Pathogen-Associated Malignancies IRC

Exploring the Links Between Infection and Cancer    

Each year, 14 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer, and up to 20 percent of those cancers are caused, directly or indirectly, by viruses and other pathogens.

At Fred Hutch, our goal is to lead the way in eliminating that burden — and to advance cures for all cancers — through our Pathogen-Associated Malignancies Integrated Research Center. Our program will spur real advances in our understanding across a wide spectrum of pathogen-associated cancers as well as improve treatment and prevention efforts against them.

Our scientists draw on more than 40 years of translational experience through bone-marrow transplantation research, the conduct of large-scale studies and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, a major vaccine research consortium. 

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Wide Range of Expertise

The PAM IRC brings together Hutch experts in host–pathogen interactions, cancer biology, epidemiology, immunology, global oncology, immunotherapy, translational data science, and certain infectious diseases, to better understand, treat and prevent the cancers linked to infectious agents. The PAM IRC’s collaborative approach is evident in the scope of our research.

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Improving Patient Care

Worldwide Fred Hutch researchers excel at understanding the biology of pathogen-related cancers, identifying the immune system’s interaction with both pathogens and cancers, and leveraging that knowledge to develop and test innovative strategies that improve care for patients worldwide.


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Denise Galloway, PhD

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David Fredricks, MD

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Hootie Warren, MD, PhD

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Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD

Denise Galloway, PhD

Scientific Director

Dr. Denise Galloway oversees the PAM IRC’s vision and direction. She studies two cancer-causing viruses: The human papillomavirus, linked to all cervical cancers and a growing number of oropharyngeal and head and neck cancers, and Merkel cell polyomavirus, which causes 80 percent of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive skin cancer. Her work helped pave the way for the cancer-preventive HPV vaccine and led to a simple blood test to detect MCC recurrence.    

Jump-Starting Innovation

The PAM IRC Innovation Awards support novel studies exploring the link between microbes and cancer. These have included projects exploring the microbiome’s role in promoting colorectal cancer and how the interplay between Helicobacter pylori infection and the immune response may influence stomach cancer development. PAM IRC Innovation Award winners are also working to develop an immunotherapy for cancers caused by Epstein-Barr virus and comparing the immune response elicited by natural HPV infection to that triggered by the HPV vaccine. 

Career Opportunities Through the PAM IRC

Contact the Pathogen-Associated Malignancies Integraated Research Center (PAM-IRC)

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