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.
Dr. David Fredricks works closely with Dr. Galloway to direct the PAM IRC. He is an Attending Physician on the Fred Hutch Infectious Disease Consulting Service and his lab studies how microbes impact disease, including in immunocompromised cancer patients. He also leads the Microbiome Research Initiative, a cross-disciplinary effort to better understand the effects of microbial communities on human health.
As head of the Fred Hutch Global Oncology Program, Dr. Hootie Warren links PAM IRC research interests with ongoing work in areas of the world most impacted by pathogen-associated malignancies. He balances clinical care of patients with blood cancers with cancer immunology research. A major focus of his research is Burkitt lymphoma, a common B-cell cancer in sub-Saharan Africa that is caused by the Epstein–Barr virus.
Dr. Paul Nghiem brings clinical and translational expertise to the PAM IRC. He is a world expert in the study and treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma, an aggressive, rare skin cancer that is linked to Merkel cell polyomavirus in 80 percent of cases.
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.