Science Says: Fearless science

Immunotherapy, equity in colorectal cancer and the latest on the COVID-19 virus's omicron variant

During Fred Hutch's Nov. 30 Science Says virtual event, Drs. Trevor Bedford and Rachel Bender Ignacio talked about the omicron variant — what we know and don't know about its mutation profile, emergence, spread and effect on vaccines and treatments — with President and Director and Raisbeck Endowed Chair holder Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr. 

Video by Fred Hutch

Timid research doesn't save lives. On Nov. 30, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center brought several fearless scientists into conversation with the community in its latest Science Says virutal event.

Trevor Noah, comedian and host of "The Daily Show," talked with three Fred Hutch researchers working to end cancer and COVID-19. Noah's interviews were followed by a special live Q&A led by Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr. covering the latest on the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Lynch talked to Hutch scientists about what we know and don't about the variant's origins and potential for immune escape, and how effective current and experimental drugs may be against it. Watch the omicron Q&A in the video above, and follow the latest on what Hutch scientists are saying about omicron on Fred Hutch News and by following the Hutch on Twitter.

Highlights of the discussions:

  • Dr. Phil Greenberg, an immunotherapy pioneer and holder of The Rona Jaffe Endowed Chair, shared the joy of science with Noah. "There's that moment each time when you do an experiment and you get data when you're the only person in the world who actually knows what you just learned," he said. "And that's incredibly energizing."
  • Dr. Rachel Issaka, who is working to reduce the disproportionate burden of colon cancer on the Black community, suggested Noah ask his famous friends to get screened.
  • Dr. Trevor Bedford, whose own virus-tracking efforts have been critical for flu and for the coronavirus, discussed the future of COVID-19 and credited South Africa for its discovery of first the beta and then the omicron variants.
  • Dr. Rachel Bender Ignacio reassured the audience that treatments being studied at Fred Hutch's COVID-19 Clinical Research Center should still be effective against new variants.

Join Fred Hutch for the next Science Says event in February 2022.


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