Featured Researchers

Hutch Holiday Gala


Featured Researchers

Researchers and clinicians across Fred Hutch are collaborating at the intersection of data science, technology, and life science to save more lives. Six who are helping to revolutionize cancer care are featured in this year’s Hutch Holiday Gala video.

Jason Bielas, Ph.D.

“The application of our technologies to important biological questions has outpaced my imagination and revealed new and exciting insights into the origins of diseases, treatments, and prevention.”

Dr. Bielas uses the power of sequencing technology to find ways to better understand the origins and progression of cancer and aging. He collaborated on a technology that captures information from thousands of cells at once, allowing researchers to see, in a single experiment, massive amounts of data from just one cell as well as largescale data patterns across tens of thousands.

Raphael Gottardo, Ph.D.

“I truly believe that if we have a better understanding and the data that we need, we can go from a 50 percent response to immunotherapy to 100 percent.”

Dr. Gottardo is a pioneer in developing and applying computational methods to analyze big data. He also directs our new Translational Data Science Integrated Research Center. He is a leader in forming collaborations across Fred Hutch to address important research questions, particularly in the areas of vaccine research, human immunology, and immunotherapy.

Kelly Paulson, M.D., Ph.D.

“If we had the funds and staffing and infrastructure, we could generate and analyze data faster and come up with answers when the clock is ticking for patients. The reduction in time and improvements in outcomes could be exponential.”

Dr. Paulson develops combination T-cell immunotherapies for melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma (an aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer). Now she is applying cutting-edge technologies to discover why some patients relapse or don’t respond to treatment.

Effie Wang Petersdorf, M.D.

“The all-important question is: How are we able to use the data that we have generated to help patients fight diseases? How can we be smarter and prevent the disease in the first place?”

To make bone marrow transplantation safer, Dr. Petersdorf pioneered molecular methods that uncover key differences between transplant donors and recipients. Her work with Nobel-prize winner Dr. E. Donnall Thomas inspired her to find new ways to ensure that transplant patients don’t succumb to a deadly complication called graft-vs.-host disease.

Harlan Robbins, Ph.D.

“High-throughput sequencing of T-cell receptors is what is allowing us to find the right receptors to use as therapies. New therapies are being generated by this technology at a pretty regular clip.”

Dr. Robins developed a sequencing method that allows researchers to pinpoint which T-cell receptors may be able to recognize and attack a patient’s cancer. His team is now sequencing millions of these receptors to understand the dynamics of the immune response and, potentially, predict diseases before symptoms arise.

Matthew Trunnell

“The path forward is all about data, and that excites me, because that’s the piece that I get to help bring to this puzzle: how we can leverage data to drive the next scientific innovation.”

Fred Hutch’s vice president and chief information officer also serves as executive director of the Hutch Data Commonwealth. In this role, he oversees enterprise and scientific computing services and leads a team of data analysts and software engineers who are building new capabilities to leverage data for clinical research.