New Year, New Look! The Cancer Consortium is pleased to unveil a new look to go with the new year! Check out our recently updated website, which includes new content in addition to a refreshed look.
The Consortium will also be transitioning to new branding and logos that better reflect the recent merger. For copies of the Consortium's new logos and style elements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pilot Funds Available
Cancer Consortium funding is available to support cancer-related pilot projects. This competition will provide awards of up $100,000 in direct costs with F&A at the appropriate institutional rate. Applications will be submitted online using InfoReady.
Cancer Consortium members (with some restrictions) are eligible to apply.
Applications are due Monday, Feb. 27th at 5pm Pacific.
For more information, including instructions on how to apply, please review the RFA on the "Funding Opportunities" page of the Consortium website.
Consortium Researchers Receive Breast Cancer Grants Six Consortium members have recently been awarded grants from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Drs. Nancy Davidson (FH), Chris Li (FH), Anne McTiernan (FH), Hannah Linden (FH), Nora Disis (UW), and Mary-Clarie King (UW) have been awarded funding to support research around breast cancer-related topics. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding scientists!
Consortium/BBI Researchers Named to List of Highly Cited Researchers Seven Consortium members, who are also members of the Brotman Baty Institute, have been named to a global list of highly cited researchers.
Drs. David Baker (UW), Michael Boeckh (FH), Evan E. Eichler (UW), Janet Englund (SC), Peter Nelson (FH), Jay Shendure (UW), and Cole Trapnell (UW) were included on the roster. The list, which is published by Clarivate, recognizes individuals who have had exceptional performance and influence in their fields of research.
February 27-28, 2023: 2023 UW Medical Data Science Symposium The UW Medical Data Science Symposium will bring together those studying artificial intelligence and data science in medicine and digital health for a day and a half of presentations from local and national leaders.
For more information or registration instructions, click here.
April 5, 2023, 2:00-3:00pm: PAM Seminar featuring Daniel J. Slade Daniel Slade, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech.
The seminar will be held in Pelton Auditorium on the Fred Hutch campus, and will also be streamed via Zoom.
May 9, 2023: Joint Retreat for the Cancer Consortium PAM Program and the PAM Integrated Research Center.
The retreat will be held on the Fred Hutch Campus. Additional details forthcoming.
May 19, 2023: Dr. Eli Estey Symposium
AML pathologists and therapy: a scientific symposium in honor of Dr. Eli Estey at Fred Hutch Cancer Center. Featured Presenters:
Jorge Cortes, MD (Georgia Cancer Center)
John DiPersio, MD, PhD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Sergei Doulatov, PhD (University of Washington)
Benjamin Ebert, MD, PhD (Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University)
Christopher Hourigan, DM, DPhil. (NHLBI, National Institutes of Health)
Mary-Beth Percival, MD (University of Washington & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center)
David Scadden, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University)
The OCOE is excited to welcome Liz Nelson! Liz is the Community Health Education Manager with the Office of Community Outreach & Engagement. Liz grew up in Western WA and received her BA in International Studies and Global Health at the University of Washington, with a focus on refugee and immigrant experiences in healthcare. Her work in community health and engagement includes managing a community outreach program to support recently arrived refugees, asylees, and other immigrants to the U.S and working as a health educator. Liz is committed to supporting and building teams that center cultural humility, trauma informed care, and community based participatory research principles. In her spare time, Liz bikes in the rain and cares for two elderly rescue dogs.
Please Save the Date!
The 2023 Pathways to Equity Symposium will be held on Monday, May 1, 2023. More details will be forthcoming as the agenda takes shape!
Listen to the OCOE's Podcast
The OCOE podcast, “Cancer Health Equity NOW,” is in for Season 3! Click here to catch up on recent episodes and listen to past ones.
Population Sciences CTMS Procedures Flowchart In 2018, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and the University of Washington went live with the enterprise Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS). This CTMS serves as a single, centralized, web-based enterprise resource to support cancer relevant human subject research studies conducted within or across the three institutions. This National Cancer Institute (NCI) mandated system serves to (1) Strengthen research study reporting, (2) Improve study subject management and (3) Improve implementation and timelines of research. We continue to work in partnership with the CTMS and Clinical Research Support (CRS) teams to improve implementation and timelines of research, study subject management and strengthen research study reporting.
