Oliver W. Press, MD, PhD, AACR member since 1990, died September 29, 2017, at the age of 65. Press was a physician-scientist who specialized in blood cancers, especially lymphoma, and served as acting director of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 2013-2016. 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 was a professor of medicine and adjunct professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington (UW).
Press was known for his work on the development of radioimmunotherapies, which he began in the 1980s as a fellow at Fred Hutch; he was a pioneer in the use of monoclonal antibodies to target radionuclides to tumors.
He was also known for his mentorship of many young scientists, having served as associate director of the University of Washington’s MD/PhD training program, and leader of the Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium’s training program for new oncologists.
Born Sept. 10, 1952, in St. Louis, Press graduated from Stanford University in Stanford, California, and attended medical school at UW, where he served as chief resident.
Press was a member of the AACR Cancer Immunology and the Tumor Microenvironment Working Groups. In addition to his involvement with the AACR, Press was chair of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and cochair of the National Cancer Institute’s Lymphoma Steering Committee.
Fred Hutch established the Oliver “Ollie” W. Press Award for Extraordinary Mentorship, and UW established the Oliver W. Press ARCS Foundation Endowed Fellowship (“The Ollie”) to support medical and doctoral students in the UW/Fred Hutch Medical Scientist Training Program. In 2016, Press was honored with the Excellence in Mentorship Award from the UW Department of Medicine.