Step into the Science: An inside look at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Labs

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center we are driving breakthrough discoveries and treatments from every angle in our state-of-the-art research labs. Our history of research leading to new standard-of-care modalities includes the development of bone marrow transplantations and next-generation treatments, such as check-point inhibitor and cellular immunotherapies

Today, scientists at Fred Hutch work on basic and translational science for over 40 diseases. As a national leader in cancer treatment, bench science and clinical trials have been fundamental to the advancements in the fields of Oncology, Virology, and Immunology.

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies.

President and Director Dr. Thomas Lynch visits a series of our In-Focus labs where breakthroughs in prevention, detection, and treatment are made. The Emerman, Berger, Newell and Koch labs are just a few examples of the innovative research taking place at Fred Hutch. 
 

Showcasing our Scientific Work

Scientists at Fred Hutch range from bench scientists to programmers focusing on computational work. The Emerman Lab focuses on important topics in Virology, by studying host-cell interactions of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and COVID-19. Michael Emerman, PhD, has devoted his career to understanding the evolutionary basis of virus replication and pathogenesis. Emerman’s 11 lab members track the evolution of how HIV adapted to humans, by studying host antiviral genes and susceptibility of modern lentiviruses through the influence of innate immunity genes.

The Berger Lab

The Berger lab showcases important work Fred Hutch is contributing to in the field of genomics. This laboratory is revolutionizing cancer care and biological science. Alice Berger, PhD, and her lab members leverage functional genomic approaches to understand cancer biology and the genetic diversity of lung cancer. Using translational science, the Berger lab uses new information to produce better clinical outcomes for cancer patients.

The Newell Lab

The Newell lab is contributing to Fred Hutch’s long legacy of immunotherapy research by studying immune cell antigen-specificity. Evan Newell’s, PhD, team works on developing novel methods, by profiling antigen-specific T-cell responses to gain clinically relevant insights into cancer and infectious diseases. Using methods such as mass cytometry and other single-cell analyses the lab utilizes a broad and unbiased perspective to delineate the roles of diverse immune cells observed in healthy blood and tissue samples compared to diseased samples in the hopes of developing better immunotherapies. In addition, the lab focuses on developing new methods to better leverage higher dimensional datasets and to facilitate hypothesis generation and testing from the data generated in the lab.

The Koch Lab

At the Basic Science Division at Fred Hutch, Megan Koch, PhD, leads a lab of basic scientists working on the most fundamental and important questions effecting the immune system with a focus on maternal-fetal interactions, immunity, metabolism, and the microbiota. A complex community of microbes colonizes the mammalian gut immediately following birth. Establishing peace with these invaders is essential for neonatal health, yet how the developing immune system accomplishes this task is unclear. Dr. Koch’s work advances our understanding of the microbiome and further showcases the breadth of science that is currently being conducted at the organization.

More About Us

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center unites comprehensive adult cancer care and advanced scientific research to provide the latest treatment options and accelerate discoveries that prevent, treat and defeat cancer and infectious diseases worldwide. Our organization was renamed in April 2022, following the merger of long-time partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is an independent, nonprofit organization that also serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program. 

These labs reflect the rich future Fred Hutch has as an organization and how the new merger creates a new environment that supports all scientists to work to their highest potential.

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Antigen A foreign substance, such as bacteria, that causes the body’s immune system to respond by making antibodies. Antibodies defend the body against antigens. Gene The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies.