Coding for Cancer

Computer screen with a DNA double helix next to the words Coding for Cancer and the Fred Hutch Science Education logo of an apple

Do you wonder how cancer researchers use computational tools in their search to prevent cancer and find cures?

Computational skills are increasingly important in nearly all fields of biomedical research at the Hutch and beyond. Coding for Cancer connects students with computational biologists, teaches hands-on skills, and show how coding and computational tools are used in cancer research. No prior coding experience is necessary. Students will receive a $1000 award upon completion of the program. 

This program is a collaboration among science education staff and scientists who are active computational biology researchers. For more information please see our program flyer

Program Details 

The application has closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for the application to the 2023 Coding for Cancer program.  For more information on the program and application cycle see the "Details" tab below. 

Applicants Should:

  • Be entering 11th or 12 grade in the fall.
  • Preferably live in Washington state.
  • Be available for all of the program dates.
  • Apply even if they have no coding experience.

This course will teach the R programming language and environment. The program will accommodate a range of prior knowledge, including those with no coding experience. We will work with students who do not have access to technology to gain the necessary equipment and internet for the duration of the program. Students will receive a $1000 award upon completion of the program.

The program is specifically designed for students from backgrounds systemically excluded from careers in biomedical science as defined by the National Institutes of Health.



WHEN:  Monday - Friday, August 1st - 26th from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm PT.

The first half of the program will have small-group and individual activities to learn the coding language and some cancer biology. The second half of the program will be focused on each students' research project. 

WHERE: 100% virtual, but participating students will be invited to campus once it's safe. 

WHY: You’ll have fun, learn a coding language, do hands-on activities, and meet great people! 

HOW: Submit an application online by 11:59 pm PT on April 7th, 2022. A letter of recommendation is not necessary however, we will ask for you to provide a reference that we may contact in case we have any additional questions. We recommend students look over the Application Preview PDF before starting the application. Please do not fill out the Application Preview PDF, it will not count as an application submission. 

Program Team

Sam Hart

Lead Instructor

Sam is currently a PhD student at the University of Washington, where he uses computational techniques to investigate the evolutionary origins of a contagious cancer in clams. Prior to starting graduate school, he majored in zoology at the University of Vermont (studying bacteria that caused cow udder infections) and worked as a technician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (studying evolutionary principles governing cellular cooperation).

Maggie Russell

Lead Instructor

Maggie is from Bozeman, MT and attended Montana State University where she majored in Neuroscience and Math. Currently, she is an PhD student at the University of Washington and Fred Hutch studying immune receptor diversity using statistical inference on large datasets.

Questions? Email

Coding for Cancer is made possible in part by Pathways to Cancer Resarch (R25CA221770), a Youth Enjoy Science Award (YES/CURE), from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).