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Nobel Laureate Lee Hartwell to Retire as President and Director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2010

SEATTLE, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center board of trustees today announced that its president and director, Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., plans to retire in June 2010. Hartwell, a recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, has been president and director of the Hutchinson Center since 1997.

"It's time," Hartwell said. "I have been president and director of the Center for 12 years. It's time for new leadership." Hartwell, who will turn 70 in October, says he informed the board's executive committee more than a year ago of his desire to retire and to begin the transition to new leadership. The exact timing of his departure was worked out over the last few months. The full board, faculty and staff were notified during the past two days.

Today's announcement was made by Doug Walker, chair of the Center's board of trustees, who said the search for Hartwell's successor will begin immediately. "Lee's leadership over these last 12 years has been extraordinary," Walker said. "It's hard for us to picture Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center without Lee at the helm. We're fortunate that Lee will be around to ensure that the transition to new leadership will be an extremely smooth one."

Walker says a search committee has been selected and it, in turn, will select a consultant to assist with the search. Board member Steve Davis, a senior adviser at McKinsey & Company, will head the search committee, which will also include members of the board and scientific faculty.

"The first thing we need to do is make a thorough assessment of the position and discuss the qualifications for the next Center leader with the Center's scientific faculty as well as community leadership," Walker said. "We'll use this information to determine the qualities and qualifications of the person we hope to recruit. Walker says there is no specific time frame attached to the search. "It will conclude when we have the best candidate for the position," he said.

After Hartwell retires in 2010, he hardly will be idle. He will continue to be involved with the Center as director emeritus and also will continue his work in early cancer detection and science education. He will also continue his role as chairman of the executive committee of the Partnership for Personalized Medicine, an Arizona-based global effort to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.

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

    Kristen Woodward

SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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