publication date: Oct. 13, 2017


Oliver Press, lymphoma physician-scientist, dies at 65

Oliver “Ollie” Press, a blood cancer physician who made foundational contributions to the development of targeted cancer therapies, died Sept. 29 of complications from glioma. He was 65.

Press was best known for his impact on the development of radioimmunotherapies. His scientific impact spans the research spectrum, from fundamental science to large-scale clinical trials.

“Ollie was an extraordinary physician-scientist and leader of [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s] Clinical Research Division [from 2013-2016]. He was an early pioneer in the use of monoclonal antibodies to target radionuclides to tumors, always keeping the immediate needs of cancer patients foremost in his translational science,” said Gary Gilliland, president and director of Fred Hutch. “Perhaps most importantly, he was a truly remarkable mentor—his legacy and his work will live on through his many trainees. He will be dearly missed but will remain an inspiration and role model to us all.”

Press was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015. At the time of his death, he held the first David and Patricia Giuliani/Oliver Press Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at Fred Hutch and had been a faculty member in the Clinical Research Division since 1986. He also held the Hutch’s Dr. Penny E. Petersen Memorial Chair for Lymphoma Research from 2001 to 2016. He maintained a joint appointment at the University of Washington, where he was a professor of medicine and adjunct professor of bioengineering. 

“I think his impact is extraordinary. His impact is in science, in clinical care and in education,” said UW Medicine CEO Paul Ramsey in a previously unpublished interview with Fred Hutch News Service, several months before Press’ death. “In everything he does, … Continue reading Oliver Press, lymphoma physician-scientist, dies at 65

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