Dr. Nina Salama Named Associate Director of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) In a statement released on September 23, Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Tom Lynch announced that Dr. Nina Salama would be promoted to Senior Vice President of Education, effective October 1, 2022. In her capacity as director of the Fred Hutch Office of Education and Training (OET), Dr. Salama will also serve as the associate director for the Cancer Consortium's CRTEC component.
In her new role, Dr. Salama will focus on strengthening connections between the OET and scientific divisions and ensuring that education and training initiatives are integrated with research, clinical, and operational priorities. She will also work to increase connectivity and collaboration between the OET, the Cancer Consortium, and other academic and research organizations.
See more about Dr. Salama's promotion as well as other exciting OET leadership updates below.
The CCSG Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Has Been Submitted! The Cancer Consortium Administration Team is pleased to announce that the annual CCSG Progress Report was submitted earlier this week. On behalf of Drs. Wendy Law and Tom Lynch, thank you to everyone who contributed to the RPPR or supported the Consortium team in submitting it!
In the Spotlight The following interinstitutional Cancer Consortium collaborations were included in the October and September editions of the Science Spotlight:
November 16, 2022, 11:00am-4:30pm Eastern: NCI Summit on Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Early Phase Clinical Trials
The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Equity and Inclusion Program will host a virtual summit meeting with pharmaceutical company collaborators and other interested partners focused on identifying and discussing the implementation of best practices for increasing diversity, inclusion and equity in NCI cancer clinical trials.
The summit will feature representatives from government and industry and include input from across healthcare, the cancer community and academia. Sessions will showcase learnings from successes and failures in improving equitable clinical trials participation and explore opportunities to implement the best practices more broadly.
The meeting is intended to be the first phase of a long-term effort to leverage resources from pharmaceutical company collaborators to invest in practical initiatives that will enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in NCI trials.
Registration for the Summit will be available soon. For more information, visit the program'swebsite.
IIRC Steam Plant Seminars (Weekly) The postdocs in the Steam Plant have organized a seminar series for trainees and invite all of the IIRC members and their labs to attend. To receive notifications, pleaseclick hereto join the mailing list.
Seminars are held weekly at 4pm in the O'Mack Symposium Room (S1-141) or virtually on Teams. Following the seminar, attendees are invited to join a beer hour in the level one lounge. *Note: If using a Mac, you will need to copy and paste link into your browser. If working remotely, please be aware you will need to be on VPN to access the listserv.
The Fred Hutch Survivorship Program is working to develop an active roster of Consortium members whose research or clinical roles involve survivorship. Per the NCI's definition, "survivorship focuses on the health and well-being of a person with cancer from the time of diagnosis until the end of life."
The purpose of this roster is to build a stronger community of researchers and clinicians interested in survivorship research and care across the Consortium's participating institutions (Fred Hutch, UW, and Seattle Children's). Members of the roster will be able to search for and identify potential collaborators, apply for pilot funds (from $5,000 microgrants to $50,000 pilot awards), and will receive information on survivorship-relevant seminars and networking opportunities.
To be included on the roster, please fill out this REDCap form. Note that the contact information on this form will be used as the basis for pilot funding requests. Members will have the opportunity to review/update their information annually.
Staffing Updates from the Office of Community Outreach & Engagement (OCOE)
OCOE is excited to welcome new staff as the Cancer Consortium broadens its reach throughout the new catchment area of Washington state!
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s new satellite office in Spokane is now open in the former Spokane Inland Empire Railroad (SIERR) Building. We have two full-time community health educators based there: Mr. Daniel Padron and Ms. Mary Miller.
Daniel Padron was born and raised in Quincy, Washington, and is a first-generation college graduate from Eastern Washington University. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degree in Public Health along with two minor degrees (psychology and communications). Daniel has previous experience working with underrepresented populations (low socioeconomic-status, homeless, and resettling-refugees). He is excited to work with community partners in Eastern Washington to address health inequities.
Mary Miller was born and raised in Yakima, Washington. She began her career in public health studying Kinesiology at Washington State University and working in the healthcare field. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Central Washington University, with an emphasis on Child and Maternal Health. Mary is highly passionate about working alongside community members to reduce health disparities and increase access to care for underserved populations. She is experienced in care facilitation, outreach, recruitment, and program coordination for community health programs serving children and families. She moved to the Spokane area in August 2022 and is excited to share her experience and passion for health equity with her new community.
In addition, new staff have joined the OCOE Seattle-based team!
Kayla Kenyon joined our team in May as the new Community Health Educator for Rural Populations. She was born and raised in Kent, Washington, and is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. Kayla is fiercely passionate about health equity and has previously worked in research on the social determinants of health across numerous outcomes and contexts, including rural and low-resource settings. She hopes to expand her work in connecting with members of underrepresented communities and is excited to continue her work through her new role at Fred Hutch.
Aden Afework joined our team in September as the new Community Health Educator for Black/African-descent populations. Aden was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Public Health-Global Health. Aden is passionate about addressing health disparities within her community. She is excited to build new connections and work alongside community partners to help achieve health equity for Black/African-descent communities in the state.
Dr. Jean McDougall joined the OCOE team as staff scientist in October. Dr. McDougall is committed to working with diverse communities to identify and amplify creative approaches to improving cancer outcomes. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. McDougall received Master of Public Health (MPH) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in epidemiology from the University of Washington. She completed a joint postdoctoral fellowship with the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) and the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, respectively. Dr. McDougall returned to the Hutch after spending several years at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she led numerous studies developing interventions to address food insecurity and reduce financial hardship among cancer survivors. Dr. McDougall brings considerable experience developing quantitative surveys, measuring healthcare resource utilization and out-of-pocket costs. Dr. McDougall looks forward to developing equitable partnerships between communities, researchers, and healthcare settings to improve access to cancer care and address social risks in cancer care delivery.
Please join us in welcoming the new members of the OCOE team!
Education Leadership Updates In addition to Dr. Nina Salama's promotion to Senior Vice President of Education, the OET is pleased to announce two more changes to its leadership.
Dr. Manoj Menon will join the Education leadership team as Director of Clinical Education, and will also serve as the deputy director of the Cancer Consortium's CRTEC component. Dr. Menon's goal is to foster the growth of mentorship programs to enhance the professional development and retention of clinical fellows and faculty.
Dr. Jeanne Chowning, who currently serves as the Senior Director for Science Education and Training, is being promoted to Associate Vice President for Science Education. Her objectives include expanding the development of the OET's strategic partnerships in science education programs and increasing synergy between the OET, DEI Core, and the OCOE.
Congratulations to Drs. Salama, Menon, and Chowning!
Dr. Lynch's full message regarding changes to Education leadership is available here on CenterNet.
Specimen & Data Acquisition Network (SAN) Announces New Partner Institutions
The SAN is a multifunctional resource available to our research community and offers support around obtaining clinical specimens and annotation data, standalone datasets, resource and data sharing management strategies, regulatory guidance and fostering collaborative research. We are excited to announce that we have two new partners institutions in Eastern Washington:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a leading center for scientific discovery in chemistry, data analytics, and Earth science, and for technological innovation in sustainable energy and national security. Sara Gosline, Ph.D., Team Lead, Molecular Analytics and Bobbie-Jo Webb-Robertson, Ph.D., Computational Biologist and Chief Scientist will join the SAN Governance Committee to represent PNNL.
Washington State University (WSU) is a public research university committed to its land-grant heritage and tradition of service to society. WSU’s mission is to advance knowledge through creative research and scholarship across a wide range of academic disciplines, to extend knowledge through innovative educational programs and to apply knowledge through local and global engagement that will improve quality of life. John Roll, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Dean for Research will join the SAN Governance Committee to represent WSU.
Please contact us at SAN@fredhutch.orgwith any requests. More information about the SAN can be found here.
New Spatial Profiling Applications Available Partnering with Experimental Histopathology, the Genomics & Bioinformatics Shared Resource offers full-service end-to-end support of spatial transcriptomics, utilizing 10x Genomics Visium or Nanostring's GeoMx DSP technology.
10x Genomics’ Visium: For both fresh-frozen and Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) workflows, Visium support includes tissue QC, tissue optimization and complete spatial gene expression workflow, from tissue sectioning and placement through library prep and sequencing. Visium offers 50µ resolution on a 6.5 mm² piece of tissue. Before ordering your Visium kit, we highly recommend that you schedule a consultation and tissue QC with us.
Nanostring's GeoMx DSP: The GeoMx DSP is a multi-cell profiler designed for high-throughput, high-plex studies. With a resolution of 200 cells and optimized for FFPE tissues, the GeoMx DSP can profile >100 proteins and >18,000 RNAs, using antibody-based morphology markers for user-defined regions of interest. We offer end-to-end support for both NGS and nCounter workflows.
In addition, the Fred Hutch Innovation Lab (FHIL) has been running experiments to test the capabilities of 10x Genomics spatial transcriptomics. We have compared 10x Genomics Visium protocols on both fresh-frozen tissue embedded in OCT as well as FFPE tissue. FHIL recently brought in the new CytAssist instrument, which allows us to work with many FFPE tissue types including more challenging ones, such as bone and skin. This new configuration delivers a more targeted approach to tissue of interest and simplifies the workflow. We completed our first run on the instrument using kidney tumor and the data look impressive. FHIL is partnering with the Experimental Histopathology and Genomics core labs to make this instrument and assay available to Hutch researchers. We also plan to launch an RFP for the 10x Visium FFPE v2 Pilot Project soon.
We are also pleased to announce that Xenium by 10x Genomics is coming to FHIL and the IRC later this year. This powerful new platform performs in situ gene expression mapping on whole tissue sections to explore the spatial mRNA expression landscape at the subcellular level. We look forward to learning how best to incorporate the unique capabilities of this platform to address important research questions at Fred Hutch. We will also work on comparing its performance with other in situ spatial transcriptomics platforms such as the Nanostring’s CosMx platform.
Coming in 2023 – Spatial Profiling Using Nanostring’s CosMx SMI Single-Cell Imaging Platform CosMx SMI is the first high-plex in situ analysis platform to provide spatial multiomics with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and fresh frozen (FF) tissue samples at cellular and subcellular resolution. CosMx SMI enables rapid quantification and visualization of up to 1,000 RNA and 64 validated protein analytes. It is the flexible, spatial single-cell imaging platform that will drive deeper insights for cell atlasing, tissue phenotyping, cell-cell interactions, cellular processes, and biomarker discovery.
The spatial genomics team is available to help you plan your study and select the best platform for your needs. Contact us at email@example.com.
Preclinical Modeling Facility Establishes Efficient Tool To Create Knockout and Small Knock-in Mouse Models The Genetically Engineered Mouse Model (GEMM) program within the Preclinical Modeling Shared Resource (PMSR) supports Fred Hutch and Cancer Consortium investigators by developing and maintaining preclinical mouse models. The PMSR team has now streamlined a robust method to create knockout (KO) and small knock-in (KI) models. In early August, the team used this method on a C57Bl/6J strain background to efficiently generate:
KO mouse models with >3.7 kb specific gene deletions in 40-60% of founder pups, and
a small KI GEMM with the expected 15 bp insertion in founder pups with high efficiency.
This success efficiency is much greater than in previous attempts, and the PMSR-GEMM team can now create novel mouse mutants within 4-5 weeks. We look forward to using the updated method to create KO and KI (up to ~50 bp insertion) alleles for Consortium researchers.
Please reach out to the Core director,Dr. Priti Singh(206-667-6745), to discuss the feasibility and timeline for your transgenic mouse needs.
In this edition of the newsletter, we're spotlighting Dr. Nina Salama, Helicobacter pylori extraordinaire and new Senior Vice President of Education.
Dr. Salama received a BS with high distinction in Honors Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1989. She then moved to the University of California Berkeley for her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology. In 2001, she was recruited to Fred Hutch, where her work focuses on the role of genetic variation and cell morphology in chronic stomach colonization by H. pylori, as well as how this organism modifies the stomach tissue environment to simultaneously promote long term bacterial persistence and preneoplastic progression. In addition, Dr. Salama prioritizes training and mentoring of the next scientific generation. In addition to her new role as SVP, she served as co-Director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program jointly administered University of Washington and Fred Hutch from 2016-2022, where she spearheaded a number of initiatives to promote recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented groups in STEM with a particular focus on more equitable access and improved mentoring.
What is your favorite thing about working at Fred Hutch?
I have lots of favorite things about working at Fred Hutch. I think probably the biggest thing is how collaborative and congenial everyone is. That’s what attracted me to the Hutch in the first place. I love that in the Human Biology Division, every Friday all the faculty get together and discuss their research, so I know what everyone is doing, people know what I’m doing and they have suggestions, they’re interested – the barriers for collaboration are super low here, and I really love that. To me that’s the most fun part of science, working with other people and bringing different perspective and ideas to bear on research problems.
