Past Gala Awardees
2016 SPEAK UP FOR RESEARCH HONORED GUESTS
2016 BUSTER AND NANCY D. ALVORD AWARD WINNER:
OREGON HEALTH AND SCIENCES UNIVERSITY, PHIL AND PENNY KNIGHT AND THE COMMUNITY OF OREGON.
Buster and Nancy Alvord were and are great philanthropists in support of biomedical research and the arts in the Northwest. Importantly, the Alvord family did not just give money to support organizations; they also became involved as Board and Committee members, leading campaigns and raising public awareness of the causes that they supported.
At NWABR we are sorely aware that the cause of biomedical research is not one in which mainstream philanthropy has a major role. Many foundations step away from biomedical research because it is expensive, can be controversial, often has incredibly long pay back periods and, as those in pure science know, the knowledge gained may not directly have a viable use.
NWABR established the Nancy and Buster D. Alvord Award in 2014 in recognition of the fact that we need to commend those few brave foundations and individuals that step away from the pack to play in this field. The first recipients of this Award were Nancy and Buster themselves. Last year the recipient was Kat Tiscornia a young woman with Ewing Sarcoma who both battled the disease and went on to raise over $500,000 to research better treatments for kids with cancer.
This year we have gone big – really big. In 2013 Nike Founder Phil Knight, together with his wife Penny Knight, offered a $500.000 challenge grant to the Oregon Health and Sciences University. The challenge they laid down was both simple and bold. If the Oregon Health and Sciences University could raise a matching $500,000 then they would donate their share, allowing an even Billion dollars to be dedicated towards the clear and audacious vision of creating better methods of detecting lethal cancers at their earliest, most curable stages. With the support of OHSU and 10,000 donors from Oregon and around the world this challenge was met on June 25, 2015, just 22 months after the campaign commenced.
OHSU has revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia with Gleevec®, the world's first targeted cancer treatment. For hundreds of thousands of people, CML is no longer a death sentence. Now they are going after other cancers as aggressively as they come after us.
Cancer never calls time out. The toughest challenges in medicine don’t hit pause. And neither does the Knight Cancer center at OHSU. OHSU sees the success of the Knight Cancer Challenge as a mandate to use the momentum we created to take on even more challenges.
NWABR is very proud this year to present the Buster and Nancy D. Alvord Award jointly to OHSU, Phil and Penny Knight and the entire community of Oregon and thanks Dr. Tom Beer for receiving the Award on their behalf.
2016 ALVIN J. THOMPSON AWARD WINNER:
DR. CHARLES (CHUCK) MURRY
As NWABR's founding president, Alvin J. Thompson, MD helped bring together diverse stakeholders from across the research spectrum as an integral part of our organization’s formation and leadership. It was crystal clear back then that there was a need for the biomedical research community to be able to compellingly articulate the benefits achieved for the wider community. Dr. Thompson was a diplomat and proud member of the Institute of Medicine who remained active in this organization until his passing in May 2012, and who generated trust and respect in both the medical and broader community.
The Alvin J. Thompson Award was established in 2002. Recipients of this Award have achieved high standing in the life science research community. They are known for, or engaged in, cutting edge research, and have demonstrated a commitment to ethical research practices and the advancement of public trust in research. Notable recipients of this Award include Lee Hartwell, King Holmes, Bryan Druker, Francis Collins and Cynthia Pekow.
It is with great pleasure that NWABR announces that the recipient of the award for 2016 is Dr. Charles (Chuck) Murry whom has epitomized the characteristics of an Alvin J. Thompson Award recipient through his lifetime commitment to biomedical research.
Dr. Murry is a cardiovascular pathologist who has devoted his career to developing cures for heart disease - the number one cause of death in the U.S. For two decades Dr. Murry and his lab have studied the underlying mechanisms of, and potential treatments for, cardiovascular disease. Dr. Murry’s years of outstanding research have led to extremely promising new developments and successes using stem cells to regenerate cardiac muscle. Dr. Murry is recognized not only because of his exciting and groundbreaking work in this area, but also because he embodies the high ethical research standards that NWABR promotes and protects. As Dr. Richard Lee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said, Murry “is an extraordinarily careful and thoughtful investigator. When work comes out of his lab it makes us all feel better because we know we can trust it.”
Dr. Murry received his MD and PhD from Duke University. His PhD focused on mechanisms of cell injury during myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, and included the first description of the phenomenon of ischemic preconditioning. Dr. Murry has been at the University of Washington since he began his residency in the Department of Pathology in 1989 and is a current UW Professor in the Departments of Pathology, Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology as well as the Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Co-director for the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. He is founder of the Heart Regeneration Program (HRP) at the UW, which develops stem-cell therapies to combat the effects of heart disease.
Dr. Murry has also shared generously of his time and knowledge, mentoring over 100 undergraduate, pre and post-doc trainees, providing countless seminars, and authoring nearly 200 publications and book chapters.
His research has truly covered the spectrum from tissue culture to animal model to human clinical trials. Last year his lab received a $10 million grant from the Washington Research Foundation to pursue stem cell regeneration of heart tissue.
Dr Murry’s work both inspires and gives hope everyone impacted by heart disease. He is an immensely deserving winner of this award.
PREVIOUS BUSTER & NANCY D. ALVORD AWARD HONOREES
Nancy D. and Buster Alvord
Phil and Penny Knight, the Oregon Health and Sciences University and the community of Oregon.
PREVIOUS DR. ALVIN J. THOMPSON AWARD HONOREES
Lee Hartwell, PhD
President and Director Emeritus, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Professor of Genome Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine
American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics
King Holmes, MD, PhD
Chair and Professor, University of Washington Department of Global Health
Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, University of Washington Department of Epidemiology
Brian J. Druker, MD
Director, Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute
Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health, together with NWABR honored the University of Washington & Institute for Systems Biology Genome Pioneers
Philip Green, PhD
Professor of Genome Sciences
Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering and of Computer Science
LaDeana Hillier, PhD
Assistant Director, Genome Institute, Washington University School of Medicine
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine
Deborah Nickerson, PhD
Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington
Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington
Maynard Olson, PhD
Professor of Genome Sciences and of Medicine, University of Washington
Adjunct Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
Robert Waterston, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington
Lee Rowen, PhD
Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Systems Biology
Greg Belenky, MD
Research Professor Director, Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University Spokane
Bonnie W. Ramsey, MD
Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Associate Director, Pediatric Clinical Research Center, Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Bill Dougall, PhD
Scientific Director, Oncology Research, Amgen Corporation
Mario R. Capecchi, PhD
Professor of Human Genetics and Biology, University of Utah School of Medicine
Recipient of The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Student Bio Expo 10 year Anniversary
N. Jan Chalupny, PhD
Scientist, Amgen Corporation
Tom N. Hansen, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Jóse López, MD
Executive Vice President for Research, Puget Sound Blood Center
Lupe G. Salazar, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology,
University of Washington School of Medicine
Beverly Torok-Storb, MEd, PhD
Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Associate Head, Transplantation Biology Program, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Cynthia Pekow, DVM, MS, DACLAM
Chief, Veterinary Medical Unit, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine
Nitin Baliga, PhD
Senior Vice President and Director Integrative Biology, Professor, Institute for Systems Biology
Gregory Foltz, MD
Director, Center for Advanced Brain and Tumor Treatment, Swedish Medical Center
Dr. Leroy Hood, Ph.D.
President, Insitute for Systems Biology
Dr. Larry Corey
President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center