Basic Sciences Division


Locomotion of worms that cannot sense touch

Ithai Rabinowitch studying altered locomotion patterns in the microscopic nematode C. elegans. Such changes in behavior reflect intriguing cross-talk between different neural circuits of the worm.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif / Fred Hutch


How to preserve genetic information

Tsukiyama and colleagues investigate how chromatin, a macromolecular structure for genetic information storage, is accurately propagated and maintained. Misregulation of chromatin is one of the major drivers of cancer.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif / Fred Hutch


DNA break-repair and genetic recombination

Cells must repair broken DNA or they die. DNA break repair is a basis for genetic recombination, which generates new combinations of genetic alleles and diversity to propel evolution.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif / Fred Hutch


The machinery for cell movement

Jon Cooper looks at blots showing proteins that regulate cell migration.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif / Fred Hutch


The complex traits of human disease

Katie Peichel inspects tanks of stickleback fish. Many diseases in stickleback result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors just as in human diseases.

Photo by Fred Hutch


Evolution at the molecular level

Jesse Bloom and graduate student Heather Machkovech use both experimental and computational approaches to understand the dynamics of rapidly evolving pathogens such as influenza.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif


Discovering new genes for wound repair

Mitsutoshi Nakamura uses time-lapse microscopy to follow the dynamics of fluorescently-tagged proteins in single cell wound repair.


Molecular evolution of proteins and viruses

Rapid evolution is a defining factor of most viral diseases, including influenza. Studying the evolution of diseases answers important biologic questions.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch


Centromere paradox

Centromeres are indispensable for chromosome segregation in most eukaryotes yet the underlying DNA sequences are fastest evolving regions in their genomes.

Photo by Jeremy Mseitif / Fred Hutch

Making Foundational Discoveries

Our Faculty

Basic scientists answer fundamental biological questions and produces new insights on the basic biology of life processes and cancer development.  Our faculty include structural, genetic, molecular, cellular, developmental and evolutionary biology investigators working in diverse areas related to all aspects of biology.  


Current News

Anna de Regt from the Biggins Lab  received an ACS postdoctoral fellowship on Jan 1.


Scientific Excellence

About Our Division

Basic science discoveries are the foundation for understanding the causes of and developing the treatments for human disease.  Our varied research interests have led to a number of significant discoveries.

Groundbreaking Work

Our Research Focus

We have 29 laboratories working in diverse areas related to all aspects of biology aimed at understanding how the many systems of cells interact and are regulated.  

scheduled seminars

Current Biology Series

Features weekly seminars with presentations by Hutch and outside scientists to share the latest developments and recent research.

  • Feb 9         Omar Abdel-Wahab (Tsukiyama/Kim – CMCTG)
  • Feb 16       Michael Travisano (Shou)

Scientific Publications

Current Publications

Read Fred Hutch scientific publications involving basic sciences researchers and their research findings and discoveries.

scientific exchange

Meetings / Clubs

 Upcoming meetings:

  • Feb 11 Virus Group
  • Feb 18 Virus Group
  • Feb 18 Fly Club


Career Opportunities

Find A Position

We are seeking outstanding scientists interested in conducting cutting-edge research into fundamental biological questions.  We also sponsor talented graduate students or recent graduates.

Education / Training

Career Development

We are committed to providing exceptional education and training opportunities and mentoring all scientific levels.

Weintraub Award

Award Recipients

Given annually, the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recognizes outstanding achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences.

Graduate Students

Recent Thesis Defenses

We are proud of the achievements of our students and our strong track record in graduate training.