Fred Hutch to serve as national coordinating center for new Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health studies

A $38.7 million federal grant will launch the program focusing on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health

SEATTLE — Sept. 12, 2023— Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center will serve as the national coordinating center for a new epidemiological cohort study among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AsA-NHPI). Fred Hutch was awarded a seven-year, $38.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to coordinate the effort to gather important health information on these populations, which are underrepresented in biomedical research.

The study is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, along with four other NIH institutes. Researchers at the University of Hawaii, Stanford Medicine, University of Chicago, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple Health and NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center will lead community engaged efforts to recruit and follow individuals from AsA-NHPI populations residing in their geographic areas.

Garnet Anderson, PhD, senior vice president and director of Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division will lead the study’s coordinating center. Anderson also serves as a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Coordinating Center at Fred Hutch and holds the Fred Hutch 40th Anniversary Endowed Chair.

"There are a lot of gaps in our knowledge about the health of these populations and their risk factors for a variety of diseases,” said Anderson. “We are recognizing and responding to the lack of data for these populations.”

The coordinating center leadership team includes:

  • Dr. James Floyd, cardiovascular epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Dr. Kwun Chuen (Gary) Chan, professor in the University of Washington Department of Biostatistics and Department of Health Systems and Population Health and associate director of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center
  • Dr. Robert Kaplan, professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health and the Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Kaplan, a frequent collaborator with investigators at Fred Hutch, provides expertise gained from his leadership of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS-SOL), a similar study in the Hispanic/Latino population.

The study will drill down into risk factors that drive cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, mental health and other chronic health conditions, collecting a number of biospecimens including blood, urine and microbiome samples to analyze for this and future studies.

“The goal is to recruit at least 10,000 people, which isn’t big enough to do genomics studies, but it will be a contribution to genetic consortiums,” Anderson said. “In addition to describing the health status of these populations currently, we’ll collect data and biospecimens that can be shared and follow these individuals over time to monitor their health. Studies like this generate resources and draw in people and ideas. They support a lot of novel research in the population sciences.”

Principal investigators for the study include:

This study is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [NHLBI] Award Number: U24HL169645

DISCLAIMER: This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Media Contact:
Kat Wynn

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center unites individualized care and advanced research to provide the latest cancer treatment options while accelerating discoveries that prevent, treat and cure cancer and infectious diseases worldwide.

Based in Seattle, Fred Hutch is an independent, nonprofit organization and the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Washington. We have earned a global reputation for our track record of discoveries in cancer, infectious disease and basic research, including important advances in bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy, HIV/AIDS prevention and COVID-19 vaccines. Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation, proton therapy and related services and has network affiliations with hospitals in four states. Fred Hutch also serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.