SEATTLE —  March 2, 2021 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news with links for additional background and media contacts.

March is Women’s History month. We’d like to honor Dottie Thomas, known as the “mother of bone marrow transplantation.” She spent years working as a research partner alongside her husband, Nobel Prize-winning Dr. E. Donnall Thomas. Read more about Dottie’s legacy at Fred Hutch here.

And save the date for our monthly public science event, Science Says Tuesday, March 23. We'll be talking with Hutch scientists about how they're supercharging cancer research with new tools and approaches. Please RSVP HERE by Monday, March 22. We will then provide instructions for how to join the conversation by computer, tablet, or phone.

New study highlights lack of diversity and inclusion in vaccine clinical trials A team of scientific experts, including Fred Hutch’s Drs. Steve Pergam and Michele Andrasik, are advocating for increased diversity in vaccine trials after publishing a new JAMA Network Open report that highlights a decade’s worth of disparities. Read a news release on the findings, and a related feature story on Andrasik’s community engagement efforts related to HIV and COVID-19 vaccine trials.

There’s no crystal ball for modeling the pandemic Fred Hutch mathematical modelers explain the challenges and limitations of their work to predict COVID-19 outcomes. From social media, to published work, these researchers talk about what they’ve learned along the way. Dr. Laura Matrajt d how one tweet helped bring awareness to the pandemic. Work by other Fred Hutch experts who have contributed to modeling COVID-19 —  Drs. Joshua Schiffer, Elizabeth Halloran and Ruth Etzioni —  is also featured.

Biostatisticians draft blueprints for COVID-19 vax trials For years, a group of biostatisticians including Drs. Peter Gilbert and Holly Janes have served at the Fred Hutch-based HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN, on the unfinished quest to find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. When COVID-19 hit, they pivoted and became architects of clinical trials for vaccines designed to stop the spread of the disease.

Fred Hutch statement regarding the FDA approval of CD19 immunotherapy, lisocabtagene maraleucel Fred Hutch’s statement by Dr. David Maloney on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the chimeric antigen receptor immunotherapy, Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel or liso-cel), for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma after at least two prior therapies.

What's next for T-cell therapies: Q&A with Dr. Stanley Riddell Dr. Stanley Riddell, an immunologist at Fred Hutch, carried out early CAR T-cell research that contributed to the development of this “living drug,” made by genetically engineering the patient’s own immune cells to target malignant blood cells. Media contact: Molly McElroy, [email protected]

New bacterium named in honor of Fred Hutch Researchers at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, with colleagues in Pittsburgh and Boston, named the bacterium Megasphaera hutchinsoni in recognition of the Hutch’s long standing expertise in HIV research and in honor of the place where researchers first isolated it. The bacterium can be found in some women with bacterial vaginosis and it is known to boost the risk of contracting HIV.

Fundamental proteins that guide embryo development are co-opted by cancer Fred Hutch scientists led by Dr. Harmit Malik identified a new protein that unexpectedly plays a role in this age-old tension. Unexpectedly, these insights into a fundamental biological process may also one day lead to new cancer treatments.

Fred Hutch announces 2021 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Award recipients Thirteen graduate students in biological sciences from across the U.S. and internationally will receive the prestigious award, bestowed by Fred Hutch’s Basic Sciences Division for the past 22 years. Read about one of the recipients, Emma Wrenn, who is a graduate student at Fred Hutch studying cancer metastasis.

A year into the pandemic, we take a look at milestones and progress in understanding COVID-19:

Womens Health Initiative receives $72M extension grant to continue research

Hutch research helps launch new genomic medicine company

Dedicated supporters at the Heart of the Hutch

Working from home and showing the Heart of the Hutch


# # #

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.