Translational Research Program

The overarching goals of the Translational Research Program are to discover and translate molecular and epidemiological findings. To achieve our goals we conduct research in the laboratory and in the clinic. Our laboratory research is aimed at advancing our understanding of the biological basis for various exposure-disease relationships. Our clinical efforts are focused For improved risk assessment, early disease detection, prognostication, treatment decision making and survivorship.

We strive to help the implementation of personalized medicine or the tailoring of specialized and individualized treatment to the specific characteristics of the disease. In practice, this means using molecular profiles of tissue or blood samples to accurately predict a person's susceptibility of developing disease, the presence of disease, disease prognosis and its response to different treatments.

Cancer Early Detection

Our researchers discover and validate novel early-detection biomarkers for multiple cancers including breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers

Risk Assessment and Exposure Assessment

Current efforts include the discovery and validation of transcriptomic and genomic predictors of cancer progression and survival, as well as the effects of diet and lifestyle on biomarkers of cancer susceptibility.

Tumor Biology

Faculty use multiple approaches to explore cancer pathogenesis and progression, including the use of mouse models, cell cultures, and mitochondrial DNA.


Cancer Metastasis and Tumor Microenvironment

Several faculty members are focused on advancing our understanding of cancer metastasis and tumor dormancy through in vitro, in vivo and human studies.

Technology Development

Several novel technologies have been developed by program faculty to advance translational cancer research, including the development of bead-based ELISA assays; the Random Mutation Capture (RMC) assay; high density antibody arrays for high throughput proteomic, glycomic and autoantibody biomarker discovery; technology for interrogating the metabolome; and high-throughput sequencing approaches to characterize the gut microbial community.

Research Labs

Bielas Lab

Using a methodological approach, researchers study the implications of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA mutations in the development of cancer and age-related disease.

Bielas lab site

Cheung Lab

The Cheung lab explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which tumor cells invade, circulate and metastasize as clusters of cells.

Cheung lab site

Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments (LSM2)

Cyrus Ghajar directs the LSM2, exploring how microenvironments of distant tissues regulate quiescence, therapeutic resistance, immune evasion and re-emergence of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs). Their goal is to develop treatments that eradicate DTCs before they progress to metastases.

LSM2 site

Paul Lampe Lab

The Lampe Lab investigates the control of cell growth both at the biological/mechanistic level and through cancer biomarker discovery. Researchers study the cell biology connecting gap junctions and intercellular communication (GJIC) with the control of cell growth, the cell cycle and how the relationship is disrupted during carcinogenesis.

Lampe lab site

Kensler Lab

The Kensler Lab studies adaptive responses to endogenous and exogenous stress as targets for cancer prevention. Researchers translate small molecule activators of the pathway, probe pathways alone and with other signaling networks, and conduct clinical trials of NRF2 inducers in populations exposed to high levels of environmental carcinogens.

Kensler lab site

Li Group

The Li Group uses multidisciplinary approaches to study the etiology and outcomes of breast and colorectal cancers. Current projects identify novel biomarkers for early detection, evaluate risk factors, identify predictors of poor outcomes, and assess racial/ethnic disparities in stage, treatment and survival.

Li Group site

M. Robyn Andersen, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Andersen’s work explores issues associated with the effects of interactions with health care services on quality of life and use of additional care including complementary and alternative medicine. She has done research on screening and surgery use by women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, as well as cancer survivorship.

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Charles Dresher, M.D.

Dr. Dresher conducts research in the areas of gynecological oncology and ovarian cancer.

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Martin McIntosh, Ph.D.

Dr. McIntosh uses DNA and RNA sequencing techniques to identify mutated proteins that can be used to construct anti-cancer vaccines.

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Contact Us

Mailing Address

Translational Research Program
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N.
Mail Stop M5-A864
PO Box 19024
Seattle, WA 98109-1024

Leadership and Administration

Paul Lampe, Ph.D.

Program Head

Jaime Hicks

Program Operations Director