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