Shelly Heimfeld, PhD

Shelly Heimfeld, PhD

Scientific Director, Cellular Therapy Laboratory
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Scientific Director, cGMP Cell Processing Facility
Fred Hutch Shared Resources


1973-1977 B.S., Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
1978-1983 Ph.D., University of California, Irvine. Research Area: Cell Differentiation
1984-1985 Postdoctoral Training, University of California, Irvine. Research Area: Interstitial Cell Regulation in Hydra
1986-1988 Postdoctoral Training, Stanford University. Research Area: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Isolation and Characterization


American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Society for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
American Society for Hematology
American Society for Cell and Gene Therapy
International Society for Cellular Therapy
International Society for Experimental Hematology
International Society for Stem Cell Research

Research Focus:

  • Development of improved therapeutic strategies using various human stem cell populations. Goals are to identify better markers for characterization of stem and progenitor cells, improve isolation technologies for enriching these cells, and develop ex-vivo manipulation strategies that can enhance the therapeutic potential of these cells.
  • Development of improved therapeutic strategies using various human immunocompetent cell populations, involving identification of better markers for characterization of defined cell subsets, improvement in isolation, processing, and cryopreservation technologies, equipment, and reagents, and optimized ex-vivo manipulation strategies to enhance the therapeutic potential of these cells.
  • Exploring associations of stem cell graft composition and cell dose with various clinical outcomes such as time to engraftment, development of graft-versus-host disease, relapse, and overall survival.
  • Facilitate both internal and external research studies by provision of large quantities and high quality blood cells and enriched cell subsets. This involves operation of a normal donor collection program to obtain G-CSF mobilized and non-mobilized apheresis specimens, and collection/acquisition of certain patient and normal donor samples. Those products are processed for enrichment /cryopreservation/storage of various hematopoietic stem cells, differentiated precursors, and more mature cell subsets, and then samples are distributed from this research specimen repository to requesting investigators.

Clinical Focus:

  • The SCCA Cellular Therapy Laboratory and the FHCRC cGMP facility have direct responsibility in the processing and manipulation of the blood and bone marrow components used for the treatment of patients at the Center, and as Scientific Director my clinical interests have a direct translation and therapeutic focus, ultimately involving the 'engineering' of patient grafts to investigate the role of specific cell populations and to enhance transplantation outcomes..
  • The Food and Drug Administration has become much more involved in overseeing this area of stem cell transplantation and graft engineering and has developed a series of overlapping rules and guidance documents to tightly regulate this field. Thus, clinical translation of cell-based therapies has required that I become very proficient in GLP, GTP and GMP regulations, both to help the Center move forward in the development of its therapeutic strategies, and to facilitate interactions with the FDA in this rapidly evolving area.

Current Studies:

2009 – 2014         P30 CA015704 (PI: Corey, L.), NIH/NCI “Comprehensive Cancer Center” Sub-Project Core  “cGMP Therapeutic Manufacturing - Cell Processing and Storage”; Role: Scientific Director

2012 – 2017         P01 CA18029, (P.I.: Appelbaum, F.), NIH/NCI “Adult Leukemia Research Center”, Sub-Project: Core C “Cell Processing and Storage”; Role: Project Leader            

2010 – 2015         P30 DK56465, (P.I.: Torok-Storb, B.), NIH/NIDDK “Core Center of Excellence in Molecular Hematology”, Sub-Project Core A “Administrative Core”; Role: Co-P.I.; Sub-Project:  Core B, “Large-Scale Hematopoietic Cell Processing Resource”; Role: Project Leader

2012 – 2017         P50 HL110787 (P.I.: Delaney, C.) NIH/NHLBI “Notch-Mediated Expansion of Cord Blood Progenitors for Stem Cell Transplant”; Role: Investigator

2009 – 2016         U01 HL099993, (P.I.: Torok-Storb, B.), NIH/NHLBI “Controlling Hematopoietic Lineage Commitment from ESC to Platelets”; Role: Investigator

2010 – 2014         Kuni Foundation (P.I.: Sandmaier, B.M.) “Donor Natural Killer Cell Infusions as Prophylactic Adoptive Immunotherapy after MHC-Haploidentical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation”; Role: Investigator

2009 – 2014         R01 CA 136551 (P.I.: Riddell, S.) NIH/NCI “Targeted therapy of ALL with gene-modified central memory T Cells”; Role: Investigator

2011 – 2014         P50 CA 138293, (P.I.: Porter, P.), NIH Seattle Cancer Consortium Breast SPORE, Sub-Project 2 (Project Leader: Riddell, S.) “Targeted Therapy of Breast Cancer with Central Memory T cells”; Role: Investigator 


Contact Information

(206) 667-4004
(206) 667-1809
Additional contact

Mailing Address:
MS D5-100
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N.
P.O. Box 19024
Seattle, WA  98109-1024