Cancer cells, illustration
Credit: JESPER KLAUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

The Bezos family has committed $710.5 million over the next decade to accelerate Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center work in oncology and infectious disease. This is the second major donor commitment made to Fred Hutch in the past two months. In September, a gift of $78 million from Stuart and Molly Sloan was announced that will establish a new Precision Oncology Institute.

Both gifts follow the recent merger that united Fred Hutch (also known as the Hutch) with clinical care partner Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Fred Hutch, an independent organization, now serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.

“As long-time Fred Hutch supporters, we were encouraged to see the recent merger expand its capacity to aggressively investigate and treat cancer and infectious diseases,” said Mike Bezos, vice president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation and step-father of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

He added that, “Science, particularly cancer and virus research, is at such a pivotal point right now. We hope our investment in the Hutch leads to answers for the most pressing medical questions. We also hope this inspires others to join us now in pursuing scientific and medical breakthroughs.”

The landmark gift builds on previous Bezos family funding for research in immunotherapy treatments. Fred Hutch has helped pioneer immunotherapies and prior support from the Bezos family led to the opening of a first-of-its-kind, patient-centered clinic to provide novel cell therapies to people with a variety of cancers.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Bezos family for sharing our sense of urgency to make discoveries that save lives and for understanding the enormity of that challenge,” said Thomas J. Lynch, president and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair. “As we saw in the global response to COVID-19, scientific progress can move quickly when leading experts are rapidly provided with the resources needed and when organizations from across the world work together.”

Fred Hutch says it plans to further develop systems that stimulate the ability of discoveries in one area of science to advance others, both internally and via global collaborations with new and established partners.

They report that this donation will support the following key priorities over the next 10 years:

  • Recruitment ($300 million): This gift will enable Fred Hutch to recruit about 36 new researchers from a variety of scientific areas, including early- and mid-career researchers and senior scientists. The funding includes resources for lab space, equipment, and technology for Fred Hutch’s collaborative research environment.
  • Research facilities ($225 million): This funding will go toward the construction of a new, 390,000-square-foot research building on Fred Hutch’s Seattle campus that will house the Stuart and Molly Sloan Precision Oncology Institute, which was announced last month. The building will provide space for researchers, their teams and new technologies and equipment.
  • Clinical research infrastructure ($149.5 million): Expansion of institution-wide clinical research capabilities will allow for more collaborations between bench scientists and clinicians, more clinical trials to be available to more patients, and increased study enrollment of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Expanding immunotherapy research ($36 million): Funding for the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center at Fred Hutch will expand immune-based strategies for treating cancer.

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