About the Institute

PNRI Timeline


  • Halfway milestone reached for the TEDDY study, an international consortium investigating the environmental triggers of type 1 diabetes.


  • President & CEO, John Wecker, Ph.D., elected board president of Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association.
  • Acquisition of "NextSeq" integrated system, an instrument which can sequence the entire human genome in less than 30 hours
  • PNDRI joins an innovative partnership hosted by the Accelerator Corporation to support the development of promising life sciences discoveries 
  • Second NIH grant for $3.4 million for extracellular RNA database for healthy humans
  • Dr. Paul Robertson named Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


  • Yeast biologist Aimee Dudley, Ph.D., joins faculty at PNDRI
  • Collaborative partnership with Institute of Protein Design will seek new approaches to preventing type 1 diabetes
  • Dr. David Galas receives $2 million grant from NIH to better understand role of extracellular RNA in humans



  • PNDRI officially launches the Institute's Urban Innovation Center -- a program that helps foster and incubate small biomedical companies and organizations.  
  • Sen Hakomori, M.D., Ph.D., received the 2011 Rosalind Kornfeld Award for the Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology.  
  • PNDRI receives the largest philanthropic gift in Institute history – a $4.6 million bequest from the trust of Hugh McCall.
  • Dr. Paul Robertson begins clinical trials on antioxidant drug treatments on volunteers from Madigan Army Medical Center and members from the Snoqualmie Tribe





  • PNRI recruits two new Principal Scientists, Joseph Bryan, Ph.D., and Lydia Aguilar-Bryan, M.D., Ph.D.
  • The Hakomori Commemorative Symposium entitled "Glycobiology and Sphingobiology 2007 (GS2007)" convenes in Tokushima, Japan
  • R. Paul Robertson, M.D., proves antioxidants successfully preserve Pdx-1 and MafA in hyperglycemic mice
  • TEDDY enrolls 300th family in its 15 year follow-up study
  • PNRI convenes Warren G. Magnuson Congress for a Global Diabetes Alliance, at which Seattle Diabetes Declaration is announced
  • Jim Gore joins PNRI as its first Vice President
  • Diabetes Research Fellow Dr. Marika Bogdani receives a two-year NIDDK grant totaling $107,527
  • American Diabetes Association National Board of Directors elects R. Paul Robertson, M.D., as its President-Elect of Medicine and Science
  • R. Paul Robertson, M.D., receives two NIDDK grants totaling $3,173,400 to improve islet transplantation and to investigate the role of antioxidants in ameliorating glucose toxicity in beta cells for type 2 diabetes
  • William Hagopian, M.D., Ph.D., begins Phase III of the hOKT3 study


  • R. Paul Robertson, M.D., is elected Editor-in-Chief of Endocrine Reviews.
  • Diabetes Research Fellow Dr. Huarong Zhou wins Endocrinologist Award from the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR)
  • Diabetes Research Fellow Dr. Marika Bogdani wins Sanofi-Aventis Award in Diabetes
  • William Hagopian, M.D., Ph.D., begins Phase II of the hOKT3 study
  • PNRI receives a $2.25 million gift from the estate of William R. Klaische



  • Dr. Vincent Poitout wins Thomas R. Lee Award from the American Diabetes Association
  • William Hagopian, M.D., Ph.D., begins Phase I of the hOKT3 study


  • R. Paul Robertson, M.D., leads research consortium that conducts first human islet transplantation in the Puget Sound region.



  • PNRI recruits new PIs (including Drs. Hagopian, Hakomori, K. E. Hellstrom, I. Hellstrom, Poitout, Rhodes, and Dempsey), expands annual grant funding from $500,000 to $10,000,000


  • Board of Trustees appoints R. Paul Robertson, M.D., as President, CEO, and Scientific Director; changes name to Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI).


  • PNRF moves to 720 Broadway in Seattle


  • PNRF raises funds to build and expand laboratory facilities at 720 Broadway in Seattle, recruits Dr. Donald Malins as Principal Investigator (elected to National Academy of Sciences in 1995)


  • PNRF receives federal funding to develop and establish the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with help from Senator Warren G. Magnuson. 


  • Dr. Belding Scribner develops the prototype for the U-shaped Teflon tube that is later known as the "Scribner shunt"


  • Heart and lung machine research by Principal Investigators Dr. Dean Crystal, Dr. William Edmark, Dr. George Thomas, et. al., leads to the development of open-heart surgery at Children's Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle


  • William B. Hutchinson, M.D., founds Pacific Northwest Research Foundation (PNRF) as the first private non-profit biomedical research institute in the Puget Sound region