Basic science discoveries underlie the innovative cures and treatments we develop at Fred Hutch. Our research teams strive to understand the normal molecular functioning of cells as well as the disruption that causes complex diseases like cancer and HIV infection.
Founded in 1981, the Basic Sciences Division has since expanded to include more than 30 laboratory groups that explore topics as diverse as regulation of cell division and mechanisms controlling wound repair. Our research has yielded a number of landmark breakthroughs and scientific advances, including two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries that may inform new approaches to cancer treatment.
Grounded in a steadfast commitment to scientific excellence and bold creativity, the Basic Sciences Division encourages robust, ongoing collaboration among divisions, laboratories and clinical researchers.
“The tactile aspect of biology is so important to me. I need to be able to go collect some of the raw data myself.”
Dr. Akhila Rajan is working to solve big challenges that have far reaching implications for human health. Her lab studies how organisms regulate energy signaling and balance; improving our understanding of obesity and its health consequences.
“I’ve never had a moment that I wanted to do anything else.”
It would require the combined length of DNA from over 8 million human cells to cover the distance Toshio Tsukiyama traveled from the beginning of his career in Japan to starting his own laboratory at Fred Hutch. His lab studies chromatin and cellular quiescence; opening the door to improved targeting of dormant cancer cells.
“Biologists are never starting from ground zero anymore. What we do as developmental biologists is highly relevant to human developmental disorders.”
The Moens lab studies how the nervous system develops. Her research helps us understand not only what makes a human brain work, but what may go awry in developmental disorders that affect the brain – disorders like autism, spina bifida, or the rarer Joubert and Nance-Horan syndromes.
“We would like to better understand the constraints of evolution.”
The Bloom Lab combines math, computer sciences, biology, chemistry and physics to better understand the molecular evolution of proteins and viruses, particularly influenza.
— Dr. Harmit Malik, evolutionary biologist