Center for Metastasis Research eXcellence (MET-X)

Addressing Previously Unanswered Questions About Solid Tumor Metastases

The Center for Metastatic Research eXcellence (MET-X) is building a team and creating a culture where world-class scientists across a spectrum of expertise and interests solve fundamental mysteries underlying cancer metastasis, one of the most challenging areas of cancer biology.

The Center for Metastasis Research eXcellence (MET-X) is an interdisciplinary and collaborative program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center focused on one of the most challenging areas of cancer biology: metastasis, or the spread, colonization and deadly growth of tumor cells in distant sites. Metasasis is the underlying cause of most solid tumor cancer deaths.

MET-X will emphasize detecting and preventing metastasis in patients with solid tumor of all kinds as well as treating and ultimately curing metastasis. Stage IV, or metastatic disease, is currently treatable but not curable. Patients can sometimes live for years — sometimes even decades — with therapy. Others die within a few months. We believe uncovering the fundamental principles of metastasis will form the bedrock of curative therapies that either differentiate metastases, or render them susceptible to immunosurveillance.

Our Mission

To create a culture where world-class scientists across a spectrum of expertise and interests contribute to an understanding of the fundamental principles of metastasis with the ultimate goal of eliminating the lethality associated with cancer metastasis. 

Our hallmark is a high-risk culture that embraces intellectually and financially bold, multidisciplinary efforts to address questions that have never been addressed before. 

Our Approach

MET-X brings together a small but growing and highly impactful team of metastasis researchers and the broader scientific talent already assembled here at Fred Hutch to develop a cancer program focused purely on:

  1. Preventing metastatic disease
  2. Developing effective and tailored therapies for patients with metastatic cancer.

Our Objectives

  1. Discover and exploit biologic, metabolic and immunologic vulnerabilities of disseminated tumor cells in order to prevent their evolution into lethal metastases.
  2. Uncover novel tissue-specific and/or systemic vulnerabilities of metastases, and develop curative paradigms based on these discoveries. 
  3. Design and conduct innovative clinical trials with novel endpoints including induction of specific DTC states and/or elimination of site-specific metastases. 

Shifting the Way We Conduct Research

Our task is to understand this evolution at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal scale and identify fundamental laws that allow disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) to:

  1. Overcome pre-existing tissue architecture that reinforces the homeostatic state
  2. Thrive on foreign metabolites
  3. Evade surveillance by innate and adaptive immune cells along the way

Ideally, we will discover ways to reverse this process, even (especially) when a metastasis is fully established. Successful execution of this task requires a shift in the way we conduct research. Expertise in any one area alone is insufficient. 

Become a Part of MET-X

Our focus is fundamental discoveries that have potential to effect decades long improvement in patient survival.

To achieve our objectives we work in close collaboration and full integration of basic/cell biologists, immunologists, precision oncologists, technologists, population scientists, pathologists, surgical oncologists, clinical trialists and cancer patient advocates. We are looking for innovative minds who are unafraid to tackle one of the most challenging topics in cancer research.

Recruiting for key positions is critical, join our team.  

Positions Available

We are recruiting experts across faculty levels (assistant, associate and full) in the following areas:

Basic Scientist

A wet lab-based scientist and biological theorist who explores fundamental properties of metastasis. The ideal candidate would build a research program seeking to resolve biological states achieved only by metastasis initiating cells, and/or build tools to determine how metastatic niches evolve on an organismal level.  

Job Posting

Clinical Trialist

A nationally recognized expert to catalyze a program focused principally on innovative trials in the metastatic setting. 

Pending Job Posting

Computational Biologist

We are at a very specific time when pioneering discoveries in spatial genomics and transcriptomics are being made by individual PIs. A scientist, intent on elaborating interactions of rare cells with their microenvironments, including those between disseminated tumor cells and their niches, will be a key addition to MET-X and to the Hutch. 

Pending Job Posting

Molecular Pathologist

This individual would be fully integrated with the clinical trialist and the computational biologist to discover and validate fundamental features of metastases driving therapeutic and immunotherapeutic resistance. Ideally this individual would have interest in participating in a rapid autopsy program, and would have a track record and continued interest in applying high-dimensional approaches to better understand tumor microenvironments. 

Pending Job Posting

Precision Oncologist

A scientist who studies evolution of cancer over the course of metastatic progression and with the expertise to apply advanced statistical approaches to identify patient populations at risk of immediate and/or delayed recurrence. In short, an emerging leader in a crowded and competitive field. This individual would be expected to shape clinical trial designs and enrollment criteria. 

Pending Job Posting

Meet the MET-X Leadership

Support Metastatic Cancer Research

Gifts of all sizes will help to create an environment in which each discovery – from across scientific disciplines – brings us closer to understanding and overcoming metastatic cancers.

Contact Us

Eirin Krane

Research Administration Manager, Translational Research Program