News Releases

I'm delighted to join with everyone on stage – and all of you -- to celebrate this grand opening. You have made Fred Hutchinson a leader that is respected around the world, and I'm so honored to be your voice in the United States Senate.

The idea of bringing your four scientific research divisions together was the vision of Dr. Bob Day. But it actually has a much longer and more historic origin. It was also the vision of one of our country's greatest inventors – Thomas Edison.

128 years ago last month, Edison moved all of his equipment and his researchers to one large building in Menlo Park, New Jersey. There, he created the first research and development lab in history. Like you, Edison realized the value of bringing the world's best scientists together to one location where they could share ideas and discover new things. And Edison's vision was a great success. At Menlo Park, Edison perfected the telephone, and filed more than 400 patents.

Today, you are following Thomas Edison's vision by bringing the best researchers of our time together on one campus to reach new heights in life-saving research. I should add that you've got some advantages that Edison could have only dreamed of. Edison had 25 researchers. Between the Hutch and the Seattle Cancer Alliance, you've got 3,000. And Edison's lab was a wooden barn. Compared with this modern building, Edison was roughing it! I'm confident that this new facility will help you take collaboration to the next level, and collaboration is really what drives science – especially in Public Health.

Collaboration

Collaboration is important as your researchers work and share information closely together, and it is important as you work with and count on the community around you. You rely on people who are willing to take a pill, fill out a questionnaire or give blood and you certainly have the support of our community.

But it's not a one-way relationship because you also give back to all of us. Your research has helped millions of people alerting women to risks of combination hormone-replacement therapy and men to the link between heavy smoking and the risk of prostate cancer. You also contribute to the health and strength of our economy. Millions of dollars in federal research come here – to the Hutch and the University of Washington – supporting good jobs and helping working families. I am so proud of the work you do, and I'm honored to be your advocate in the United States Senate.

Attacks on Science (Clinical Trials, Stem Cell Research & Peer-Review)

But I've got to tell you these days not everyone shares our enthusiasm for scientific research. Today, in Washington, D.C. public science is under attack. Some in Congress want to limit your ability to conduct life-saving clinical research. We certainly need transparency and accountability, but we shouldn’t let politics stop the potential of important research projects. So in the U.S. Senate, I'm working to ensure that safe clinical trials remain a tool in your fight against cancer. But that is not the only challenge.

Many in Washington, D.C. have succeeded in limiting your ability to discover new cures through embryonic stem cell research. I'm fighting that too because I know science should guide your work not politics.

Even the peer-review process is under attack today. In the House of Representatives, they tried to redirect peer-reviewed, NIH grants, and they only failed by two votes. Our government should be in the business of supporting promising research, not impeding it.

Our Partnership

I am proud to say that in the face of these challenges our partnership has only grown stronger. I want to thank you for the guidance you've shared with me over the years. I've turned to the experts here at the Hutch time-and-again for guidance on access to clinical trials through Medicare and in the Patients Bill of Rights.

I've been honored to work on the things that you've told me are priorities.
  • As a member of the Senate HELP Appropriations Subcommittee, I've worked with you to double funding for the NIH.
  • I've been proud to support legislation to reform the FDA so patients have timely access to new life-saving drugs and biologics.
  • I've been proud to help fund the CDC's cancer prevention programs and to support the National Science Foundation.


So, please know that as you do your work here you have the full support of our community, and you have my full support. You have already made us proud, and I know that in this new building you'll take things to the next level with more discoveries and more ways to help patients.

Today, you are writing a new chapter in the history of public health, and that is a legacy that would make Thomas Edison proud. Thank you so much for letting me part of this great day.