one of those rare individuals who has a wonderful feel for great basic science, and is as successful as anyone I know in figuring out how to bring that...science to the clinic," said Richard Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute, to the Seattle Times.
The Hutch already has three Nobel laureates on staff, including the retiring Hartwell, and has been credited with numerous cancer, HIV and treatment breakthroughs. In January, researchers found that umbilical cord blood has potential to treat leukemia patients instead of painful bone marrow transplants, which were originally pioneered at the Center.
Researchers engineer rapid growth of cord blood stem cells