The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which has one of the
largest bone marrow transplantation program in the world, has
received a $500,000 Bristol-Myers Squibb unrestricted cancer research
grant to support its work on understanding cell reproduction and how
it might lead to human cancer.
Leland Hartwell PhD, president and director of the center, will
supervise the 5-year no-strings-attached grant. Dr. Hartwell was the
first to identify several genes that control cell division.
The grant was presented by Rick E. Winningham, president,
Oncology-Immunology, US Pharmaceutical Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
"Leland Hartwells discovery of genes that control cell
division and their effect at discrete stages in the cellular process
has been seminal in our understanding of how human cancer
develops," said Mr. Winningham.
Grant to Be Used to Develop New Technologies
"By demonstrating how the cell cycle occurs in a series of
dependent events, each occurring only after successful completion of
the preceding event, he has demonstrated the existence of molecular
checkpoints that prevent cell mutations that often lead to
disease," Mr. Winningham continued. "This has had profound
implications on our understanding of the problems in the cell cycle
that lead to human cancer."
"We are grateful that Bristol-Myers Squibb is taking the high
road and giving us complete freedom to use these funds in the most
effective way," said Dr. Hartwell. "New technologies are
permitting the rapid identification of genetic changes in cancer that
have great promise for early diagnosis and treatment. This grant will
help us develop these new capabilities at the center for all investigators."
This is the second Bristol-Myers Squibb unrestricted cancer research
grant presented to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The
first was awarded in 1984 to Dr. Donnall Thomas, who is currently
director emeritus of the Clinical Research Division of the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the winner of the 1990 Nobel
Prize in Medicine.
As administrator of the new cancer grant, Dr. Hartwell will serve on
the Cancer Selection Committee, comprised of the principal
investigators of all current unrestricted cancer research grants
given by Bristol-Myers Squibb. This independent peer committee
selects the winner of the annual $50,000 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award
for Distinguished Achievement