Jeff Bezos’s family has committed to donating $710.5 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, the institution announced yesterday (October 12). According to the Associated Press, the gift is the largest Fred Hutch has ever received.
Earlier this year, Fred Hutch, which formerly bore the full name “Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center,” merged with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to become Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and also formed close ties with Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington’s UW Medicine.
“As long-time Fred Hutch supporters, we were encouraged to see the recent merger expand its capacity to aggressively investigate and treat cancer and infectious diseases,” says Mike Bezos, the stepfather of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in the announcement. “Science, particularly cancer and virus research, is at such a pivotal point right now. We hope our investment in the Hutch leads to answers for the most pressing medical questions.”
According to Fred Hutch, $300 million of the gift will be spent on recruiting 36 new scientists; the remaining funds will go to a new research building, to clinical research infrastructure, and to immunotherapy work.
On the same day Fred Hutch announced its large gift, the University of Florida (UF) announced that its Scripps Biomedical Research Institute has received $100 million to support the development of its campus. The donation, from the Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation, is part of a $1 billion public-private partnership that, according to the university, “is focused on amplifying fundamental science, driving research that translates profound discoveries from bench to bedside to business, training the next generation of innovators and investigators, and improving the health outcomes and experiences of countless patients and families.”