Two Brothers’ Vision

Fred Hutch has been at the forefront of disease research since being founded in 1975. The Hutch was a vision of two brothers, Dr. William Hutchinson, a Seattle surgeon, and Fred Hutchinson, a baseball hero.

Although Fred Hutch opened its doors in 1975, its history began nearly 20 years earlier with the vision of Seattle surgeon Dr. William Hutchinson, brother of baseball hero Fred Hutchinson. Hutchinson dreamed of building an organization that would provide funds and laboratory space to physicians pursuing research. In 1956, he founded the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation to study heart surgery, cancer and endocrine diseases.

By 1962, Hutchinson envisioned another dream: a center devoted to studying cancer, the disease that would later take the life of his brother Fred in 1964. With critical help from Washington State’s legendary U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson and the Seattle community, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opened its first home in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood in 1975.

Fred Hutch quickly became the permanent home to Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who had spent decades developing an innovative treatment for leukemia and other blood cancers. Thomas and his colleagues were working to cure cancer by transplanting human bone marrow after lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation. At the Hutch, Thomas improved this treatment and readied it for widespread use. Since then, the pioneering procedure has saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.

Thomas received the 1990 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his pioneering research, establishing a legacy of innovation and excellence that all center researchers strive to follow.


Our mission is the elimination of cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death. Fred Hutch conducts research of the highest standards to improve prevention and treatment of cancer and related diseases.


Fred Hutch scientists have received major awards for their research efforts and discoveries, including three who have been honored with the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. To read more about the Fred Hutch foundation visit their website.