Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. Ruth Etzioni was just named the inaugural recipient of the Rosalie & Harold Rea Brown Endowed Chair.
The new endowed chair will help advance Etzioni’s population science research, which focuses on cancer screening and early detection, particularly in breast and prostate cancers.
Etzioni, who’s been at the Hutch for nearly 30 years, said she was floored by the news.
“I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s not something I ever expected,” she said. “I’m so grateful to the donors for this investment in population science.”
The Rosalie & Harold Brown Foundation was founded in 1997 by Southern California businessman Harold Brown Jr. Named for his parents, the foundation funds research into cancer therapies and health disparities as well as diversity and inclusion efforts within academia.
Brown Jr., now 90, was the founder and long-time chairman of HARBRO, Inc., a leading general contractor specializing in restoration of properties damaged by natural disasters.
“Our family wanted to make a gift in support of cancer research and we are well aware of Fred Hutch’s great work,” said Tim Murray, nephew of Harold Brown and grandson to Rosalie and Harold Rea Brown.
The leadership gift will allow Etzioni to continue her work, but with a little more breathing room.
“I have a good track record of funding, but it’s just never enough for the work you need to do,” she said. “Grants always get cut and there are always limits. And when it comes to working with complex data, especially for predictive models, it’s expensive.”
“It’s not necessarily the most glamorous of the cancer research disciplines, but all roads lead to population sciences,” she said. “It is the bottom line. Everything we do has to ultimately be feasible and beneficial and equitable for everybody.”