Dr. Leland Hartwell is a former president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. He earned his bachelor’s of Science from the California Institute of Technology in 1961. Hartwell continued his graduate education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston under the mentorship of Dr. Boris Magasanik. After his graduation in 1964, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Renato Dulbecco at the Salk Institute for his postdoctoral training. In 1965, Hartwell joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine. In 1968, he moved his laboratory to the University of Washington where he continued his research in the cell cycle. In 1996, Hartwell joined the faculty of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and in 1997 became its president and director until he retired in 2010.
In a series of experiments working with yeast, Hartwell discovered the cell division cycle (CDC) genes, including CDC28, a crucial gene that controls the start of the cell cycle. For his scientific contributions, Hartwell shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul Nurse and Tim Hunt. In addition, Hartwell became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1987, and received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1998) and the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1992).