Human Biology Division

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Integrating fundamental, applied and translational scientists to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer and other diseases.

Human Biology researchers come together to form a multidisciplinary team that is influenced by individual advances. Their diverse expertise include molecular and cell biology, genomics, genetics, virology, infectious disease, computational biology, pathology and clinical research. Grounded in high-quality basic science, the research performed in Human Biology blends fundamental, applied, and translational research performed in model organisms and in vitro systems.


Highlight 1
Andrew Hsieh plumbs an under-examined area of cancer cell biology — control of protein synthesis — to identify new therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers.
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Natural language processing (NLP) is the method of translating human (or "natural") language into data that computers can analyze. NLP is being used to evaluate information from consenting patients' files - from medical history to disease staging - stored in the the Hutch Integrated Data Repository and Archive (HIDRA). Researchers use this information to find patterns in cancer development, progression and treatment response.
Read more about Natural language processing and HIDRA  >
Highlight 3
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines protect against the types of HPV that cause anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. Most vaccines prevent infections by generating antibodies (Abs), yet it has been unclear why some vaccines provide long-term or even life-long protection, while others such as the tetanus toxoid vaccine (TT), require boosters.
Highlight 4
A vast majority of prostate cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, yet the mechanisms that allow primary tumor cells to become invasive are largely unknown. Dr. Jared Lucas and Cynthia Heinlein in the Dr. Pete Nelson Lab, along with their collaborators tackled this question by modeling in mice the role of protease (TMPRRS2) in prostate cancer metastasis.
Read more about their findings  >
Highlight 5
Dr. Stephen Tapscott has labored for years at Fred Hutch to unravel the mechanisms that drive muscular dystrophy, a condition that steadily deteriorates muscles until they stop functioning. Last year that work caught the attention of a key partner that could be critical to transforming Tapscott's research into an effective therapy.
Read more about partnering to beat muscular dystrophy >
Highlight 6
Dr. Denise Galloway chairs gathering of the brightest minds to discuss new advances in HPV research. The HPV2014 conference, held in August at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, drew the brightest minds in HPV research, including nearly 1,300 basic scientists, public health researchers, physicians, providers and others dedicated to eliminating the suffering caused by the human papillomavirus.
Read about the conference >
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Together Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and SCCA are working to develop the most precise treatment options for patients with solid tumor cancers. The primary goal is to translate laboratory sciences into the most precise treatment options for patients with solid tumor cancers.
Learn more about STTR >
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Glioblastomas (GBMs) are the most common and deadly form of brain cancer. They can be divided into different classes based on the varying characteristics. Drs. Tatsuya Ozawa and Eric Holland have addressed the question of the clinical relevance of GBMs subtypes, and whether they originate from a common precursor.
Read more about Dr. Ozawa and Dr. Holland's findings  >
Highlight 9
The most recent World AIDS Day serves as a timely reminder that an HIV-1 vaccine remains a major goal in biomedical science. Macaque models of HIV-1 infection have been instrumental in pre-clinical and passive immunization studies. However, due to species-specific barriers, HIV-1 cannot establish a long-term infection in macaque cells.
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Highlight 10
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) are essential for sustained production of red and white blood cells. Although HSPC transplantation has a wide variety of clinical applications, HSPCs are difficult to expand ex vivo, highlighting the need to understand their basic biology. In a new study published in Epigenetics and Chromatin, Dr. Xiaoji Chen, a former graduate student in the lab of Dr. Patrick Paddisonalong with their collaborators, addressed the role of G9a /GLP in controlling chromatin structure in HSPCs.
Read more about their findings  >
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