IDS Program Overview
Mission: To advance knowledge of host-pathogen interactions and develop innovative management strategies for infectious diseases in immunocompromised and immunocompetent persons.
Established in the 1980s at Fred Hutch, the Infectious Disease Sciences (IDS) Program has been home to many major innovative programs, including projects to study herpesvirus infections (with an emphasis on CMV, HSV, HHV-6, and HHV-8), respiratory viruses, invasive fungal disease, the microbiome and its role in human disease, HIV vaccine research, infection-related cancers, and infection control and hospital epidemiology.
Our researchers conduct interdisciplinary collaborative research and training at the highest level of excellence. Our Program has strong and long-standing collaborations and partnerships with multiple stakeholders, including patients and researchers, physicians and medical centers, data scientists and policy makers, industry sponsors, and federal agencies.
The Program provided the foundational structure for the formation of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division of Fred Hutch. Four key elements of the program are:
- A wide range of expertise — The IDS faculty have a wide range of expertise and diverse clinical and research backgrounds, and many have joint appointments with the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW) and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) where they contribute to teaching, training, patient care and research missions.
- Research and development of clinical trials — Our physicians and scientists have extensive experience in immunocompetent and immunocompromised populations, including those relating to cancer, HIV, and stem cell transplantation. In IDS, we study the epidemiology of infectious diseases, investigate emerging infectious diseases, develop novel diagnostic methods, and perform clinical trials on new treatments for major infections.
- Patient care and clinical services — The Fred Hutch ID clinical service is staffed by ID board-certified and world class physicians who focus on infections in cancer patients and immunocompromised hosts. Clinicians and scientists work closely together to deliver the most up-to-date options for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infections in these populations. Additionally, members of the IDS Program direct the SCCA’s nationally recognized Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs to provide comprehensive approaches to both inpatient and ambulatory antibiotic use, screening, isolation and prevention of healthcare-associated and drug-resistant pathogens.
- Training and scholarship program — The IDS Program administers a clinical research training program to coordinate infectious disease research in transplant patients. IDS and its interdisciplinary collaborators at Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the UW have an excellent track record over many years of successfully training both postdocs and physician scientists for productive careers. The mission of our training program is to develop the next generation of physician and postdoctoral scientists with expertise in infectious diseases in the immunocompromised host. The NIH-supported T32 training grant helps to further our commitment to attracting more under-represented minority (URM) applicants to our infectious disease training programs.
The late Joel D. Meyers initially established the IDS Program as an integral part of the bone marrow transplantation groups that was founded by E. Donnell Thomas more than four decades ago. After Dr. Meyers’ passing in 1991, his vision of eliminating infectious disease-related mortality in immunosuppressed patients was preserved by the creation of the Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship. The mission of the Joel Meyers Endowment Scholarship is to help foster rigorous, interdisciplinary, innovative and collaborative training and research endeavors.