SEATTLE — July 30, 2010 — The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center board of trustees today announced the selection of Lawrence Corey, M.D., an internationally renowned expert in virology, immunology and vaccine development, as its new president and director. He is expected to begin responsibilities as the Center's new leader on Jan. 1, 2011.
The board selected Corey for his leadership and expertise on a number of fronts, including scientific accomplishments and vision, management record, ability to foster partnerships and leadership style. As a scientist he is known internationally for his research in infectious disease-related cancers, HIV infection and medical complications of patients with compromised immune systems.
"The Hutchinson Center is a premier research institution and we needed someone with outstanding scientific and leadership credentials to take on this role. I am extremely pleased that Larry has decided to lend his vision and talent to advance the Center to the next level; he's an outstanding leader and can really represent the Center on a world stage," said Doug Walker, chairman of the Hutchinson Center’s board.
"As the Center's new president and director, it will be a great privilege to work with our faculty, staff and board members to extend and expand the Center's excellence," said Corey, whose academic medical career spans more than three decades. He is perhaps best known for his expertise in leading complex scientific coalitions and partnerships in the U.S. and abroad, including an international clinical trials network dedicated to HIV-vaccine development.
"I'm committed to honoring the trust the public holds in us as a medical research institution. I’m committed to being an advocate for the Center's faculty and scientific programs and extending the scientific breadth of our research in the basic, clinical and public health sciences," he said.
In particular he cites the Center's pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation and cancer prevention as examples of major inroads that have significantly improved outcomes of cancer and cancer-related illnesses.
"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 said.
"There is an urgent need to understand the complexities of cancer as a diverse biological problem," he continued. "The Center's strengths in discovering the genes that alter cell fate and control cell division, coupled with its pioneering work in immunotherapy to harness the body's immune system to treat cancer, are critical to developing novel approaches to preventing and treating a host of malignancies."
Corey's research focuses on novel therapies and vaccines for human viral infections, in particular herpes viruses, HIV and infections related to cancer. He is also particularly interested in expanding the Center's research in understanding the role cancer plays in global health.
Under his leadership, and with partial funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Center last year established the first American cancer clinic and medical training facility in Africa, a joint effort between the Hutchinson Center and the Uganda Cancer Institute for the study and treatment of cancer, including the childhood cancer Burkitts lymphoma, a viral disease-related malignancy.
In addition to providing first-rate cancer care, the collaboration's medical training program is devoted to improving the quality of medical education in oncology and increasing the number of practicing oncologists in Uganda (currently there are just two full-time cancer specialists in Uganda). Two Ugandan physician-scientists already have spent year-long fellowships at the Hutchinson Center; five more will be trained in the next three years. Ultimately it is hoped that the collaboration will lead to a better understanding of the links between infectious disease and cancer, as well as improved prevention and treatment methods in the U.S. and abroad.
Corey also is principal investigator of the Hutchinson Center-based HIV Vaccine Trials Network, an international collaboration of scientists and institutions that combines clinical trials and laboratory-based research to accelerate the development of HIV vaccines. Under Corey's leadership the network has evolved from research sites in nine U.S. cities to 26 outposts in nine countries on four continents.
In addition to his research, Corey is an infectious disease physician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Corey's selection caps an international, year-long search to fill the position of outgoing Center leader and Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., who will retire this fall after 13 years at the helm of the Hutchinson Center.
Corey will become the fourth president and director in the Center's 35-year history. In addition to Hartwell, who will continue to be involved with the Center as director emeritus, he is preceded by Robert W. Day, M.D., who led the Center from 1981 to 1997; and Center founder Bill Hutchinson, M.D., who served in that capacity from 1972 to 1981.
For more information about Corey, please visit his bio page.
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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 www.fhcrc.org.