The Impact of Your Support

Together, We're Advancing COVID-19 Research

We’re proud to be part of a community that leads with science.

When the new coronavirus emerged in China, Fred Hutch scientists — experts in virology, immunology, data science, and epidemiology — began tracking its spread. And when our region became the first known U.S. epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak, our researchers were the first to detect it — a discovery that mobilized corporate and civic leaders in the Seattle area to band together and act quickly to flatten the curve

Your belief in science — and your support of our work — makes all this possible. We are grateful, and we're proud to share how your generosity is helping to stop the pandemic.

Hayley Glantz working in McElrath Lab
Hayley Glantz, a research technician in Dr. Julie McElrath's lab, works with COVID-19 samples. Photo by Jake Siegel

Fueled by your support, research to understand and contain the coronavirus is happening at a scale and moving at a speed that was unimaginable just a few months ago.

Your Investment is Fueling Research

More than 60 Fred Hutch researchers have launched COVID-19 research projects, jumping at the opportunity to tackle this new challenge — and fulfill the world’s desperate need to control the pandemic. Our scientists are at the forefront of discovery: mapping the virus’s evolution as it spreads, working to understand and reduce transmissionadvancing potential treatments and vaccinesadvising policymakers on public health strategies, and more. We’re also learning how to keep cancer patients safe in the age of COVID-19.

Thanks to your generous support, we are moving at record speed to track the virus’s spread and understand its prevalence; search for antibodies that target it; lead trials of experimental treatments and vaccines; and more. You've helped fuel activities across the organization. Highlights include:

Seattle COVID-19 Cohort Study

Fred Hutch Return to Campus study

Finding Coronavirus-Targeting Antibodies


Seattle COVID-19 Cohort Study

We are deciphering the interaction between the coronavirus and the immune system. We will study at least 500 volunteers — including people at high risk for exposure to the virus, such as health care workers and first responders, as well as people who have already contracted COVID-19 — to discover which antibodies target the coronavirus and can be used as the basis of treatments and vaccines. We also seek answers to critical questions, including why the virus causes mild symptoms in some people and catastrophic lung failure in others; how the immune system reacts before symptoms develop; and whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 develop immunity. Learn more about the study (and consider joining).

Principal Investigator

Dr. Julie McElrath, senior vice president; director, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division; Joel D. Meyers Endowed Chair

Donor-Funded Pilot Awards

Your gift makes it possible to test outside-the-box ideas that are not yet ready for foundation or government funding. Donor-funded pilot awards allow scientists to generate the proof of concept they need to attract larger grants — and they are critical to jump-starting the most innovative projects. Thanks to you, the six investigators listed below have received donor-funded COVID-19 pilot awards. We hope to make five additional awards this summer.

Dr. Neelendu Dey

Assistant Professor, Clinical Research Division

Dr. Dey’s project is a “fail fast” study of whether it might be possible to target the microbiome to help patients recover more quickly or reduce the virus's chance of spreading through fecal transmission.

Dr. Jim Kublin

Principal Staff Scientist, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Dr. Kublin’s team is studying microbes in the gut and respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients to look for a correlation between patients’ microbiomes and their clinical outcomes.

Dr. Vivian Oehler

Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division

Dr. Oehler is testing a broad panel of FDA-approved cancer drugs against COVID-19 to find treatments that could be effective in early-stage infection.

Dr. Julie Overbaugh

Professor, Human Biology and Public Health Sciences division; Endowed Chair for Graduate Education

Dr. Overbaugh’s team is mining a cell’s own innate defenses to determine how the COVID-19 virus overcomes these barriers, and how to bolster them.

Dr. Barry Stoddard

Professor, Basic Sciences Division

Dr. Stoddard is testing whether a unique “three-peat” protein design can stimulate a more robust immune response to coronavirus than current methods being used to develop a vaccine.   

Dr. Alpana Waghmere

Associate, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Using a simple and safe home blood collection method, Dr. Waghmare will obtain samples from patients with suspected COVID-19 to hunt for molecular signatures that correlate with disease severity.

Up next

COVID-19 Clinical Research Center at Fred Hutch

Our donors are helping transform a building on our campus into a unique clinical research hub for COVID-19 studies, including trials of promising experimental therapies and vaccines. Much like our Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic (the first-ever facility devoted to clinical trials of immune-based therapies for patients with cancer), this will be a unique space for researchers to conduct trials and for volunteers to enroll in studies of cutting-edge treatments. The building, which is being reconfigured to maximize safety for patients and researchers, will open in August 2020.

Project Leader: Dr. Larry Corey, Fred Hutch president and director emeritus; professor, Vaccine and Infectious Disease, Clinical Research, and Public Health Sciences divisions.