How did you become a scientist?
I think I have always been very curious about the world around me, and my parents definitely fostered that. They’re retired now, but they both worked in biomedical careers. My father was a physician, my mother was a nurse, so I was certainly aware of medicine. I wasn’t really interested in going into medicine – I think I had kind of an “ick” factor about disease, but I really loved science. I grew up in a small town, and I had a little bit of angst about what I wanted to do when I grew up because I wanted to study biology but I didn’t want to go into medicine – I really wasn’t sure what else you could do. I was while I was at university that my eyes opened up to the research enterprise. I ended up joining this honors biology curriculum at the University of Illinois, where instead of taking the normal two-semester biology series, we did a three-semester series – the first semester was about the cell, the second semester was the organism, and the third semester was the population. In that first semester, we had an open lab where we were doing these E. coli genetic experiments that were organized in the way that you would do research. That was my first exposure to that, and having these open-ended questions and being involved in designing your experiments and interpreting them was what really got me hooked. Based on that, I decided to do a summer research internship at UT Southwestern, this big biomedical enterprise, and then I started doing undergrad research back at University of Illinois, I wrote an undergrad thesis…that was kind of the snowballing process into doing research, and then from there deciding to apply to grad school and go down that road.
Describe your dream home.
I think my dream home would be on the coast, sort of cantilevered out so that I could see the ocean every morning, and there would be some sort of easy magical way that I could get down to the beach but live above it...doesn’t Iron Man have something like that, in the Avengers movie?
It’s funny because on some level, some kind of very high-tech thing sounds appealing, but then on the other end of it, we actually have a cabin in the Sierras in California, and I love the simplicity of that place. It’s really small, and we don’t have TV or anything, and it has this beautiful back deck where we’re up in the trees, and I love spending time there as well. I guess the common theme is being in nature, either the ocean or the mountains.
What do you think is the most important skill for a leader to have?
Probably being a good listener. Being a good listener, and then also focusing on the big picture, not getting too much into the details. And daring to dream big – I think we should be pushing the organization to be the best it can be. We shouldn’t be worrying about doing what seems possible in the moment, we have to be able to dream big to take people’s hopes and desires and think outside the box to really push the barriers of what’s possible.
If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?
Maybe a dolphin, so I could swim in the ocean and leap above the waves. And also, dolphins are pretty social and there’s this whole mystery about their language. I would love to learn what that’s all about.
Coffee or tea, and how do you take it?
Both! I had the privilege of spending three months in Tuscany at the beginning of my postdoc, and had the most amazing cappuccinos there. But I also love tea, both black tea – I’ve had some amazing teas in China – as well as herbal teas. I’m an “all of the above” kind of person. I also like cats AND dogs.
Here in the Cancer Consortium, we're aware that there's a lot of glamour and mystique around what we do. To give the community a chance to get to know us on a more personal level, the Consortium Administration team will be participating in a variety of surveys and publishing our answers here. This month, we're offering hot takes on everything food-related.
How do you like to consume your caffeine?
Coffee - 83.3%
Tea - 0%
How do you feel about pickles?
Give them to me! - 66.7%
EW - 33.3%
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Heck yes - 20%
Over my dead body - 40%
I'm indifferent - 40%
Favorite holiday food?
Stuffing and cranberry sauce.
My mom's coffee cake.
Turkey and noodles.
What's your signature dish?
Wendy: Pomegranate and pomelo salad.
Heidi: Risotto - even my Italian mother-in-law loves it!
Anissa: My favorite thing to make is doenjang jiggae.
Kris: No one makes better grilled chicken than me.
Raya: Coconut rice with sausage, pepper, fried eggs, Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, and hot sauce.
Alison: Sesame soba noodles with tofu and cucumbers.
*Note: The Consortium Admin team will be selling their respective recipes for a reasonable fee. Serious inquiries only.
What's one food everyone else loves, but you hate?
Heidi: Salmon, or any cooked filleted fish (bleck).
Anissa: Most cheeses!
Raya: This used to be tomatoes; I still never buy them, but I like them in things, thank goodness.
Alison: Ketchup and mayonnaise (I make an exception for truffle aioli).
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