Engineering Heart Morphogenesis

There is high potential for current technologies to be used to recapitulate heart development in vitro by focusing on its earliest stage of morphogenesis: the embryonic heart tube. Recent advances in stem cell biology have enabled the production of cardiac progenitor lineages for bioengineering approaches. Biofabrication techniques can create structures and features of the heart tube at the appropriate scale. Biochemical cues…
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center computational biologist Dr. Rob Bradley was recently named the new McIlwain Family Endowed Chair in Data Science. Funding provided by the honor will support Bradley’s use of computational methods to seek molecular patterns in large datasets that shed light on cancer biology and help point the way toward new therapies for cancer and related diseases. “Great researchers…
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The Tian Laboratory focuses on the roles of cell metabolism and mitochondrial function in the pathogenesis of human diseases. We take multidisciplinary approaches to engineer and interrogate the metabolic network in both cellular and animal models. Our ability to target molecular regulatory mechanisms in combination of rigorous metabolic phenotyping has led to groundbreaking discoveries in cardiometabolic research.
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Weeks before the local outbreak of Covid-19, a group of scientists from some of Seattle’s top medical centers huddled at the University of Washington. A nascent organization there had backed the brains behind the Seattle Flu Study, a community-wide disease surveillance program that prompted the meeting on this winter day. Now Dr. Trevor Bedford had shifted the conversation to a more…
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Natural killer (NK) cells belong to the innate immune system and contribute to protecting the host through killing of infected, foreign, stressed or transformed cells. Additionally, via cellular cross-talk, NK cells orchestrate antitumor immune responses. Hence, significant efforts have been undertaken to exploit the therapeutic properties of NK cells in cancer. Current strategies in preclinical and clinical development include adoptive…
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Acute myeloid leukemia is one of the most common — and aggressive — types of blood cancer that strike adults. A bone marrow transplant can offer a potential cure. But older patients often can’t handle the heavy rounds of radiation and/or chemotherapy required before the procedure. And many patients — especially those from racial and ethnic minorities — won’t find a fully…
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New PI Explores How COVID-19 Affects Lungs

BRI’s newest principal investigator, Carmen Mikacenic, MD, is used to working with dangerous pathogens. Still, when she started studying aspects of COVID-19, she took extra precautions. Before she came to BRI, her team at UW Medicine collected tissue samples from local COVID-19 patients who needed ventilators, and Dr. Mikacenic made sure to analyze the first several samples herself. She wanted…
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In 2015, Dr. David Rawlings, Director of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies (bio), published a paper showing how he and his team were able to target a specific receptor on precursor immune cells to transform them into regulatory T cells. While this may not sound like much on the surface, it has huge implications for people…
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The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Peter H. Byers, MD, as the 2020 recipient of the Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award. Dr. Byers is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Department of Medicine (Division of Medical Genetics) at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he has spent his entire academic career (fellow…
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Early this year, when COVID-19 was still a localized outbreak in China, Eleanor Fish, an immunologist at the University of Toronto, reached out to colleagues in Wuhan to explore the possibility of evaluating interferon therapy in patients infected with the coronavirus. Fish has been studying interferons (IFNs)—proteins produced by the body in response to viral infections—for close to 35 years, and…
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