The Impact of Your Support

Thank You for Supporting Fearless Science

When the pandemic turned our world upside down, you didn't retreat — you took action.

By donating to COVID-19 research at Fred Hutch, you became part of an extraordinary scientific sprint to understand and overcome the novel coronavirus. Whether you gave $20 or $20,000 — or more — you empowered our scientists to quickly turn to face the crisis, using expertise built, in part, through decades of philanthropic support for basic science and infectious disease research.

We are grateful to you for your belief in fearless science, your instinct to act, and your generous support. And we’re proud to share highlights of progress your generous support has made possible.

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

Philanthropy makes it possible for science to move at the speed of the pandemic.

Donors Fuel Research


Philanthropic donors jump-started our COVID-19 research before large funding agencies were able to mobilize. And you’ve enabled us to maintain our momentum every step of the way. Our researchers have played a pivotal role in the international scientific response to the pandemic, thanks to you. 

Your support for COVID-19 research has allowed our scientists to formidable challenges at record speed. Highlights include:

Treatments

Long-Term Effects

Tracking/Prediction

Vaccines

Treatments

Early in the pandemic, we recognized an urgent need for easy-to-administer therapies to reduce the severity and duration of COVID-19 infection. Thanks to philanthropic donations and public-private partnerships, in October 2020 we opened the Fred Hutch COVID-19 Clinical Research Center (CCRC), a unique stand-alone center to advance the science of treating the virus and its vast array of symptoms. In its first year, the center was a clinical site for eight trials of monoclonal antibodies and antiviral therapies, including a fully remote, donor-funded study that enrolled volunteers across the U.S. and Canada. The CCRC was also a clinical trial site for molnupiravir, an antiviral pill that could become a game-changer for ending the pandemic. Upcoming CCRC studies will focus on preventing infection in immunocompromised people and reducing long-term COVID symptoms. CCRC staff members partner closely with local public health officials, clinics, and community groups ensure equitable and fair access to trials for those who want to participate. The center provides free transportation for participants, when necessary, and offers supportive care for every person enrolled in a trial. In the past year, the CCRC has contacted more than 10,000 potential study participants, screened more than 500, and enrolled more than 260 in trials. The team referred more than 1,000 people to observational studies at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington. Volunteer for a study.

Research in our labs could also lead to new treatments. Your support enabled Drs. Leo Stamatatos, Andy McGuire, and Marie Pancera to mine powerful neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients, including one, dubbed CV30, that is 530 times more potent than any others. Our researchers are mapping the structure of this antibody with the goal of delivering therapies that protect against the current coronavirus and others that could follow. 

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 investigators listed below have received donor-funded COVID-19 pilot awards. 

Dr. Jim Boonyaratanakornkit

Research Associate, Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division

Dr. Boonyaratanakornkit in the Taylor Lab is investigating how cells that have previously produced antibodies in response to common cold-causing coronaviruses influence infection by the pandemic-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus. His goal is to design 2-for-1 strategies that can protect people from both types of coronaviruses.

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. Taran Gujral

Assistant Professor, Human Biology Division

Dr. Gujral is employing new machine-learning methods to learn how the coronavirus causes immune cells to trigger “cytokine storms,” the cause of respiratory failure in severe cases in COVID-19, and to pinpoint potential treatments.

Dr. Linda Ko

Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences Division

Dr. Ko is leveraging her long-standing research partnerships with community-based organizations to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to deliver lifeline services to older adults in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. This project, which aims to inform strategies to improve health equity, is funded by the Vadon Foundation.

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 exploring cells’ innate defenses to learn how the coronavirus overcomes these barriers, and to find ways to bolster them.

Dr. Parth Shah

Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences Division

Pharmacies play a critical role in patients’ health, especially in rural and low-income areas. Dr. Shah’s team is evaluating a new, pharmacy-based COVID-19 testing program in Washington, with a goal of increasing this vital health service in communities hit hard by the virus.   

