Project and Program Leaders and Directors

Seattle Cancer Consortium Breast SPORE

Project and Program Leaders and Directors

Bruce Clurman, MD

Associate Director, Interdisciplinary and Translational Science at Fred Hutch

Member, Fred Hutch Clinical Research and Human Biology Divisions and the Jose Carreras/E. Donnall Thomas Endowed Chair for Cancer Research

Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Dr. Clurman is the project leader of project one. Clurman’s lab studies cell division, protein degradation, and carcinogenesis, and the molecular basis of cancer. He has made fundamental discoveries about how cell division and protein ubiquitylation are regulated in normal cells, and their associations with cancer. Clurman is also a practicing medical oncologist for more than 20 years, and continues to specialize in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Faculty Profile | Featured Researcher Profile


V.K. Gadi, MD

V.K. Gadi, MD

Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Oncology, University of Washington

Associate Member, Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch

Dr. Gadi is the clinical co-leader of project one, collaborating with Bruce Clurman on basic and translational studies on how cell cycle vulnerabilities can be taken advantage of to increase the effectiveness and therapeutic margin of chemotherapy. He is a seasoned translational breast cancer clinician scientist and his laboratory work has translated successfully into clinical trials, findings from which are later leveraged into subsequent bench studies.

Faculty Profile


Julie Gralow, MD

Julie Gralow, MD

Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the UW and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Member of the Clinical Research Division and Scientfic Steering Committee at Fred Hutch

Associate Program Head of the Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium's Breast Cancer Program

Dr. Gralow is  director of the SPORE’s clinical core. She brings considerable experience and expertise in the design and conduct of clinical trials. In addition to being the Director of Breast Medical Oncology at UW/SCCA, she currently serves as Executive Officer for Breast and Lung Cancer for SWOG, and previously served as the Vice Chair of the SWOG Breast Cancer Committee. Gralow, along with the clinical core faculty members, aids in the design, conduct, and patient recruitment for SPORE projects. Gralow and the clinical core investigators serve as the bridge between the SPORE project investigators, the SCCA breast cancer clinics, the biostatistical core, the specimen acquisition and pathology core, and the clinical trials support staff.

Faculty Profile


David Hockenberry, MD

David Hockenberry, MD

Member, Clinical Research Division, Human Biology, and Public Health Sciences Divisions at Fred Hutch

Dr. Hockenbery is co-leader of project three. His research focuses on the cell biology of apoptosis, the structure and function of Bcl-2 family anti-apoptotic proteins, and cross-talk between cellular metabolism, oncogenes and apoptosis. A long-term goal of his research effort is to identify methods of reversing apoptotic defects associated with clinical disease, and in particular, engaging apoptotic pathways directly in cancer cells as a therapeutic approach. The lab uses small-molecule screens to identify lead compounds that can be developed as targeted anticancer agents.

Faculty Profile | Lab


Li Hsu, PhD

Li Hsu, PhD

Member, Biostatistics & Biomathematics Program, Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch

Affiliate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington

Dr. Hsu is the director of the biostatistical core. She has ongoing and extensive collaborations with epidemiologic and basic science investigators, providing the background and insight to address the scientific questions that arise from medical studies and expertise to address these questions using statistical and computational tools. Hsu’s areas of research include analysis of genetic and genomic data in both population-based and family-based studies with focus on genome-wide association of genetic and environmental risk factors with disease risk, and genome-wide profiles of gene expression, loss of heterozygosity and copy number changes in tumor tissues. She has been actively developing methods for estimating risk associated genes and environment, genome-wide association analysis of common and rare variants, genome-wide gene-environment interaction, pathway analysis, risk prediction and network analysis of expression and genomic instability data.

Faculty Profile | Lab


Christopher Li, MD, PhD

Christopher Li, MD, PhD

Member, Program in Epidemiology, Public Health Sciences Division, and Program Head in the Translational Research Program at Fred Hutch

Professor, Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington

Dr. Li is co-leader on the current project four. Li is a cancer epidemiologist with multiple research projects scanning cancer early detection/screening, etiology and survivorship. He has been principal investigator on studies that have enrolled thousands of breast cancer patients. His work identifying the risk and prognosis associated with different molecular subtypes of breast cancer using a population-based approach forms the strategy for this project.

Faculty Profile | Lab


Stanley Riddell, MD

Stanley Riddell, MD

Member, Associate Program Head, Program in Immunology, Fred Hutch

Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine

Research Affiliate Scientist Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington

Dr. Riddell is a co-leader of project two. He is internationally recognized for his work with adoptive T cell immunotherapy. His research focuses on understanding the contributions of distinct human T cell subsets to protective immunity to pathogens and tumors, and on the development and clinical application of adoptive T cell therapy for viral diseases and cancer using unmodified and genetically modified antigen-specific T cells of defined compositions. The work has encompassed the discovery of target antigens for human malignancies including breast cancer, and on the clinical evaluation of adoptive immunotherapy with antigen-specific T cells. These studies required the development of techniques for isolation, expansion, genetic modification, and reinfusion of T cells, and for monitoring patient safety, cell persistence, migration and function. Many of these methods are now employed broadly in the field of adoptive immunotherapy for cancer. The lab has investigated the role of the ROR1 molecule in cancer and developed chimeric antigen receptors that can be introduced into T cells to confer tumor recognition. The lab is also focused on understanding how intrinsic qualities of T cell subsets that are genetically engineered for therapy may enable superior in vivo persistence and therapeutic efficacy. This has led to the development of novel cell selection methods to rapidly isolate defined T cell populations for clinical trials in which T cells are modified with chimeric antigen receptors or T cell receptors and formulated in a defined composition for adoptive therapy. These ongoing research efforts inform the translational research in the SPORE project.

Faculty Profile | Featured Researcher Profile


Lupe Salazar, MD

Lupe Salazar, MD

Staff Physician, University of Washington Medical Center

Staff Physician, Harborview Medical Center

Staff Physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Div. of Oncology, University of Washington

Dr. Salazar is a co-leader of project two. As a translational researcher, her work has focused on designing and conducting investigator-initiated trials specifically in breast cancer. These studies include testing novel immunotherapeutics such as cancer vaccines and immunomodulating agents for the treatment and/or prevention of breast cancer. In addition to being the sponsor of five FDA Investigational New Drug applications in immunotherapeutics, she has extensive experience in clinical trial design, treatment and monitoring of breast cancer patients on research studies, data safety monitoring, immunologic monitoring of study patients, and data analysis and interpretation.

Faculty Profile


Jennifer Specht, MD

Jennifer Specht, MD

Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, UW

Dr. Specht is a co-leader of project three and leads the conduct of the clinical trial associated with the project, overseeing accrual and clinical outcomes and collaborating with the project team with data analysis and conduct of the research aims. Specht is a medical oncologist with experience in clinical research with specific focus in use of molecular imaging to assess response and elucidate breast tumor metabolism and perfusion in pre-operative chemotherapy.

Faculty Profile