We have created a Population Sciences CTMS Procedures Flowchart detailing the workflow for all human subject interventional and non-interventional studies that are required to be submitted through CTMS (OnCore). This customized flowchart outlines the steps for study-startup, reviews, monitoring and maintenance. The document also includes links to various CTMS resources. The goal is to provide clarity of the process and requirements prior to IRB submission.
CRS is excited to announce the launch of the Florence eConsent platform which is open and available to all teams working within the Florence eBinder System. This platform will allow for teams to utilize a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant eConsent system for patients.
Those teams interested in pursuing eConsent for their trials can reach out to eRegSupport@fredhutch.org for further information.
JAX Mouse Strains Available from Comparative Medicine's Translational Research Modeling Services
The Comparative Medicine (CM) Translational Research Modeling Services (TRMS) group maintains breeding colonies of common JAX strains that are used in xenograft, transplant and immunotherapy studies. We are able to supply these strains to Hutch researchers at a reduced cost, compared to purchases directly from the vendor. (Mice are also available for Consortium members; please contact email@example.com for Consortium rates.) This discount tends to be more significant for the strains in higher demand (Nod Scid Gamma, NSG and Nod Rag Gamma, NRG, approximately half of the vendor cost) because we maintain larger colonies of these strains. The in-house colonies' breeding stocks are periodically replenished from JAX in order to avoid genetic drift. Typically, a sub-strain is considered to have developed after ten generations, but we restock breeders after four generations to avoid this.
Click here for a complete list of NSG variants available from JAX. Although we only provide 5 of these strains at this time, if there is substantial interest in adding a new strain, TRMS may be open to maintaining lines that will be used regularly. Please contact Dr. Cassie Miller for inquiries.
Mice are available in-house on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please click on the links for each strain below to see availability, and click here to order: TRMS Mouse Order Form
We adjust the size of our colony at regular intervals, based on recent demand. In keeping with animal research 3 Rs (Replacement, Refinement, Reduction) efforts we want to avoid having excess mice, so we encourage you to order both sexes (unless inappropriate, as with breast and prostate models). When we have excessive stock numbers of one sex, we tend to decrease colony size to meet the previous demand at a 50:50 sex ratio. While we aim to have mice readily available, notice of a planned significant increase or decrease in usage is always appreciated so that we can adjust our replacement breeder plans accordingly.
Mice are also available with a digital microchip pre-implanted (at no additional charge for mice purchased from TRMS). Please indicate in your order request if you would like this service. CM can provide your housing room with a reader and provide guidance on reading tags, which requires an iPad with Excel or a smartphone with an RFID app installed to receive Bluetooth information from the scanner.
NSG (JAX strain 005557), available for $63.66 each. These mice are triple immunodeficient by lack of B, T and NK cell functions. These were the initial standard strain for patient-derived xenograft work and also engraft human stem cells.
NRG (JAX strain 007799), available for $63.66 each. These mice are triple immunodeficient, like the NSG, but the scid mutation is replaced with knockout of the Rag1 gene. Like NSG mice, they are B cell- and T cell-deficient, and have reduced NK cell function. Because these mice retain the Prkdc gene for DNA repair, they tend to be more radioresistant and are often selected for studies using radiolabeled or genotoxic drugs.
NSG-SGM3 (JAX strain 013062), available for $113.30 each [BPDE1]. These are identical to NSG mice but with three human transgenes added in – they express human IL3, GM-CSF, and kit ligand. These cytokines support myeloid and T-reg engraftments, increasing engraftment efficiency over the NSG strain.
NBSGW (JAX strain 026622), available for $103.00 each [BPDE2]. These are NSG mice with an additional c-kit mutation that impairs endogenous hematopoietic stem cells, allowing engraftment of human cells without irradiation conditioning.
NSG-DKO (JAX strain 025216), available for $113.30 each [BPDE3]. These mice are NSG mice plus knockout mutations for both mouse MHC class I and MHC class II, significantly reducing onset and severity of graft-versus-host disease from engrafted cells.
Comparative Medicine – Communication about your Animal Work
We'd like to remind everyone regarding some considerations on communicating about animal work, when seeking funding and when publishing your data. Below are some good resources to keep in mind.