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 Waghmare

Associate, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

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

Spotlight

Science Builds on Science

Decades of philanthropic support for basic science and infectious disease research put Fred Hutch in a unique position us to quickly address the pandemic.

The National Institutes of Health chose Fred Hutch to coordinate vaccine trials for the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) because we were ready: We’ve been recruiting experts, pioneering new vaccine strategies, building trust in the community, and running complex trials for more than two decades through our HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), the world’s largest international collaboration to develop vaccines that protect against HIV.

436

Journal Articles and Preprints
Pubished by our researchers

80,000

People
Vaccinated against COVID-19 at Fred Hutch/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

$10M+

Raised to Date
Your generous support is fueling vital research

Support From Across the Community — and Beyond

Our supporters — individuals and organizations around the country — are investing in science that will lead us out of the current crisis and help us prepare for 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 nearly half the gifts we’ve received come from new supporters who chose to fuel scientific discovery by supporting Fred Hutch. Here’s a snapshot of support for our COVID-19 research (please check back for updates):

Donor Map
Dashboard provided by Tableau

Longtime Supporters
Many of our longtime supporters have come forward in extraordinary ways to fuel our COVID-19 research. For example, the Bezos family sponsored our Return to Campus Study, which has  helped to keep our campus COVID-free. Seattle philanthropists Gwenn and Dean Polik donated $100,000 through their family foundation — their largest-ever gift to the Hutch. Beth McCaw and Yahn Bernier provided a $500,000 match for donations made on #GivingTuesdayNow/GiveBIG, inspiring thousands of others to give. Will and Cassandra Arora invested $25,000 in retrofitting our new COVID-19 Clinical Research Center because, as Will said, “This is a unique time, and we want to be part of the solution.”

Grassroots Supporters
Gifts of every size matter. Nearly 60% of gifts we have received for COVID-19 research are under $100. Together, these gifts add up to nearly $25,000. More than 1,200 people gave a total of $809,000 through the #GivingTuesdayNow/GiveBIG campaigns last spring (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 — and one family donated $1,000 that they had planned to spend on a Disney World vacation.

Corporate Partners 
We’re 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 accelerated our efforts to probe the immune response to COVID-19 and 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 AWS donated nearly $100,000 in cloud credits for data-intensive COVID-19 research. UMC donated $15,000, Baird Foundation gave $5,000, and longtime corporate partners Lease Crutcher Lewis and Prime Electric also contributed to our COVID-19 Research Fund.

Foundation Support
A $350,000 gift from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust helped launch two COVID-19 research projects: one to increase capacity and speed of testing for the coronavirus, and one 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. The Anderson Foundation invested $100,000 in our COVID-19 research, 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 — and they exceeded their goal! 

Obliteride
We reimagined Obliteride 2020 as a season of sweat, fun, and community — all from a safe distance. And our incredible community delivered. Participants joined from all 50 states and all seven continents — and raised $3.1 million for COVID-19 and cancer research. We are grateful to the participants, donors, teams, sponsors, corporate partners, and other friends who made this an Obliteride to remember. And we are particularly grateful for the support of GLY Construction: In addition to being an Obliteride Cheer Squad sponsor, GLY made a generous donation that allowed SCCA to purchase 3,000 N95 masks for its providers.

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 Twitter live Zoom meeting.

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.

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Bingothon – Gaming For Charity

BINGOTHON

While the pandemic hasn’t disrupted the charity gaming stream Bingothon’s semi-annual marathon events (which have always been virtual), it did inspire its organizers to support COVID-19 research with this year’s proceeds. They chose Fred Hutch as the recipient of their funds because we are home to Dr. Trevor Bedford, co-founder of Nextstrain, an open-source tool that enables scientists around the world to share genetic data about the virus in real time. Bingothon’s May marathon raised more than $2,000 for our COVID-19 Research Fund — and proceeds from its winter event will also benefit Fred Hutch.

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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.