Eddie Méndez Scholar Award

Dr. Eddie Méndez
Dr. Eddie Méndez Fred Hutch File

Dr. Eddie Méndez was a physician-scientist and cherished colleague at Fred Hutch who died of cancer in 2018 at age 45. An expert in head and neck cancers, Méndez was known for being passionate about developing new therapies to help prevent cancer treatment side effects and save his patients’ lives.

Méndez, a native of Puerto Rico, attended Princeton University and then obtained a medical degree from University of Maryland at Baltimore. He later came to University of Washington as a surgical resident, eventually spearheading minimally invasive robotic surgery for these tumors (he was the first in Washington state to perform such surgery.)

Méndez Award

In 2019, Fred Hutch leadership created the Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award to extend his commitment to supporting early-career scientists, particularly those from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. The award recognizes outstanding postdoctoral fellows from any discipline who are conducting cancer, infectious disease, or basic science research and individuals who are eligible are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science based on the NIH definition.

Awardees present at a scientific symposium honoring Dr. Eddie Méndez and have the opportunity to meet with Fred Hutch faculty and senior leaders.

The Fred Hutch application cycle for the 4th Annual Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award is now open!



Awardees of the 2019 Dr. Eddie Mendez Award
Awardees of the 2019 Dr. Eddie Mendez Award Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Past Recipients

In May 2019, the first seven recipients of the award were named, coming from universities and cancer research centers around the U.S. They gathered at Fred Hutch’s campus in June of 2019.

Learn more about the inaugural recipients.

In May 2020, nine recipients of an award were announced. Their research interests include T cell therapies, cancer outcomes among HIV-positive patients, health disparities in American Indians, and acute myeloid leukemia therapies. The 2020 symposium was held virtually in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the 2020 recipients.

In May 2021, 12 recipients of the Méndez Scholar Award were named. Their areas of research include understanding the microbiome and how it relates to cancer and infectious diseases, biobehavioral reasons for health disparities in breast cancer, and studies of SARS-CoV-2 function and immune response. The 2021 symposium was held virtually in October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the 2021 recipients. 

Ahmed Diab
Dr. Ahmed Diab at work in the Clurman Lab at Fred Hutch Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Continuing a Legacy

Dr. Ahmed Diab, an inaugural winner of the Dr. Eddie Méndez Award, remembers his mentor and the connection they shared.

Read how Dr. Diab continues his mentor's legacy.