How do tuft cells regulate type 2 immune responses? Initial work identified the cytokine IL-25 as a key effector molecule that tuft cells secrete to initiate type 2 immunity, but this is not the whole story. The authors found that tuft cells produce a second type of effector, called cysteinyl leukotrienes, that cooperate with IL-25 to amplify the type 2 response. Tuft cells release leukotrienes upon sensing helminths in the lumen of the small intestine, and that this is an important signal for rapidly initiating the anti-helminth immune response.
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We Are Doers. We Want to Get Involved.

The basic science laboratories at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle are under the same roof as the clinical care facilities but separated by long hallways. Right now, those halls are very quiet, as faculty members with children and those at high risk of contracting COVID-19 have shifted to remote work, and the remaining scientists are avoiding…
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists are taking a new look at a vaccine meant to stop the deadliest infectious disease on earth. It is not coronavirus, nor bird flu nor HIV. It is tuberculosis. Every year, tuberculosis takes about 1.5 million lives, most of them in the developing world, and while there is no truly effective vaccine against the hardy…
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The authors have developed a realistic 3D model which captures the mechanisms that allow a small number of T cells to eliminate rapidly spreading herpes simplex virus-2 in genital skin. The model generates videos which provide an approximation of what the disease looks like as it spread through tissue, but is ultimately contained. The work has broad applicability for multiple human viral infections. It suggests that antiviral cytokines are highly effective at diffusing within tissue and preventing viral spread, even there are only a small number of T cells in a defensive role.
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As coronavirus drives most of us into our homes to stem the rate of infection, a select group of scientists is working on ways to keep this from happening again. Some of the scientists are in our backyard, the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, including Dr. Deborah Fuller, a vaccinologist and professor of microbiology at the University of Washington. She leads one of…
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The expression of E-cadherin has been implicated in tumor metastasis, often as a tumor suppressor, but also as a promoter of growth and metastasis. We have shown that the functional activity of E-cadherin at the cell surface is often modified in response to environmental factors, and have developed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that activate E-cadherin adhesive function. These activating mAbs inhibit…
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The first shots in the first vaccine trial for the new coronavirus were administered Monday as a small group of volunteers in Seattle will receive varying doses over the next several weeks to test the safety of the experimental vaccine. Doctors at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle gave the first shots in the trial aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19. “Finding a safe and…
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Dr. Lexi Walls is a recent PhD graduate in the laboratory of Dr. David Veesler at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on using cryo-electron microscopy to study transmission of coronaviruses. We sat down with Dr. Walls to discuss the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, and how insights from structural biology are helping inform vaccine development.
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Seattle biotech startup Silverback Therapeutics raised a $78.5 million investment round to support development of its therapies for cancer, fibrosis, and other conditions. Founded in 2016, Silverback’s ImmunoTAC technology can deliver drugs systematically but only target parts of the body affected by disease. The approach could help prevent harmful side effects and make the therapies more effective. Clinical investigation for the company’s…
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has affected approximately 37.9 million people in the world as reported by HIV’s official website in 2018. Of those who are infected, roughly 96% are adults (15 and older). Although HIV can be fatal and was the seventh leading cause of death globally in 2000, new forms of treatment have substantially increased survival rates and it was no…
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