Grant applications. There are several points specific to our facility that funding agencies want to know. Mainly, you should specify that we are in compliance with the appropriate regulatory agencies and you have IACUC approval for your animal work. You can find some basic information on the facility operations and management for our animal care program here on CenterNet! (*Note that accessing CenterNet requires Fred Hutch login credentials.) Additionally, this CenterNet page includes proper terminology for how to credit institutional funding like the CCSG grant, which should be included in publications on experiments for which you used services of a Fred Hutch Shared Resource. If you need additional information on animal techniques or veterinary care for your funding proposals, please reach out to one of the CM veterinarians.
Publishing results. Those who are opposed to animal research often cite poor reproducibility as one of the problems with animal studies. In a sense, they have a point, as we are sometimes comparing apples to oranges! The ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In vivo Experiments) guidelines were developed by an international working group to address this problem and to set some standards as to what type of information is reported in methods. Unfortunately, not all journals are consistent in which animal work details they request, and these are too often left out. ARRIVE guidelines include 10 essential aspects of study design that should be included. CM asks that you strive to adhere to these criteria when publishing – even if your reviewers aren't asking for it, please do it for lab animal vets! From a veterinary perspective, two critical (and often omitted) examples are endpoint criteria (part of outcome measures) and analgesics (part of experimental procedures). We often read publications (on PubMed, but not from you guys!) that don't clearly provide this information, which can make it impossible to compare data across published studies.
Lastly, although more specific to the U.S. and not a part of the ARRIVE guidelines, it is important to include a statement that all animal work was reviewed and approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) where the animal work took place. This may be the Fred Hutch IACUC or could be a different IACUC if you are publishing with a collaborator from another institution and the animal work was performed at their facility. It should also be mentioned that the Fred Hutch animal facility is accredited by The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC), of course! Note that there are important considerations for NIH-funded collaborations between institutions and our IACUC, and you may need to ensure that another institution has an assurance on file with the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). If you have questions about this, please contact the IACUC office.
Shared Resources Welcomes Alex Zevin, New Genomics Director
It is a great pleasure to welcome Dr. Alex Zevin to Fred Hutch. Alex has taken on the position of Director of the Genomics Shared Resource, starting December 12. Alex received his PhD in Biological Design from Arizona State University. He then held a postdoctoral appointment as a senior fellow in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Washington, where he studied the effects of HIV infection on the human gut microbiome. Most recently, he held a Senior Scientist position within the IVD Assay Development group at Invitee (formerly ArcherDX) in Boulder, Colorado, focusing on the development, transfer, and validation of NextGen Sequencing assays intended for use in clinical trials or as in vitro diagnostics. Please join us in welcoming Alex back to Seattle and to Fred Hutch.
Shared Resources Welcomes Theo Humphreys, New Electron Microscopy Associate Director
It is a great pleasure to welcome Theo Humphreys to Fred Hutch. Theo will be taking on the position of Associate Director of the Electron Microscopy Shared Resource, starting December 30. Theo received his BS degree in Physics from Willamette University and his MS degree in Chemistry from The University of Oregon. Most recently, he has worked as a cryo-electron microscopist at the Pacific Northwest Cryo-EM Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, where he managed a large portfolio of cryo-EM research projects. Additionally, he has been active in leading workshops and training sessions to promote the use of cryo-EM technology. I look forward to working with Theo to support the conventional EM and cryo-EM efforts within Fred Hutch and throughout the local research community.
Shared Resources Welcomes Dan Schullery, New Specimen Processing Associate Director
It is a pleasure to announce Dan Schullery’s acceptance of the Specimen Processing Laboratory’s new Associate Director position. For the last 5 years, Dan has been the Associate Director of the Central Immune Monitor lab of the Fred Hutch Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network and affiliated Immune Oncology Network (CITN/ION). Prior to this, Dan managed and directed several other laboratories, such as the Immune Monitoring Lab in the Cancer Vaccine Institute (previously the Tumor Vaccine Group) at the University of Washington, and the Cellular Therapy Tissue Facility in the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.
