A founding scientist at Fred Hutch, Nobel Prize—winner Dr. Thomas developed bone marrow transplantation as a cure for leukemia, making his name as the “father” of this lifesaving advance. His wife Dottie worked tirelessly by his side.
In 1990, Dr. Thomas won a Nobel Prize for pioneering bone marrow transplantation as a curative therapy for leukemia and other blood cancers. He, Dottie and other team members persevered against the odds to save patients’ lives. This research continues to save lives today through the Hutch’s preeminence in mini-transplants that use minimal radiation and in cord blood transplants, which offer better matches for those unable to find other donors. In addition, it laid down the roots of modern immunotherapy, which is leading a new revolution in cancer treatment and cures.
Don and Dottie left a legacy not only of lifesaving scientific discoveries but also of their spirit of generosity. They established a charitable trust that paid them income for their joint lifetime, with the remainder value benefitting Fred Hutch at their passing. Other gifts established “Dottie’s Bridge,” an endowment designed to help promising researchers bridge the gap between the end of their fellowships and their first federal grant awards. With these gifts, the Thomases continue to propel innovative research, and improve patient care, far into the future, even after they themselves are gone.
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