Basic Science Divison News

Basic Sciences Division

Division News Archive

‘Waistbands’ of our chromosomes marked by unusual X-shaped DNA

Human Y chromosome’s center more ‘monkey-like’ than other human chromosomes, study finds Read more >

Science to watch in 2018: From immunotherapy to gene therapy, big data to new tech

“Basic biomedical science in 2018 will be even more technology-driven than it was in 2017,” said director of the Hutch’s Basic Sciences Division Dr. Jonathan Cooper.

“I would be on the lookout for reports of new and increasingly ambitious attempts to correct genetic disorders through gene editing and gene correction strategies,” said Fred Hutch protein engineering researcher Dr. Barry Stoddard. Read more >

Immune cells share their insides with tumors to promote cancer spread

New study in zebrafish and mice shows immune cells interact with melanoma and transfer their contents to spur metastasis Read more >

Understanding HIV’s evolutionary past — and future

Studies of how the virus evolved and how it might change down the road could help researchers develop vaccines or cures for the infection. Read more >

Scientists-turned-entrepreneurs share lessons learned launching startups

When Dr. Mark Roth launched his first startup company in 2005, the biologist had a relatively straightforward goal: Translate the preliminary but promising results he’d seen in his Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center lab to a medical treatment that could actually help people. Read more >

Dr. Sue Biggins named a 2017 ASCB fellow

The American Society for Cell Biology has named Fred Hutch biologist Dr. Sue Biggins as a fellow in the second year of its Fellows award program. Fellows awards are meant to honor scientists who have made lifetime achievements in the field of cell biology and have contributed significantly to the ASCB. Read more>

Dr. Steven Henikoff wins Chan Zuckerberg Initiative pilot funding for new DNA-mapping technique

Fred Hutch biologist Dr. Steven Henikoff will lead a new pilot project funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as part of an effort to support the Human Cell Atlas, a global collaborative research project that aims to map and better characterize every cell in the human body. Read more >

Dr. Linda Buck’s Nobel Prize-winning work featured in new Pacific Science Center exhibit

new exhibit at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center includes a display dedicated to the discovery of the genes and cells responsible for odor detection, research that was conducted by Fred Hutch neurobiologist Dr. Linda Buck. Read more >

Abraham Gutierrez (Biggins Lab)  was among 117 graduate and undergraduate students to receive award from The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded 117 graduate and undergraduate underrepresented minority (URM) students for their research and presentation skills at the 2017 National Diversity in STEM Conference. Read more >

Fruit fly study IDs missing links in fat-signaling system

Hormone alerts brain to fat-storage status, but its packaging system goes awry in obesity.  If you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard the old dieting chestnut, “calories in, calories out.” King 5 News Video Read more >

One family, two sides of cancer

Basic scientist Dr. Wenying Shou’s parents were both treated for — and cured of — their cancers. The similarities end there Read more >

New nanoparticles make targeted, temporary gene therapy possible

Hit-and-run’ technology could improve immunotherapy and HIV cure research. Read more >

From student to scientist to mentor

A science education program helped launch Louisa Pendergast’s research career. Now she’s helping mentor more science teachers at Fred Hutch. Read more>

Dr. Robert Bradley receives Leukemia & Lymphoma Society award

Fred Hutch molecular and computational biologist Dr. Robert Bradley has been awarded a prestigious career development grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support his blood cancer-related research, which focuses on how slight changes in fundamental processes in the cell can trigger the blood disease myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, and leukemia. Read more >

Jesse Bloom and Katherine Xue’s new eLife study What we can learn about global flu evolution from individual infections

Study of 10-year-old flu samples finds virus’s evolution in individual transplant patients partially mirrors later global trends Read more>

Katherine and Jesse also wrote a great piece for The Conversation

And the study was covered in few other places as well:

The Atlantic and Wired

'Wtf'? A gene that poisons its own host

Scientists have a tendency to anthropomorphize their work, and not just the animals they study. Even molecules or scientific principles may be ascribed human attributes or logic. Read more >

New library of HIV mutants could inform vaccine design

There’s a small collection of test tubes stored in a laboratory freezer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Hundreds of these freezers host thousands of tiny tubes, but this collection is different. Read more >

Dr. James Priess elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. James Priess, a developmental biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, was named to the National Academy of Sciences Tuesday. Read more >

Mentors matter, but how do you find one?

Dr. Athea Vichas knew what she wanted in a mentor when she set out to find the right spot to do her postdoctoral fellowship in developmental biology. Read more>

Tiny worm mazes allow researchers to ID genes linked to spatial perception, risk-taking

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center neurobiologist had just hired a new technician, Bicheng Han, to work in his research laboratory. Read more>

Lisa Voelker (Bai Lab) and Jackie Lang (Biggins Lab) are among the 2017 Husky 100 recepients.

Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students from Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the UW. Read more>

Fred Hutch/UW graduate student Qing Feng among this year’s 13 Weintraub award winners

Qing Feng, a graduate student in the joint University of Washington/Fred Hutch Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, is one of 13 recipients of the 2017 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award. Fred Hutch announced this year’s award winners Wednesday. Read more >

Can we talk about doing science and raising children?

Researchers open up about the unique challenges of starting families during training — and offer tips for juggling the dual demands read more >

New library of HIV mutants could inform vaccine design

There’s a small collection of test tubes stored in a laboratory freezer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Hundreds of these freezers host thousands of tiny tubes, but this collection is different. read more >

How cells sense and respond to the outside world

Cells employ unexpected method to respond to environmental cues. read more >

Genetic fossil-hunters dig through HIV’s

An antiviral gene, called TRIM5a, isn’t effective at stopping HIV infections in humans either, but can do so in the rhesus macaque. Harmit Malik, a evolutionary geneticist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, has used the viral fossil record to show why. read more >

The molecules that drive cell movement

A new study visualizing cells' 'leading edge' sheds light on processes behind cellular migration. read more

Drs. Jesse Bloom and Erick Matsen named HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars

Fred Hutch’s Drs. Jesse Bloom and Frederick (Erick) Matsen were named Faculty Scholars Thursday by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or HHMI, and the Simons Foundation. read more >

Mike Doud wins the award for the best abstract in virology

Bloom lab graduate student Mike Doud wins the award for the best abstract in virology at the Options for the Control of Influenza meeting.

Celebrating faculty and staff achievements

In the 35 years since, Henikoff has made seminal discoveries about gene silencing and the structure of chromatin, chromosomes’ organizational system in the cell, said Fred Hutch Executive Vice President and Deputy Director Dr. Mark Groudine while introducing the symposium, which coincided with Henikoff’s 70th birthday. read more >

Dr. Shirleen Soh named Damon Runyon Fellow

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named Dr. Shirleen Soh, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Fred Hutch Basic Sciences Division, a Damon Runyon fellow. She is among 17 postdocs nationwide to receive this prestigious award. read more >

Dr. Vichas selected to receive HU Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr. Athea M. Vichas, from the Moens lab, for been selected to receive the very first Hutch United Postdoctoral Fellowship. Congrtaulations!

Dr. Jihong Bai, won the Cancer Consortium researchers pilot grant.

Eight Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium researchers awarded pilot grants. Awards of up to $80K support 'highly innovative, yet technically feasible' early-stage research. Dr. Bai's award title "A new role of endophilin in cancer metastasis." read more >

Dr. Emily Hatch received The President's Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Gary Gilliland announced during his last Town Hall meeting, Dr. Emily Hatch was one of five recipients of the first President’s Young Investigator Award.  These awards are intended to catalyze and accelerate discovery in the labs of our most talent young investigators. Congratulations Emily.

The science of cancer spread

Researchers at Fred Hutch are trying to understand the molecular signals that allow metastatic cells to seed and grow new tumors — and how to stop that spread. Here, metastatic breast cancer cells (green) sit on blood vessels (red) in the brain, surrounded by star-shaped brain cells known as astrocytes (cyan). read more >

Dr. Gerry Smith Received a MIRA award.

Congratulations to Dr. Gerry Smith on receiving a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) from NIH. It is a 5 year award and the title of his grant "Molecular analysis of genetic recombination and DNA break repair".  MIRA is a grant to provide support for all of the research in an investigator's laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS.  The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency and efficacy of NIGMS funding.

Abe Gutierrez and Joey Pangallo received NSF honorable mention

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named 2,000 individuals as this year's recipients of awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Read more >

Tracing the scent of fear

Study identifies neurons, brain region involved in rodent stress response.

Now, a study published online Monday in the journal Nature has identified nerve cells and a region of the brain behind this innate fear response. With a technique that uses specially engineered viruses to uncover the nerve pathway involved, a research team led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center neurobiologist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linda Buck has pinpointed a tiny area of the mouse brain responsible for this scent-induced reaction. Read more >

When flu viruses join forces

Certain influenza variants infect cells better together than apart, new study shows. “Once a virus initiates an infection and starts to replicate, it quickly generates a lot of mutant viruses,” said Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center evolutionary biologist Dr. Jesse Bloom of the complex community that can arise from infection. Read more >

Drs. Michael Emerman and Nina Salama elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology

Drs. Michael Emerman and Nina Salama, both members of the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Read more >

Fred Hutch announces 2016 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awardees

Twelve graduate students from institutes throughout the United States have been chosen to receive the 2016 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award sponsored by the Basic Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. read more >

Dr. Anna de Regt received an ACS fellowship

Fred Hutch postdoctoral researcher Dr. Anna de Regt from the Biggins lab received an ACS Fellowship, which started on Jan 1. Congratulations.

