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Happy Birthday, Hutch! Celebrating our namesake’s 100th

How a baseball legend's legacy lives on through lifesaving research

June 19, 2019 | By Fred Hutch News Service staff

Fred Hutchinson pitching

"Sweat is your only salvation." — Fred 'Hutch' Hutchinson

Fred Hutch file photo

Fred Hutch is known internationally for its lifesaving research. Less known, however, is the tough, gritty and uncompromising baseball player behind its name. In his short life, Fred “Hutch” Hutchinson became Seattle’s hometown hero who dominated the diamond as both a player and a manager.

Fred, one of three competitive brothers growing up in southeast Seattle, led the Franklin High School Quakers to two city championships as the right-handed pitcher, catcher, first baseman, outfielder, and left-handed hitter. In 1938, he barnstormed his way to regional fame as a rookie with the Seattle Rainiers, winning a league-best 25 games and notching his 19th victory on his 19th birthday at Sicks’ Stadium.

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Tag: Fred Hutch

Lack of diversity in genetic research is risky

Using primarily white populations to draw broad conclusions is misleading and exacerbates health disparities – but it’s fixable

June 19, 2019 | By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service

Illustration of the "draft" book of human life

Illustration by Kimberly Carney / Fred Hutch News Service

When the Human Genome Project was completed back in 2003, its top researcher Dr. Francis Collins, now the head of the National Institutes of Health, referred to it as “the first draft of the human book of life.”

Collins, and science in general, have since acknowledged that it was a rough first draft since most of the contributions were “written” by people of European descent.

The lack of diversity in genetics research — recently called out in journals like Cell and covered on PBS — was highlighted again this week with a comprehensive multi-center analysis by a consortium of researchers, co-led by geneticists, epidemiologists and biostatisticians at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The consortium, named PAGE (short for Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology), analyzed the data of nearly 50,000 U.S. participants of non-European ancestry to determine, among other things, if the Human Genome Project’s “draft” results could be generalized across ancestral groups.

The short answer: They can’t.

This new analysis found even more evidence that large-scale genomic studies — used for everything from drug development to figuring out an individual’s disease risk — need to include diverse, multi-ethnic populations to accurately represent genetics-related disease risks in all populations. Not doing so is misleading, and potentially dangerous.

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Infections in immune-compromised patients: 5 new frontiers

Infectious disease experts gather in Seattle to find solutions for patients with compromised immunity

June 17, 2019 | By Sabin Russell / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. David Fredricks

Dr. David Fredricks chaired a session on the microbiome during the 3rd Symposium on Infectious Diseases in the Immunocompromised Host, held in Seattle June 10-11.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Cancer and infectious disease researchers convened in Seattle last week to focus on one of the most complex challenges in medical science: stopping infections in patients whose immune systems are knocked down by disease or by an organ or blood stem-cell transplant.

Sponsored by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the 3rd Symposium on Infectious Diseases in the Immunocompromised Host, held June 10-11, revealed a vibrant medical landscape marked by rapid changes in cancer treatment and in the management of infections that can accompany these therapies.

Symposium participants focused on new ways to diagnose, prevent or treat the infections that may accompany both traditional transplants and new therapies that boost or modify a patient’s immune system.

“We have shown here how complicated things get when we treat our patients,” said Dr. Michael Boeckh, head of Infectious Disease Sciences at Fred Hutch and organizer of the conference, which drew more than 225 doctors, researchers, pharmacists, advanced-practice providers and medical trainees from six continents.

“There is not always one answer, and sometimes we have to put together everything we ever learned in medicine to understand complexities at this intersection of infection and the immune system,” Boeckh said.

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