Newswise — SEATTLE — June 8, 2018 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced the election of a new board of trustees chair, a new vice chair and two new members. Each brings additional expertise in finance, technology, bioscience and data science as the Hutch accelerates efforts to develop cures for cancer and other diseases.

Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona Venture Group, takes over the chair position from former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire. McIlwain joined the board in 2013 and has served as vice chair for the past two years. During his tenure, he has helped the Hutch broaden its relationships with the Seattle-area technology community, bringing on high-level executives from Pacific Northwest companies at the forefront of cloud, data science and intelligent applications. 

“I’m honored and humbled to chair the board of trustees at Fred Hutch,” said McIlwain. “Over the past five years, I’ve witnessed the Hutch team make amazing progress in researching, preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer and related diseases.”

Kathy Surace-Smith takes over the vice chair position from McIlwain. The vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTG) has served on the board since 2014.

“I have been very impressed with the talent and commitment of both the management and scientific teams at the Hutch — they are first class in every way,” said Surace-Smith. “It is a privilege to use my experience in the biotech industry to continue to support the Hutch team at this exciting time in cancer research.

Allan Jones, president and CEO of the Allen Institute, and Brian Roberts, CFO of Lyft, are the newest members of the board.

“I’ve said that cancer breakthroughs will increasingly intersect with biological sciences, computer science and data science,” said McIlwain. “Both Allan and Brian are experts who will provide a wealth of technology, innovation and growth experience to help the Hutch meet its goal of finding cures and therapies for most, if not all, cancers by 2025.”

Jones joined the Allen Institute in 2003 and has been instrumental in helping its founder, Paul G. Allen, realize his vision of making a broad impact on bioscience.

“Leading-edge research and tackling the biggest challenges in science are shared values between Fred Hutch and the Allen Institute,” said Jones. “I’m excited to be part of two organizations pushing boundaries to make a global impact.”

Since joining Lyft in 2014, Roberts has helped the company grow by over 5,000 percent and raise over $4 billion of capital. Prior to Lyft, he held senior executive roles at Walmart and Microsoft. Lyft recently named Fred Hutch as the first Seattle-based organization to be featured in its “Round Up & Donate” program.

“Lyft is committed to being a force for good and doing our part to make the world a better place,” said Roberts. “As someone who has lost loved ones to cancer, I feel privileged to offer my support to finding cost-effective cures that will save lives.”

Together, the new members bring over 50 years of experience in growing organizations and using data to address real-world problems.

Gregoire, who spent the last two years as board chair, now becomes immediate past chair. Paula Reynolds, who had been immediate past chair, will join Jim Sinegal as the second of the board’s designated emeritus trustees.

“I want to thank former Gov. Christine Gregoire for her service and leadership,” said Dr. Gary Gilliland, Fred Hutch’s president and director. “She’s done an incredible job partnering with the Hutch team and supporting our development. I have already seen Matt and Kathy in action and understand their dedication to the mission of Fred Hutch. Matt’s willingness to look at solutions that draw on the intersection of biology and computer science has already made a difference. With Allan and Brian aboard, we are in a great position to accelerate our research efforts.”


At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

CONTACT Tom Kim 206.667.6240 [email protected]