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From Gene Therapy to Genetic Fingerprinting: What Some Kids Will Do On Their Summer Vacation!

Forty high-school students to spend a week in Hutchinson Center laboratories

SEATTLE — July 27, 2001 —

  • "I will never forget this week."
  • "I would jump at the chance to do it again."
  • "I learned more in one week than in a year of AP biology."
  • "I actually didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was, and it was so much fun because I learned so much."
  • "It is neat to learn about biotech in class, but to come here and do it makes TONS more sense."

That's what former students say about HutchLab, an intensive summer science workshop offered by Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Now in its third year, HutchLab will be offered in two one-week sessions: July 29 to Aug. 3 and Aug. 5 to 10. Each session, to be held at the Center's campus on South Lake Union, will accommodate 20 students from Washington state.

Students will learn a variety of biomedical research approaches used to explore and understand genetic diseases, from gene therapy to genetic fingerprinting. The theme of this summer's program is genetic diseases of the blood. On the final day of the program, students will share what they have learned using posters or computer-based presentations.

The aim of HutchLab is to build strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through various scientific exercises designed to tackle challenging, real-world problems based on themes relevant to everyday life.

"Even if they don't become scientists, doing science helps develop valuable logical, troubleshooting and organizational skills useful in many areas of life," says Dave Masterman, Ph.D., HutchLab teacher-in-residence.

The workshop was created to address the many requests from science students who hope to visit and work on research projects at the Hutchinson Center.

HutchLab participants benefit from a student-teacher ratio of four to one. They work individually and in teams under the supervision of HutchLab staff scientists and an expert team of instructors, including Penny Pagels of Ballard High School, Sherry Stuber of Sammamish High School and Aram Langhans of Naches High School. Students also interact with many Hutchinson Center scientists and staff.

What began as a Hutchinson Center-funded pilot project is now supported by a three-year, $750,000 grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health. HutchLab is an offshoot of the Center's Science Education Partnership, an award-winning statewide mentorship program for science teachers established in 1991.

Media Note
Reporters and photographers are welcome to visit HutchLab. To arrange a visit, please contact Kristen Woodward, (206) 667-5095. Digital photos of the student participants also can be arranged in advance by contacting Caren Brinkema at (206) 667-4639 or


2001 HutchLab Participants: Session I (July 29 to Aug. 3)

(Students will enter these grades in the fall)

Cherity Smythe, 11th grade, Auburn High

Annalisa Breidenbach, 11th grade, Holy Names Academy
Lindsey Taylor, 12th grade, Newport High

Kevin Kim, 11th grade, Edmonds Woodway High

Autumn Smith, 12th grade, Snohomish High

Jessica Pedro, 11th grade, Kentlake High

Mercer Island
Stephanie Cheetham, 11th grade, Mercer Island High
Katrina Welch, 12th grade, Mercer Island High

Kristen Perry, 12th grade, Kentridge High
Cali Webster, 12th grade, Kentridge High
Michael Lin, 12th grade, Kentridge High
Alicia Cloutier, 11th grade, Lindbergh High

Ali Khaki, 11th grade, Eastlake High
Shaun Mihalick, 11th grade, Eastlake High

Rachael Robins, 11th grade, Holy Names Academy
Bao-Uyen Nguyen, 11th grade, Evergreen High

Rosie Adams, 12th grade, Shorewood High
Veronica Moorman, 12th grade, Shorewood High

Holly Dirks, 12th grade, Joel E. Ferris High

Meredith Ympa, 12th grade, Inglemoor High

Session II (Aug. 5 to 10)

(Students will enter these grades in the fall)

Elaine Huang, 12th grade, Newport High
Melisa Lin, 12th grad,e Sammamish High
Hilary Stempel, 12th grade, International School

Black Diamond
Lacey Androsko, 11th grade, Enumclaw High

Meghan Maves-Watson, 11th grade, Everett High

Stephanie Michels, 12th grade, Grandview High

Cynthia Samanian, 12th grade, Kent-Meridian High
Brian Adams, 12th grade, Kentlake High

Mercer Island
Narek Shaverdian, 11th grade, Mercer Island High
Laura Geggel, 11th grade, Mercer Island High

Alicia Hoffer, 11th grade, Enumclaw High

Port Angeles
Lesley Everett, 12th grade, Port Angeles High

Alexander Salkin, 11th grade, Franklin High
Jamal Bomabi, 11th grade, Franklin High
Alaina Mori, 11th grade, Franklin High
Jennifer Weaver, 11th grade, Holy Names Academy
Nathan Gassert, 12th grade, Blanchet High
Kelly Snow, 11th grade, Garfield High

Charlotte Plog, 12th grade, Snohomish High

Katy Feldmeth, 12th grade, Joel E. Ferris High

Media Contact
Kristen Woodward
(206) 667-5095

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, UW Medicine and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 40 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's website at