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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaking at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (GeekWire photos)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaking at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center earlier this year. (GeekWire File Photo)

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked Americans to rally around a lofty goal: Landing on the moon. Today, Vice President Joe Biden has his eyes on a different, but equally ambitious, objective.

Biden’s Cancer “Moonshot” initiative aims to squeeze a decade of progress toward eliminating cancer into the next five years. Today’s Cancer Moonshot Summit, a national and regional event, will bring together cancer researchers, oncologists, patients, lawmakers, and other individuals affected by the disease create a plan of action. Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will host one of hundreds of regional events around the U.S., coinciding with Biden’s flagship summit in Washington, D.C.

The Seattle event, which kicks off with opening remarks from former Washington Gov. and Fred Hutch Board member Christine Gregoire, will be streamed on Facebook Live starting at 12:30 p.m. PST.

Seattle’s Cancer Moonshot Summit will feature experts from Fred Hutch, UW Medicine, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle Children’s, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Gary Gilliland.
Dr. Gary Gilliland.

“People in Seattle should be proud of the fact that we’re at the leading edge of this,” Fred Hutch President and Director Gary Gilliland said in a press release. “We have the best congruence of depth in life sciences research – particularly in cancer – and in technology in the country. There are very few places that can bring those technical capabilities together.”

Fred Hutch expects a crowd of more than 100 attendees at the event in Seattle. Biden’s address from Washington, D.C., will be broadcast live at 2:30 p.m. Pacific.

Biden is the chairman of a new federal cancer-fighting task force, established by President Obama in January. At that time, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in new funding toward the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Fighting cancer is a deeply personal endeavor for Biden, who lost his son to the disease one year ago. In October, Biden announced plans to pursue the Cancer Moonshot initiative rather than run for president.

The live stream of Seattle’s Cancer Moonshot Summit will be broadcast here.

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