Coding for Cancer

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

person sitting in front of computer with data visualization on monitors

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. 

Application Process

The application for the 2023 Coding for Cancer Program is now live. Go to the link below to apply today. 

The application must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on April 7th, 2023. Recommendations are not required, but please supply information for one reference who we may contact. Please apply early. A PDF preview of the application can be found here. Do not fill out the preview PDF, it will not count as an application submission. 

Applicants Should

  • Be entering 11th or 12th 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, July 31st - August 25th, 2023 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. 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

Photo of Katherine Brower

Katherine Brower

Lead Instructor

Katherine is from Seattle, WA and graduated from the University of Washington where she majored in Microbiology and Japanese. She is currently a staff scientist in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in the Nickerson Lab (Northwest Genomics Center). Her work collaborates with the All of Us program which focuses on increasing diversity in health database data by sequencing and genotyping 1 million Americans from different ethnic groups. This data aims to find potential disease causing variants, develop treatments, and potential disease prevention in the future.

Photo of Gabby Ferra

Gabby Ferra

Lead Instructor

Gabby studied Applied Mathematics-Biology at Brown University, and she is currently a 3rd year PhD student in the Genome Sciences program at the University of Washington. She is currently studying the functional effects of CYP2D6 variants, a gene responsible for metabolizing many common drugs.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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