Congratulations to Lena Schroeder, Associate Director of Cellular Imaging
It is a great pleasure to announce Dr. Lena Schroeder’s appointment to Associate Director of the Cellular Imaging shared resource after serving as acting Associate Director for the past year. During that time, Lena has exhibited strong leadership, worked with commercial partners to address longstanding technology issues, orchestrated multiple vendor demos, and has had productive outreach efforts engaging with students traditionally not exposed to science as a career. She has also been instrumental in supporting and mentoring junior staff and has been recognized for her support of research scientists using microscopy at Fred Hutch. Please join us in congratulating Lena and continuing to work with Lena and her team on fostering a strong and supportive microscopy core.
This month's newsletter spotlights Dr. Mignon Loh, Deputy Director of the Consortium, Director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy, overseeing the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
To a certain degree, one of my favorite parts of my job is building this place. The reason why I was attracted to this position was because there was an opportunity to make an overall difference in the lives of children with cancer and blood disorders through research and education and clinical care. The way I want to do that is through building a research institute and attracting fantastic scientists globally to join us in the pursuit of new discoveries that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients with terrible cancers and blood disorders.
What I love about this job also is the complexity of this place. I like to put different people together to solve different parts of the puzzle. I will say I’ve never been as challenged. This is a very complicated organization, and so trying to find who has the last word has been a little bit of a challenge, but it’s been mostly productive. Most people do actually have a lot of good will and sometimes don’t really know the other side of the story. I think I provide that overview where I can both balance the small details with the big picture and try to move us slowly toward a time when we are going to be one of the best institutions in the United States. We are a very good one already, but there are areas where we can grow and I think that sometimes having an external person come in and critically look at what is here and where the opportunities are is why they brought me in, and what I’m having fun with. Day to day, having curveballs thrown and roadblocks put up and filters in there and getting stuck in traffic – that can be frustrating, but overall I’m really quite happy because the opportunities are here to grow, and already the resources that I’ve been provided have allowed me to grow.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on?
One trip that I had with my family that was my all-time favorite was to the Galapagos. It was offline – there was no internet access on the ship, so I had no service, which was the best thing ever, being able to be completely off the grid in that sense. But equally important was just having time with my family and having this incredible experience of communing with nature and animals in ways that I never even thought were possible. So that was probably one of the highlights of my life. We would go every day in this really small ship – there were only ten of us, we were really lucky to go such a small boat. We would take a smaller boat to go on an island to go hiking or whatever. One day we were there and were traveling with people we had met on the boat – one family of five and then a single person. On this island that day, there were two twin girls and my daughter, and there were these baby sea lions. You’re not allowed to touch the animals, you’re not allowed to approach the animals, you’re supposed to stay six feet away from them – but six feet’s not very far. But if they’re curious about you and they come to you, its totally fine. So the girls were sitting on these rocks and these sea lions came up and stated nibbling at their shoelaces and their sneakers and they were so cute. They were so amazing. But the whole fabric of that world was just so incredible.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people say they’re going to do something and they don’t do it. Lack of follow through. I used to be very good about doing things immediately for people, but now that my schedule has gotten so busy, it frequently takes a second email or something else. But if it takes more than three emails, then I start to get ticked off. But yeah, lack of follow through I think is my biggest pet peeve, and my other biggest pet peeve is lack of curiosity. I want people to question what we do, I want people to challenge me that way. But they have to challenge me with things that make sense, not just “Well, we’ve always done it that way, so why are we changing that?” I’m not going to accept that.
What is something you know a lot about that is not related to your job?
There’s three things – although one I haven’t been involved with in many years but I want to get back to. I love to vegetable garden. We have a small place north of San Francisco that we go to, and I built a vegetable garden there. It challenges me on all kinds of levels – people know this about me, actually, because I very frequently make analogies between me growing a vegetable garden and my work. From everything to making sure the soil is correctly balanced for nutrients, deliberately planting certain plants that will thrive next to each other, setting up my irrigation system, knowing when to weed, when to harvest – those can all be analogies for my job working with people. I also have a small lab and I’ve run a lab for the last 20 years at UCSF, and sometimes I think about how I’m setting up my irrigation and how those signals are getting transported to various nodes of my garden. But I also just take a lot of happiness there. I’ll sit there and I can spend four hours just happily mixing calcium, magnesium, iron in different little combinations for this plant or that plant. It just appeals to my nerdy side.
