Fred Hutch receives $1.26M grant to boost science-education efforts

National Institute of General Medical Sciences award aims to attract underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
High school students participate in an education and training program in a teaching lab at Fred Hutch.
Aleksandra Kogalovski of Mercer Island High School (left) and Alberta Gbla of Mariner High School (right) practice an experiment in the training lab at Fred Hutch earlier this month. Photo by Caren Brinkema / Fred Hutch

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has received a $1.26 million, five-year Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, or NIGMS. The award will fund a new science education and training program called “Frontiers in Cancer Research,” which will focus on:

  • inspiring secondary school students from underrepresented communities to pursue biomedical and clinical research careers;
  • developing and piloting cancer-focused curricula and hands-on science kit resources that highlight ethical issues around genetic engineering, gene therapy, clinical trials and Fred Hutch’s breakthrough research; and
  • providing professional development and mentored research experiences for life science teachers on fundamental biological principles and practices through the lens of cancer research.

“We’re living in an incredible time with so many advances being made in cancer research,” said Jeanne Ting Chowning, senior director of Science Education & Training at Fred Hutch and the program's principal investigator. “This grant will help not only Fred Hutch, but the entire science and research community by helping students see the importance of medical research and engaging more students in science careers.”

The Science Education Partnership Award-funded curricula will serve as part of a larger program refresh of Fred Hutch’s long-running Science Education Partnership, or SEP. Since 1991, SEP has helped foster partnerships between research scientists and more than 545 secondary-school science teachers in Washington state. SEP is part of Fred Hutch’s commitment to training current and next-generation scientific leaders from diverse backgrounds at all academic levels.

NIGMS, part of the National Institutes of Health, supports basic research that increases the understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Its Science Education Partnership Award program funds innovative pre-kindergarten to grade 12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and informal science education projects.

Read more about Fred Hutch achievements and accolades.

Tom Kim, a media relations manager at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, has worked in professional communications for over 12 years. His experience includes stints in radio and television newsrooms and managing communications in both the technology and aerospace industries. Reach him at

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