Tera Levin, Alistair Russell named Damon Runyon Fellows

Fred Hutch postdoctoral researchers Drs. Tera Levin and Alistair Russell were awarded prestigious Damon Runyon Fellowships, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced last Friday. read more >

Minna Roh, Moens lab, awarded NIH K99 career development award

Dr. Roh's NIH proposal titled “Cell biological mechanisms of melanoma cell motility in vivo.” will start on 9/1/2015.

Matthew Daugherty, Malik lab, awarded NIH K22 career development award

Dr. Daugherty's NIH proposal titled “Consequences of IFIT gene evolution on species-specific antiviral immunity.” started on 7/1/2015.

Laura Gaydos, Priess lab, awarded Jane Coffin Childs fellowship

Dr. Gaydos's proposal titled “Uncovering mechanisms that control cell-sorting during development.” started 7/1/2015.  

Richard McLaughlin, Malik lab, awarded NIH K99 career development award

Dr. McLaughlin's proposal titled “Causes and human health consequences of the evolution of retro-elements and host restriction factors.” started 7/1/2015.

Amitabha Gupta, Biggins lab, awarded American Cancer Society fellowship

Dr. Gupta's proposal titled “Dissecting the regulation and role of protein phosphatase 1 at kinetochores.” started 4/1/2015.

Zanders, Sarah, Malik lab, NIH K99 career development award

Dr. Zander's proposal titled “Mechanisms of meiotic drive and the functional consequences of rapid genome evolution in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.” started 4/1/2015.

Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award/Biological Sciences

Dr. Tracy Larson (Peichel Lab) Dissertation titled: “From Genetics to Behavior, the Dynamics and Mechanisms of Adult Neurogenesis in a Sensorimotor Circuit”was chosen to receive the 2015 Distinguished Dissertation Award (Biological Sciences category). The award also includes a $1000 prize. Congratulations!

Dr. Jesse Bloom named Pew scholar

The Pew Charitable Trusts selected Dr. Jesse Bloom among this year’s 22 early-career researchers named Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences. The award, announced today, includes a four-year grant of $240,000 to support Bloom’s research on influenza’s evolution and its interaction with the human immune system. read more >

Dr. Jesse Bloom receives Burroughs Wellcome award

Evolutionary biologist Dr. Jesse Bloom is among 12 early-stage investigators to win an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a private foundation that supports biomedical research and education in the U.S. The awards were announced Wednesday. read more >

Patrick Mitchell receives the Raymond W. Sarber award.

Patrick a graduate student in the Malik Lab and Michael Emerman’s lab is the 2015 graduate student awardee of the Raymond W. Sarber award. This is a highly prestigious award awarded to only one microbiology graduate student across the US every year. Patrick received his award in New Orleans on June 2nd, 2015. See more info about the Sarber award. read more >

Dr. Linda Buck receives honorary doctorate from Harvard University

Fred Hutch’s Nobel laureate Dr. Linda Buck has received an honorary doctorate of science from Harvard University. She was among 10 people who received honorary degrees today during the university's 364th commencement ceremony. read more >

Sue Biggins selected as HHMI investigator

SEATTLE – May 19, 2015 – Sue Biggins, Ph.D., a geneticist and biologist at Fred Hutch who studies the machinery that dividing cells use to ensure their daughter cells receive the correct allotment of chromosomes, has been selected to become a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She is among 26 of the nation’s top biomedical scientists to receive the honor this year out of a pool of nearly 900 applicants.  read more >

Nitobe London wins a Harold Weintraub 2015 Award

Nitobe London, a graduate student in the Biggins lab, is one of thirteen students from across the country selected to receive the Harold Weintraub Award for 2015. The Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award recognizes outstanding achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences. Nitobe’s studies of kinetochore proteins uncovered major control steps in activation of spindle checkpoint signaling required for high fidelity chromosome segregation, an essential process to prevent aneuploidy (a characteristic trait of cancer cells).

 2105 Weintraub Award Recipients.  Previous Weintraub Award Recipients

Gerald Smith named a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Smith joins 78 others in the prestigious academy this year that recognizes people who have made significant contributions in the field of microbiology. read more >

Jesse Bloom has been awarded the 2015 Young Investigator in Virology Award.

With the goal of recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of virology by early-career investigators, last year Viruses accepted nominations for a 2015 Young Investigator Prize in Virology. The target age was set at 40 and under. Over 50 nominations were received and were evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of Viruses editorial board members. I am pleased to announce Dr. Jesse Bloom of the Fred Hutch in Seattle, Washington, as the recipient of the 2015 Viruses Young Investigator Award. read more >