Precision Medicine Looks beyond DNA Sequences

Advances in precision medicine are determined, in large part, by the ability to more carefully and completely analyze and understand the genome. This requires new developments in how we look at DNA that go way beyond sequencing data. The new developments in this space promise limitless creativity and versatility, from methods that detect DNA in such small amounts that rare…
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Alex Salter was listed on Tuesday as a Forbes “30 Under 30,” an annual who’s-who of influencers under age 30 in the U.S. and Canada. The M.D./Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Stan Riddell at Fred Hutch made the list of 30 standouts in the health care category. The magazine says that the honorees in 20 categories represent “a…
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The medical application of cannabis has been a calling card for marijuana legalization advocates for years, although to date there are just two FDA-approved medications on the market containing cannabinoids. However, an exciting licensing agreement between the UW and Pascal Biosciences, Inc. means that a cancer treatment derived from cannabinoids could become FDA-approved as soon as 2019. The agreement, negotiated by the UW’s…
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For the first time, scientists have created from scratch self-assembling protein filaments built from identical protein subunits that snap together spontaneously to form long, helical, thread-like structures. Protein filaments are important to our bodies. In nature, protein filaments play a key role in cell biology. Such filaments are essential components of: The cytoskeletons that give cells their shape and ability to…
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Two New Grants to Fuel Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

Two early-career investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Researcher Center have received grants that will fuel their research into metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Erica Goddard, a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Cyrus Ghajar’s Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments, won a Breakthrough Fellowship Award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. She will receive a total of $528,000 over three…
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Human and rodent brains are clearly different in terms of size and complexity.  Yet, how the constituent parts of rodent versus human brain differ is unclear. We provide evidence that the physiological properties of human and mouse supragranular pyramidal neurons differ substantially in part because of differences in the expression of an ion channel, the h-channel. Consequently, human and mouse supragranular pyramidal neurons integrate synaptic input differently.  For example, human neurons prefer synaptic input containing frequencies associated with learning and attention...
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Eight researchers in the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium have received grants totaling nearly $2 million from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, or BCRF, funding that will continue to fuel their research through 2019. Most of the grants will go toward new therapies for patients with metastatic cancers. The grants were part of a record-breaking $63 million given out this…
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Hutch Science Featured at World’s Premier Cancer Immunotherapy Meeting

This past weekend, researchers from around the world gathered at the 33rd annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, or SITC, in Washington, D.C. On the minds of everyone there was one main question: How can we effectively and safely direct the killing powers of the immune system to cure cancers? That’s a question scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer…
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Could our blood hold the molecular secrets to a fountain of youth, preventing age-related brain disorders? Are brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease caused by a failure of interconnected systems in our bodies, triggering a domino-like cascade of disease? Can targeting the red blood cells and blood vessels jointly keep our brains healthy and prevent dementia? Three new large-scale, multidisciplinary research…
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Dormant Tumor Cells, Their Niches and the Influence of Immunity

Despite increased focus on the clinical relevance of dormant metastatic disease, our understanding of dormant niches, mechanisms underlying emergence from dormancy, and the immune system’s role in this phenomenon, remains in its infancy. Here, we discuss key work that has shaped our current understanding of these topics. Because tumour dormancy provides a unique therapeutic window to prevent metastatic disease, we…
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