Mahan Fellowship

Now accepting applications for Mahan Fellowship 23/24 application cycle

The Herbold Computational Biology Program of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington invites applications for the Mahan postdoctoral fellowship. The fellowship will provide an exceptional individual with an early start on their career as an independent scientist by providing a 21-month stipend to pursue their proposed research project in the laboratory of a Fred Hutch Computational Biologist mentor.

Faculty of any discipline or rank from the Fred Hutch, UW, or any other institute may be proposed as co-mentors. The project must be focused on a topic of biological interest, must involve a computational or mathematical component, and may include an experimental component. A laboratory trained scientist may satisfy the computational and mathematical requirement by including a training component in their proposal. Computationally strong candidates may include a laboratory training component as well. The research direction should reflect the interests and ideas of the applicant, although the final research proposal may be jointly designed; see Additional Information for more details on the application process and for a list of potential mentors.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is an independent, nonprofit organization providing adult cancer treatment and groundbreaking research focused on cancer and infectious diseases. Based in Seattle, Fred Hutch is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Washington.

With a track record of global leadership in bone marrow transplantation, HIV/AIDS prevention, immunotherapy and COVID-19 vaccines, Fred Hutch has earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading cancer, infectious disease and biomedical research centers. Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation, proton therapy and related services, and network affiliations with hospitals in five states. Together, our fully integrated research and clinical care teams seek to discover new cures to the world’s deadliest diseases and make life beyond cancer a reality.

At Fred Hutch we value collaboration, compassion, determination, excellence, innovation, integrity and respect. These values are grounded in and expressed through the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. Our mission is directly tied to the humanity, dignity and inherent value of each employee, patient, community member and supporter. Our commitment to learning across our differences and similarities make us stronger. We seek employees who bring different and innovative ways of seeing the world and solving problems. Fred Hutch is in pursuit of becoming an anti-racist organization. We are committed to ensuring that all candidates hired share our commitment to diversity, anti-racism and inclusion.

Please direct all questions to Ruby Mae San Pedro, Computational Biology Research Administrator. 

The Mahan Fellowship is made possible by funding from Mark and Nikki Mahan. 

Application Overview


  • Ph.D. must have been awarded after June 2021 in a computational, quantitative or biological discipline.
  • Ph.D. must be awarded prior to the start of the fellowship.
  • Applicants who have held faculty, staff scientist, or research associate positions are not eligible.
  • Fred Hutch Internal applicants – Start date at Fred Hutch must be within 12 months of the pre-application deadline

Key Application Dates

Pre-application Deadline

December 1, 2023

Notification to proceed with Full Proposals

December 18, 2023

Full Proposal Deadline

January 29, 2024

Notification of Final Selection

February 14, 2024

Earliest Start Date

July 1, 2024

Application Process

Pre-application Phase

Please submit the following materials/information through the Interfolio application portal:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 1-page (maximum) Proposed Research Statement *not including references
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation
  • 1-page (maximum) diversity, equity, and inclusion statement
  • (optional) Select a primary mentor through the Interfolio application portal

Pre-application materials are due December 1, 2023

Final Application Phase (if invited)

Upon invitation by the review committee, please submit the following materials/information through the Interfolio application portal:

  • Research Statement
    • 3-5 page single-spaced, font size 11pt (not including references)
    • may be co-written with the proposed mentor
  • 2 additional letters of recommendation 

Full proposals are due January 29, 2024

Additional Information

  •  The start date of the fellowship is flexible but should start within 1 year of the award.
  • Applicants may contact a potential mentor (see list below) but this is not required.
  • Mentors may be contacted to get a statement of interest in the area, to assess the lab resources to see if they are adequate, or other general questions. However, the research idea(s) in the research statement need to be substantively those of the candidate.
  • Candidates who are invited to submit a full proposal may work more closely with the mentor at that time. 

