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Seattle mayor and recent melanoma survivor Jenny Durkan visits Fred Hutch

Mayor shares personal story as Hutch scientists outline the future of cancer therapy

March 13, 2019 | By Jake Siegel / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Jen Adair and Mayor Jenny Durkan

Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Jen Adair, in gray, speaks with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan about a machine she developed that enables "gene therapy in a box." The mayor toured Adair's lab during a visit to the Hutch Wednesday.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Hope and fear.

Shortly after she was diagnosed with melanoma in January, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan found herself in a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance waiting room. She anxiously glanced around. Her fellow patients spanned all ages and spoke multiple languages, but they all had the same look in their eyes: a mixture of hope and fear.

On Wednesday, March 13, Durkan visited Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to learn about advancements that could help tip the scales toward hope.

“It’s so important to show the research underway into treatments and prevention, because they really do raise hope,” said Durkan, who lost her mother and oldest brother to cancer. “For me, one of the untold stories is the role Fred Hutch and other institutions in Seattle play in designing the treatments of the future. The level of discovery here is astonishing.”

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Dr. Heather Wright receives NIH training fellowship to study pancreatic cancer metastasis

She will explore the role of a molecule called hyaluronan in promoting cancer spread

March 13, 2019 | By Kristen Woodward / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Heather Wright

Dr. Heather Wright

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Heather J. Wright, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Hingorani Lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has received a prestigious three-year training fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms of pancreatic cancer spread, or metastasis, to distant organs.

The NIH established the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, otherwise known as an F32 award, to help shepherd postdocs into independent research careers. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, postdocs who receive this award are significantly more likely than non-awardees to go on to receive an R01, or Research Project Grant, the original and historically oldest grant mechanism offered by the NIH to help early-career scientists establish tenure-track research careers.

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Fred Hutch and Aga Khan University set stage for a global health collaboration

Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his wife, Princess Salwa, tour labs

March 11, 2019 | By Sabin Russell / Fred Hutch News Service

Prince and princess at Riddell lab

Princess Salwa Aga Khan and her husband, Prince Rahim, discuss research at the laboratory of Dr. Stanley Riddell during their tour of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on Tuesday formally announced a goal to collaborate on global health programs with Aga Khan University, which operates medical schools and hospitals throughout the developing world.

Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director of Fred Hutch, and Firoz Rasul, president of Aga Khan University, signed a memorandum of understanding on March 5 outlining their intentions to develop a five-year relationship to advance cancer research and training and help build an improved medical infrastructure.

As outlined in the memorandum, the Hutch’s Global Oncology Program would work with Aga Khan University on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related diseases, with a focus on Africa, where the Hutch has research laboratories in Kampala, Uganda and Cape Town, South Africa.

“The vision we share is to see how we can improve outcomes for cancer globally,” said Gilliland at the Hutch campus, as he welcomed dignitaries including Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his wife, Princess Salwa.

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