Dr. Lee Hartwell will retire as president and director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the end of September, after which he will continue to be involved with the Center as director emeritus and will carry on his work in early cancer detection and science education. He has earned numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. He is also the chief scientist of The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, and Virginia G. Piper Chair in personalized medicine.
Hartwell's primary research contributions were in identifying genes that control cell division in yeast and the processes that assure its accuracy. Subsequently many of these same genes have been found to control cell division in humans and often to be the site of alteration in cancer cells.
Recently his interests have turned to how our increasing understanding of biology can be used to improve health care. He believes that the most efficient path is to improve molecular diagnostics to identify individuals at high risk for disease, detect cancer and other diseases at an early stage when they can be cured, provide prognostic information, and monitor therapeutic response.
Hartwell has directed his efforts to national and international projects to support team science in molecular diagnostics and stimulate new technology development. He currently chairs the executive committee of the Partnership for Personalized Medicine, which is committed to engaging health-care systems internationally in the discovery and validation of biomarkers for cost-effective disease management.
Each decade produces new insights into science, especially life sciences, where we are learning more about ourselves. As our society becomes increasingly dependent on its scientific legacy, it becomes more and... Read more »