Eligible Faculty Mentors:

Alice Berger
Alison Feder               
Armita Nourmohammad 
Daniel Blanco-Melo
Erick Matsen  
Evan Newell                           
Gavin Ha 
Ivana Bozic
Jesse Bloom
John T. McCrone             
Kelley Harris
Manu Setty  
Melody Campbell                   
Nasa Sinnott-Armstrong 
Ollivier Hyrien                                   
Phil Bradley               
Rasi Subramaniam    
Robert Bradley 
Sanjay Srivatsan
Scott Furlan
Trevor Bedford
Xueqiu Lin      

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

Fred Hutch is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We ask that candidates submit a one- page statement that reflects upon their experiences and demonstrates a commitment to these issues. We are interested in learning how personal and/or professional experiences and events have shaped your perspective and what ideas you might implement as a post-doctoral fellow at Fred Hutch.   

Applicant Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

At Fred Hutch, we believe that the innovation, collaboration, and rigor that result from diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to our mission of eliminating cancer and related diseases. We seek researchers who bring new ways of seeing the world and solving problems.  

Fred Hutch is committed to ensuring that all candidates hired for post-doctoral positions share our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In order to identify candidates who share this vision, we require all candidates to submit a personal statement describing their experience and commitment to these issues.

Reviewers of applications will consider a candidate’s statement as part of a comprehensive and transparent evaluation of their qualifications.

Guidelines for Writing a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement may include:

  • Description of the candidate’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstration of candidate’s understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
  • Description of the candidate’s commitment to mentorship particularly in relation to those underrepresented in science.
  • Description of your past efforts, as well as future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Preferably, candidates will leverage examples from both their personal and professional lives. This may include how these topics are integrated into the process or fabric of your approach to scientific problems or their applicability to underserved populations.

Mentoring/Tutoring:  This includes leading or participating in mentoring, advising, teaching, or tutoring activities for underrepresented groups (URGs) including colleagues, trainees, or the broader community.

Educational Outreach:  This includes outreach efforts aimed at underrepresented students; attendance at a conference aimed at recruiting, supporting or advancing URGs; participation in panels or talks as a speaker on related issues.

Committee Service: This includes serving on committees or boards that focus on diversity, equity, and/or inclusion.

Research Activities: This includes research (articles, editorials, etc.) relevant to health disparities and/or that contributes to understanding the barriers facing URGs in higher education or that otherwise contributes to diversity and equal opportunity.

Other (e.g. recruitment/retention/teaching): These include efforts to diversify your research group or lab; other efforts to diversify your department or field.


Current Fellows

Photo of Assya Trofimov

Assya Trofimov

Project: Understanding the link between an individual's HLA haplotype and T cell receptor repertoires

To adequately protect the body from invaders, the adaptive immune system is trained to distinguish the immune self from non-self. T cell lymphocytes govern the adaptive immune system and are taught to make this distinction in the thymus during a process called positive and negative selection. A person’s T cell repertoire - is an almost unique fingerprint based on various environmental factors such as previous infections, but also genetic factors such as sex and HLA haplotype, which influence the positive and negative selection process. In my research, I hope to get more insights into how the characterization between the self and non-self is done. My project will aim to model the relationship between an individual's genetic factors and their repertoire and gain a little more understanding of the basis of immune recognition

Photo of Matthew Chan

Matthew Chan

Project: Structural and functional mechanisms of ribosome stalling

Accurate protein expression is essential for maintaining all cellular processes and is dependent on the stability of mRNA during translation. As such, the synthesis of proteins via the ribosome must be tightly regulated to prevent the accumulation of aberrant proteins. While significant progress has been made to uncover the ribosome’s role in gene regulation, protein synthesis, and antibiotic drug development, there is a lack of understanding on how the ribosome itself is regulated by the encoded peptide sequence. Furthermore, the mechanisms of ribosome-associated quality control pathways that initiate reduce factors to alleviate stalled and collided ribosomes remain elusive. My research aims to combine biophysical, computational, and genomic approaches to illuminate the structural dynamics of ribosome stalling and its implications on translation regulation. 