It then feeds into my other big passion, which is cooking, because then I have all these vegetables that I can cook. I love complicated recipes, I love to cook. I like food a lot – I am a foodie – but I actually realized a few years ago that I prefer to cook for people more than I like to eat myself. I’d rather prepare food for my loved ones and my community. In the pandemic, I jumped on the bandwagon for sourdough, but I also remember taking on this really complicated cassoulet recipe, things like that. So that’s the other part of what I enjoy.
And then in my younger days, I played a lot of piano – I was a musician. I played a lot of piano when I was very young, which I kind of abandoned when I hit college. But I’d like to get back to that someday. It’s really in my fabric, and it’s something I want to do as I get older.
What is your leadership philosophy?
I try to be deliberate about what I do and I try to be transparent and I try to listen well. I also know that a good leader does need to set a specific vision and goals, I very much like that process as well. I think that even though I do have strong opinions about the way certain things should be done, I do pride myself on being able to listen and collaborate and to come to consensus, even while recognizing that much of the time you can’t just continue to wait for consensus – sometimes you have to act. I feel like my inner sense can tell when I need to act versus when I can sit back and take it all in. That’s not really leadership philosophy, that’s more practice.
Part of why I took this job was because I knew it was going to stretch me to become a better leader. One thing that I sometimes have a hard time doing is delegating, but this job is so big that I’m being forced to, and that’s a good thing. Part of me likes to take care of things and hates to ask people to do them, but I realize that’s just not feasible in a position like this. I’m acting now in that vein of just trying to distribute responsibilities for people. It’s not that I’m a micromanager, I just like to know what’s going on. But I think part of me really wants to make sure that people are feeling like they have some sort of authority to act within our organization. That’s something that ties into my other interest, which is mentoring. I like to bring people along, and nothing makes me happier than when my mentees are successful. I take so much joy when somebody that I had a hand in helping is successful or has a great paper or gets a wonderful grant or is given a major accolade. I love that.
Would you rather have to fight a hundred porcupine-sized grizzly bears or one grizzly bear-sized porcupine?
There’s a trick to this and I don’t know what the trick is.
I think the former. I do like to work on a lot of things all at once. I like that variety in my life, which is why I like this job. Though sometimes it feels like I have forced ADD because I go from one meeting to the next and it’s always a different topic, but I actually really thrive on that.
New year, new hot takes from the Consortium team. This month, we're sharing our thoughts on all things place-related.
Where would you rather live?
City - 80%
Country - 20%
Favorite type of landscape?
Beach - 40%
Mountains - 40%
Forest - 20%
Favorite outdoor activity?
Camping/backpacking - 40%
Kayaking - 20%
Fishing - 20%
I identify as "indoorsy" - 20%
What's the coolest place you've ever been?
Wendy: The Devil's Armchair at Victoria Falls
Heidi: The rain forests in Panama's Darien Gap or Machu Picchu, I can't decide.
Anissa: Haleakalā National Park.
Kris: Tongariro National Park (Mt. Doom).
Raya: This is a tough one, but probably Morocco. It was unlike any place I've ever been and we hit about five places in 9 days. The port town of Essaouira and the blue-washed forest town of Chefchaouen were definite highlights
Alison: Denali State Park, Alaska.
What's at the top of your vacation bucket list?
Raya: New Zealand!
Describe your most memorable animal encounter in nature.
Wendy: A postprandial lion strolling up to our safari jeep in the Serengeti and reclining on our car tire to digest in the shade of the jeep.
Heidi: While in Peru, my group came across a female wild boar and her offspring and we needed to drop to the ground and remain still so they could pass. Apparently mother boars can be very aggressive when traveling with their babies.
Anissa: Coming across rattlesnakes while hiking in central and eastern Washington.
Kris: Backpacking with about 20 black bears in the Olympics.
Raya: I was on a canoe trip in the Bowron Lakes Wilderness in northern British Columbia, and one day we were canoeing through an inlet between two of the lakes, and a moose was in our way. He was in the water and eating some sort of lake grass/plant and kept moving further into the inlet, but we had to make it to our campsite before sunset so we had to carefully paddle past him. We were probably within 10-15ft of him and it was terrifying.
Alison: The time my dog chased a small black bear up a tree in a remote part of British Columbia, and I had to chase him down and drag him away from the tree (and bear).
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