Hutchinson Center Heroes
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust contributed $497,000 in 2008 for the purchase of a fully customized Becton Dickinson FACSAria™ flow cytometer. This instrument simultaneously measures multiple characteristics of single cells at rapid rates and offers unprecedented analytical sensitivity, optical design capabilities, and sorting and flow capacity features that are indispensable for advancing new, lifesaving developments in cancer research.
This new BD FACSAria will be particularly beneficial for immunology research, a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center priority. Immunotherapy harnesses the preventive powers of the immune system to treat cancer and related diseases. The Hutchinson Center's expertise in this area dates back to its inception in 1975, when Nobel laureate, Dr. E. Donnall Thomas arrived at the Center to continue his pioneering research on bone marrow transplant therapy. Most recently, Dr. Cassian Yee made international headlines in immunotherapy for his successful use of adaptive T-cells as the sole treatment for advanced stage melanoma.
The customized BD FACSAria is housed in the Center's Shared Resources department, one of the largest facilities of its kind on the West Coast. Sharing equipment avoids unnecessary duplication of instruments throughout the Center and allows scientists to channel their grant money where it is most effective – to their research. The centralized usage of the equipment enables the Shared Resources facility to purchase the finest and most cutting-edge equipment for countless laboratories. It also promotes the cross-disciplinary contact and communication that have always been a core concept of the Center.
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. and an innovative, entrepreneurial leader with business involvements and interests throughout the Pacific Northwest. Established in 1975, the Trust has a historical emphasis in grant making towards the causes of higher education, scientific research and development, human social services, health care, and the arts. In the area of technological infrastructure, the Charitable Trust has been one of the Center's foremost supporters, sponsoring a Hierarchical Storage Management system, a Finnigan LTQ-FT Tandem Mass Spectrometer, and the BD FACSAria flow cytometer.