Cutting-Edge Approach Maps HIV’s Escape Routes

Using a cutting-edge approach, scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center constructed an atlas of mutations HIV uses to escape broadly neutralizing antibodies, potent immune molecules that form our body’s first line of defense against the virus. The information could help guide researchers who are testing broadly neutralizing antibodies’ potential to prevent or treat HIV infection, as well as those…
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Peanut Allergy: Progress Toward Breakthroughs

In 2017, Eric Wambre, PhD, announced he had identified a cell, called TH2A, that appears to cause all allergies – and dozens of media outlets hailed the discovery’s potential to transform diagnosis and treatment. “Allergies happen when the body overreacts to a substance like pollen or peanuts,” Dr. Wambre says. “We found that TH2A cells help cause this overreaction.” This…
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Dr. Veena Shankaran has been named the new co-director of Fred Hutch’s health care economics and policy group, the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, or HICOR. Shankaran will join HICOR Director Dr. Scott Ramsey and build on the many contributions of Dr. Gary Lyman, who served as HICOR co-director since the institute was founded five years ago. In this role, Lyman…
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Vaccinations have begun in a Phase 1 human clinical trial testing a freeze-dried, temperature-stable formulation of an experimental tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate. The trial is being conducted at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development and will enroll as many as 48 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years. The experimental vaccine, called ID93, was…
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The new UW Life Sciences building is a model of environmentally responsible design, featuring 20-inch-deep solar fins and its own water recycling system. The building is currently LEED Gold certified, a globally recognized sustainability achievement. Perkins + Will, a local architecture and interior design firm, worked closely with the department of biology to make decisions about both form and function. “I think…
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Calling all feverish, coughing, achy Seattleites: Your germs could help prevent the next big pandemic. At least, that’s the hope of a new project from the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI). The Seattle Flu Study will gather swabs from 10,000 resident schnozzes to better understand how contagious diseases spread in a community. Researchers have set up six kiosks around the city, where…
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Researchers at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI) in Seattle and the University of Exeter in the U.K. have developed a new method of screening babies and adults for future risk of Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Called the T1D GRS2, this new method will be much more effective than current methods. It takes into account detailed genetic information known to…
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Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led by Dr. Cyrus Ghajar recently uncovered promising new science in the battle against metastatic breast cancer. Their findings, published today in Nature Cell Biology, show that it’s possible to destroy cancer cells that can hide for years in people’s bone marrow. Chemotherapy is often effective at destroying fast-growing cells, but there’s a…
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Secret to Sepsis May Lie in Rare Cell

In a paper published in Nature Immunology, scientists from Seattle Children’s Research Institute reveal how a rare group of white blood cells called basophils play an important role in the immune response to a bacterial infection, preventing the development of sepsis. Researchers say their findings could lead to better ways to prevent the dangerous immune response that strikes more than 30 million…
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Scientists Learn How Common Virus Reactivates after Transplantation

A new study in Science challenges long-held theories of why a common virus — cytomegalovirus, or CMV — can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. The discovery, to be published in Science’s Jan. 18 issue, used a newly developed mouse model and could pave the way for…
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