The Bezos family, i.e., Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with mother Jackie and stepfather Mike Bezos are emulating an ex-family member- MacKenzie Scott, and her largess. The family announced a generous donation of a whopping $710.5 million would be bestowed on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. Spread over a decade, the gift is one of the most significant donations ever made to a cancer research institute. “As long-time Fred Hutch supporters, we were encouraged to see the recent merger expand its capacity to investigate and treat cancer and infectious diseases aggressively,” 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.”
This may be the largest donation made to the organization. Still, it isn’t the first one coming from the House of Bezos (The Bezos family has previously given almost $68 million to The Hutch’s research since 2009). Per the Scientist, the family had previously contributed funds for the center’s research on immunotherapy which led to the opening of the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic at the center in 2016.
“Fred Hutch’s collaborative culture and new organizational structure improve the patient experience and closes the gap between labs and clinics. It is because of this commitment to collaboration and innovation that we previously supported the Hutch. Over time, we’ve watched as Fred Hutch then discovered new cancer immunotherapies and advanced infectious disease research.”
The landmark gift will support immunotherapy research, make the building of 36 new research labs feasible, and help construct a large research facility plus clinical trial infrastructure. “We are incredibly grateful to the Bezos family for sharing our sense of urgency to make discoveries that save lives and for understanding the enormity of that challenge,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, president, and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair. “As we saw in the global response to COVID-19, scientific progress can move quickly when leading experts are rapidly provided with the resources needed and when organizations from across the world work together.”