$6.8 M

Raised to Date
Thank you for your generous support!


More than half are new donors.

$10 M

Summer 2020 Goal
To support COVID-19 research.

Support From Across the Community — and Beyond

Our supporters — individuals and organizations around the country — share our belief that science will lead us out of the current crisis and prevent the next one. We are grateful to longtime donors to our cancer research, who recognize the urgency of coronavirus research and have responded generously. We’re equally heartened that just over half of the gifts we’ve received come from new supporters who want to make a difference by fueling scientific discovery. Here’s a snapshot of support for our COVID-19 research (please check back for updates!):

Donor Map
Dashboard provided by Tableau

Longtime Supporters
The Bezos Family and other longtime supporters have come forward in extraordinary ways to fuel our COVID-19 research. For example, Seattle philanthropists Gwenn and Dean Polik donated $100,000 through their family foundation — their largest-ever gift to the Hutch. And Beth McCaw and Yahn Bernier provided a $500,000 match for donations made on #GivingTuesdayNow/GiveBIG, inspiring thousands of others to give.

Grassroots Supporters
Gifts of every size matter. Nearly two-thirds of the gifts for our COVID-19 research have been under $100 — these add up to nearly $20,000. More than 1,200 people gave to the Hutch through the #GivingTuesdayNow/GiveBIG campaigns on May 5 and 6, donating more than $809,000 — that’s in addition to the generous match mentioned above. Our wonderful supporters have also donated thousands of homemade face masks, gallons of hand sanitizer, and other valuable in-kind contributions. 

Corporate Partners 
We’re very grateful to businesses and corporations that, while managing their own responses to the pandemic, have contributed to our research. A $500,000 gift from Bank of America is accelerating our efforts to probe the immune response to COVID-19, and it enabled our clinical care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), to invest in PPE and specialized safety equipment. JPMorgan Chase donated $45,000 to our COVID-19 research, along with $30,000 for our general operations. Through its #givetogether initiative, Microsoft matched its employees’ donations in April and May, doubling the impact of their support for COVID-19 relief efforts. Amazon is sponsoring CovidWatch, a study led by Dr. Michael Boeckh, head of our Infectious Disease Sciences Program. And Safeway has been donating 2,500 snacks each week to nourish healthcare providers and other essential staff members at SCCA.

Foundation Support
A $350,000 gift from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust helped launch two COVID-19 research projects: one that seeks to massively increase capacity and speed of testing for the coronavirus and one that aims to discover neutralizing antibodies that can stop the virus in its tracks. A generous $100,000 gift from the Vadon Foundation is supporting research into COVID-19 health inequities and the pandemic's disproportionate effect on communities of color. And a $50,000 grant from Emergent Ventures, through its COVID-19 Fast Grants initiative, is funding a vaccine project. 

Innovators Network Challenge
The governing council of Innovators Network, our giving club for young professionals, challenged members to raise $100,000 for COVID-19 research by the end of June. In late May, they were more than halfway to their goal!

This year, our premier fundraising event has been reimagined as a season of sweat, fun, and community — all from a safe distance. Half of the funds Obliteride raises in 2020 will support work to halt COVID-19, and half will continue to fuel our goal of curing cancer faster. Learn more and register for Obliteride today!

Creative Community Response

We’ve been amazed and impressed by the inventive ways people are using their unique skills and interests to work fuel COVID-19 research — all while sheltering at home. Here are a few examples:

Coaches vs Covid

Coaches vs. COVID

Tanner Swanson, a catching coach for the New York Yankees, supports Fred Hutch in memory of his sister, who died of breast cancer in 2018. When COVID-19 started to spread, he hit on a way to keep the coaching community connected while supporting our coronavirus research. Through Coaches vs. COVID, Tanner and fellow MLB coaches hosted virtual skills clinics for fellow baseball coaches at all levels. The cost? A donation to Fred Hutch. Coaches vs. COVID launched March 31 and blew past its $25,000 goal in early May.

Donate Today

Gaming for Good

When she was just 15, Avori lost a close friend to cancer. Now, she uses her platform as a top-ranked professional video gamer to raise awareness and funds for research at the Hutch. In April, she and her eSports teammate, D_Rich, livestreamed a marathon session of the video game Call of Duty on Facebook Gaming to raise funds for our COVID-19 research. In 12 hours, the duo and their community of fans raised $4,600.

Learn More

Support COVID-19 Research

Fred Hutch COVID-19 Research in the News

All COVID-19 Media Coverage

From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fred Hutch scientists have been sharing their expertise through interviews and conversations with reporters and media outlets including the New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, the Seattle TimesNPR and others. See a list of some of the significant coverage.