Tip Sheet: New MacArthur ‘genius,’ returning to school during COVID-19 and the science of race and racism

Summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news

SEATTLE — Oct. 5, 2021 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news.

Join us for our next public science event, “Finding New Ways to Stop Solid Tumors.” The virtual discussion will be 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT on Thursday, Oct. 7 and will feature Drs. Thomas Lynch Jr., Nancy Davidson, McGarry Houghton, Nina Salama and Joshua Schiffer. Please RSVP HERE by Wednesday, Oct. 6.


Ongoing trials test COVID-19 drugs for earlier, easier treatment
Get the latest insights on COVID-19 therapies from researchers at the Hutch’s COVID-19 Clinical Research Center. Beyond studying the effectiveness of antivirals and monoclonal antibodies, researchers are looking at practical matters, such as comparing intravenous drip and injections for delivery.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Q&A: Returning to school, post-transplant
As schools reopen for in-person learning, families weigh the risks of exposure to infectious diseases. We talked to two experts who help children who may be immunocompromised following cancer treatments sort through the risks and benefits of deciding when it’s safe to return to school. The experts recently published guidelines for these patients in the context of COVID-19.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Latest Fred Hutch research on COVID-19
With collaborators at Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology, Fred Hutch researchers  published new work in Nature Biotechnology showing the metabolic and immune changes in COVID-19 hyperinflammation. They mapped out immune-cell metabolic changes and identified five blood metabolites that predicted poorer outcomes in patients being hospitalized with COVID-19. The paper is the latest addition to our COVID-19 round up page where we report the latest Fred Hutch research on the virus.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Science education

Life lessons in genetics, race and social justice
New curriculum developed by the staff at Fred Hutch's Science Education Partnership aims to help high school teachers teach their students the science behind race, racism and genetics. The program is fully accessible to all on the Fred Hutch website.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Machine learning

New open source software empowers scientists to uncover immune secrets
In the journal Science Advances, Fred Hutch scientists report a method to make it easier to study the immune system. The Infinity Flow open source software system uses machine learning to hunt for proteins on the surface of cells, which then helps scientists classify individual cells and identify what they’re doing.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Using machine learning to identify potential COVID-19, cancer therapies
In two recent papers, Fred Hutch researchers used a machine learning method they developed to screen for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 and metastatic prostate cancer. They’re hoping to translate the preclinical studies toward the clinic.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Scientists and business development

Investment in business development pays dividends for research, patients
A feature story describes how Fred Hutch scientists work with our business development team to advance research discoveries toward the clinic. Hilary Hehman, Fred Hutch’s associate vice president of strategic partnerships, talks about the Hutch’s innovation pipeline and efforts to collaborate with venture, pharma and biotech communities, and Fred Hutch researchers talk about their experience translating their discoveries.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Science spotlight
Science Spotlight is a monthly installment of articles written by postdoctoral fellows at Fred Hutch that summarize new research papers from Hutch scientists. If you’re interested in learning more or covering these topics contact: media@fredhutch.org

●      The past, present, and future of antibody-based pandemic protection

●      A chink in lung cancer’s armor

●      Cannabis use in colorectal cancer survivors

●      You’ve got something in your eye: cellular reprogramming in development and cancer

●      When life science gives you lemons: T cells as a vaccine platform

Other notable news

Fred Hutch scientist Trevor Bedford receives MacArthur Fellowship
Dr. Trevor Bedford was selected as a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. Also known as the MacArthur “genius grant,” the honor is awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and provides $625,000 in “no-strings-attached” funding over five years to allow recipients to pursue creative, intellectual and professional endeavors.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Matsen, Bedford named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators
Computational biologists, Drs. Trevor Bedford and Frederick “Erick” Matsen have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, one of the most coveted honors in biomedical research.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Fred Hutch mourns sudden loss of Dr. Martin ‘Mac’ Cheever
Dr. Martin “Mac” Cheever, a physician-scientist who was a pioneer in the development of lifesaving immunotherapies, is being mourned by friends and colleagues at Fred Hutch, where he began his career in the earliest days of the Seattle institution. In 2007, with grants from the National Cancer Institute, he established the Hutch-headquartered Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, for which he served until his recent illness as director and principal investigator.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Mourning the loss of James Raisbeck, Hutch supporter and aviation leader
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center lost a close friend and supporter with the death of James Raisbeck on Aug. 31. The longstanding relationship between Fred Hutch and Raisbeck and his wife Sherry Raisbeck began in 1996, when the couple’s son-in-law underwent a successful bone marrow transplant under the care of Dr. Fred Appelbaum.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.