COVID-19: What our scientists are saying

Fred Hutch researchers provide their insights and ideas on the pandemic
Transmission electron micrograph of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Transmission electron micrograph of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Our researchers are committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic — from vaccines to developing COVID-19 diagnostic and serology tests to modeling the spread of the virus. This is what they’re saying from the front lines of the research.

Follow along as our research develops

Twitter: @Fred Hutch


Dr. Trevor Bedford: @trvrb


Dr. Jesse Bloom: @jbloom_lab


Dr. Gary Lyman: @gary_lyman


Dr. Elizabeth Halloran: @betzhallo


Dr. Steve Pergam: @PergamIC

On COVID-19 research

"Everyone in the room at the same time got that what he was talking about was something that was going to really change our lives. You remember where you were when you realized what this was.” — Dr. Tom Lynch, Fred Hutch president, and director on COVID-19 findings from Trevor Bedford

Saving a city: How Seattle’s corporate giants banded together to flatten the curve - Fortune (April 17)

"[Serological tests] can also be used to sample the population in order to form better estimates of the scale of infection and the death rate of the virus.” — Dr. Jesse Bloom

The other coronavirus test we need — Axios (March 28)

"The ability to sequence these viruses really rapidly has really had a profound impact on our ability to understand what's happening and understand the epidemiology of the virus." — Dr. Jesse Bloom

How genetic mapping is allowing scientists to track the spread of coronavirus — NPR (March 19)

“One thing that’s become clear is that genomics data gives you a much richer story about how the outbreak is unfolding." — Dr. Trevor Bedford

How coronavirus mutations can track its spread — and disprove conspiracies — National Geographic (March 26)

“Once you have the antibody, you can discover whether or not it neutralizes the virus, whether it cross-neutralizes another strain of coronavirus, whether it’s potent, and where it binds. So, then you can do three things: You can use the antibody as a therapeutic, a prophylactic or you can use information about that antibody to help make a vaccine.” — Dr. Marie Pancera

Hutch team hunts for coronavirus antibodies — Fred Hutch News Service (April 2)

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On COVID-19 risk for patients

“Patients with hematologic [blood] malignancies we believe will have the biggest risk. Also, patients who are in active chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant patients. Those are the ones with the most profound immune deficits.” — Dr. Steve Pergam

“The message that’s very clear is that those who have comorbidities are at an increased risk from this infection. We have a lot of concerns both from this paper and another one that suggest there are increased rates of major complications, including the need for ICU, intubation and death in cancer patients — as many are double and triple hits. They not only have cancer but respiratory, cardiac or other organ dysfunction, as well.” — Dr. Steve Pergam

“We don’t want to overburden the health care system with the worried well. It’s a balance. We want to be prepared but also make sure people don’t panic. If we panic, there will be a run on the health care system.” — Dr. Steve Pergam

Coronavirus: what cancer patients need to know — Fred Hutch News Service (March 6)

“Individuals who have...evidence of recovery and are no longer shedding virus can fully return to the workforce and keep society functioning." – Dr. Trevor Bedford

Coronavirus sleuth outlines his ‘Apollo program’ for bringing down the pandemic — GeekWire (March 18)

On how COVID-19 has changed science

“Things are happening in a matter of hours or days that normally take weeks or months. It is going to help change the trajectory of this epidemic in the United States. ... We are sharing everything. There is a huge spirit of collaboration. This is a major emergency, and we all understand that.” — Dr. Keith Jerome

UW Medicine deploys new, and needed, test for coronavirus — Fred Hutch News Service (March 4)

“This is a wonderful response from the biomedical community to an epidemic, It’s both gratifying and problematic in the sense of how do you winnow all this down?" — Dr. Larry Corey on COVID-19 vaccine trials

With record-setting speed, vaccinemakers take their first shots at the new coronavirus — Science (March 31)

“On the one hand, there is the rise of network science, and on the other, there is the enormous rise in computing power.” — Dr. Elizabeth Halloran

Mapping the social network of coronavirus — The New York Times (March 13)

"The idea of a phylogenetic tree is common in this field, but we’ve tried to also make something that is beautiful and interactive, and is accessible and easy to read for nonexperts, including the public.” —  Dr. Trevor Bedford

“The nature of viruses is to mutate”: Mapping the spread of a deadly disease — Vanity Fair (March 11)

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“Together, I believe these (and other case-based) strategies can bring down the epidemic. This is the Apollo program of our times. Let's get to it.”

— Trevor Bedford , Twitter (March 18)

Our coronavirus overview page has more information about how our researchers are working to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Natalie Myers is a former integrated content coordinator in Communications & Marketing at Fred Hutch.

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