Previous Fellows

Past Mahan fellows brought scientific and academic perspectives from around the world. They explored a variety of biological topics, from infectious disease to genetic expression. Students have gone on to pursue careers in laboratory science, which some staying on at Fred Hutch labs.

Photo of David R. Glass

David R. Glass

Project: Comprehensive characterization of T cells from patients undergoing checkpoint blockade immunotherapy

Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy is a revolutionary cancer treatment that activates a patient’s own immune system to destroy tumor cells. While highly effective in some cases, it is not entirely clear why this treatment sometimes fails to mobilize a patient’s T cells. To identify differences between these responders and non-responders, I will apply single-cell multi-omic sequencing to comprehensively characterize T cells from cancer patients undergoing checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. This study will reveal the key features of effective immunity before and after treatment, guiding development of new immunotherapies and enabling identification of predictive biomarkers to help doctors choose the right approach for each patient

Tal Einav

Tal Einav

Project: Modeling the complex web of our polyclonal immunity

I study the n-body problem of our immune system. How does human serum, with its millions of different antibodies, protects us against pathogens? A lot of groups are examining how single antibodies fight flu or HIV, but few are investigating collective antibody action. As the field moves in this direction, it will shed light on the full repertoire our immune system unleashes against viral invaders.

Guo-Liang Chew, Ph.D.

Guo-Liang Chew, Ph.D.

Project: Understanding the disparate effects of DUX4 misexpression in muscular dystrophy and cancer

It is paradoxical how the misexpression of the same gene (DUX4) can cause disparate cellular phenotypes in two different diseases: muscle wasting in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), but uncontrolled cell proliferation in a subtype of B-cell precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (BCP-ALL). By analyzing the RNA expression in patient samples from both these diseases, Guo-Liang aims to understand the molecular basis of DUX4-induced pathology in both diseases, as well as to use the insights gained from one disease to develop therapies for the other.

Gytis Dudas, Ph.D.

Gytis Dudas, Ph.D.

Project: Sequence data analysis in emerging infectious disease outbreaks

Sequence data from emerging infectious disease epidemics are becoming a universal tool for gaining insight into how pathogens spread and how to control them efficiently. The project focused on rapidly evolving RNA viruses and how their evolution can be used to understand their patterns of transmission. The West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2013-2016 was a primary focus of the project, where the factors affecting the virus' ability to spread and proliferate within the region were determined. Simultaneously, in collaboration with Nathan Grubaugh and Kristian Andersen at Scripps, as well as researchers from University of Oxford, the project also investigated the nature of a Zika virus outbreak in Florida in 2016. The final part of the project focusing on reconstructing the epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (MERS-CoV) at the interface between its two known major hosts, humans and camels, is currently in review.

Ying Qi "Shirleen" Soh, Ph.D.

Ying Qi "Shirleen" Soh, Ph.D.

Project: Mapping host genetic barriers to zoonotic viral infection

My research focuses on how viruses such as influenza evolve to infect diverse host species. Zoonotic transmission of influenza from avian and swine hosts to humans have the potential to result in pandemics with severe public health consequences. I am working to map the evolutionary pathways by which influenza can adapt to new species, and using this map to assess adaptation and thus pandemic risk of novel influenza strains. Overall, these studies will help us understand the specifics of influenza adaptation, and more broadly, how viral evolution is shaped by host genetics.

Yapeng Su

Yapeng Su

Project: Mapping cell-state transition trajectories of therapeutic T cells during adoptive cell therapy for solid tumors

My research focuses on investigating the plasticity and heterogeneity of therapeutic T cells during adoptive cell therapy within solid tumors. I am working on using systems-level big data at bulk and single-cell resolution to map the signaling dynamics, epigenetic landscape of the therapeutic T cells within the context of the tumor microenvironment. Overall, my project will help us understand how to better engineering our T cells as a powerful weapon to treat cancer.

Contact Melissa Alvendia

Program Operations Director