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May 2022

  • Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium Changes Name to Include Seattle Children's Hospital
    In light of the recent Fred Hutch Cancer Center merger, the Cancer Consortium has updated its name to "the Fred Hutch / University of Washington / Seattle Children's Cancer Consortium." The new name recognizes the longstanding partnership between the Fred Hutch and the University of Washington in adult cancer research and care while also acknowledging the pivotal role that Seattle Children’s plays as the Consortium’s site for pediatric oncology clinical care. Pediatric research will continue across all Consortium institutions, with exciting new developments taking place at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s. Formally including Seattle Children’s in the Consortium name is a testament to our continued commitment to our pediatric population. 
  • Dr. Jeanne Chowning Named Interim Associate Director of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) 
    We are excited to announce Dr. Jeanne Ting Chowning as interim Director of the Fred Hutch Office of Education & Training (OET)! She will also serve as interim Associate Director of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) for the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium. Along with these positions, Dr. Chowning remains the Senior Director of Science Education at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. 

    For over 25 years, Dr. Chowning has focused her professional efforts on improving science education and promoting equity for students from marginalized and systemically excluded groups. In addition to her strategic role in providing leadership to the high school and undergraduate science outreach and internship programs at Fred Hutch, she also directs the Science Education Partnership teacher professional development program. She is the Principal Investigator on two federal science education grants centered on teacher professional learning, curriculum development, and student research experiences. Dr. Chowning has held national leadership roles including serving as the Director of the National Science Teaching Association’s District XVII, which encompasses Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Dr. Chowning earned a BA in Biology from Cornell University and a BFA in Fine Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition, she received her Teaching Certification, an MS in Biology Education, and a PhD in Learning Sciences/Science Education from the University of Washington. 


Upcoming Events
  • May 19, 2022: Breast and Ovarian Cancers Research Program Retreat 
    The Consortium Breast and Ovary Cancers Research Program Retreat is scheduled to take place in-person in the Behnke Conference Suite (M1-A303/305/307) at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 from 8:00am to 1:00pm. This year’s retreat theme will be “Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screening and Prevention.” Dr. David Mankoff from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine will be giving the keynote presentation, “Imaging Breast Cancer Metabolism: FDG and Beyond.” If interested in attending, please reach out to Shauntel Thomas (

  • June 2-3, 2022: LGBTQ+ Cancer Symposium
    This symposium is the first of its kind to center the science and voices of LGBTQ+ people on cancer care, community engagement and policies that influence health disparities. Cedars-Sinai Cancer’s mission recognizes that by examining the intersection of sexual orientation, gender and cancer, we can better prevent, detect and cure cancer. More information can be found here
In this issue of the Cancer Consortium Newsletter, we are profiling Jon Cooper, PhD, Program Leader of the Cancer Basic Biology Research Program. Dr. Cooper earned his PhD from the University of Warwick and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Since becoming a member of the Fred Hutch in 1984, he's held a variety of leadership roles, including serving as the co-director of the Fred Hutch/UW Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program and director of the Basic Sciences Division. His work centers around cellular signal transduction mechanisms. Recently, we sat down with Dr. Cooper to get to know him better outside of the lab. 

Can you talk a little bit about the current work going on in your lab? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about?
We work on how animal cells move and the basic machinery inside the cells, how they attach to and move through their surroundings. We’ve been using epithelial cells in culture and also looking at glioma cells, so those are the two areas we’re working on. We’re using live cell imaging and seeing things we didn’t necessarily expect we would see, and trying to understand what they mean. So, the relationship with cancer has to do with metastasis. We actually tend to look mostly at normal cells and then try to work out how they’re different from things like glioma cells, and how their movement in the lab might be related to how they invade in the brain. We’re doing that in collaboration with Jim Olsen’s lab in Cancer Basic Biology.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of work?
I don’t so much unwind as do my non-work stuff before work. I’m an early-morning rower so I’m out on the water rowing with a team, getting cold and wet. I’ve been doing it since I moved to Seattle in 1985.  

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done, or the thing you’re most proud of? 
The coolest thing probably was when I went mountain climbing to fight cancer. We climbed up Mount Hood. It was the first time I’ve climbed on snow and ice, and it was really fun. We left at 1am and got to the top at 5, which is when the sun came up. The sunrise was absolutely unbelievable. 

If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
Well, whether it would fit my personality, I don’t know – but I guess I would be a house cat because they never seem to care about anything – except food.  And they sleep a lot. 

What qualities do you think are most important for a leader to have?
I would say listening and patience. I think it’s really important to find out where people are coming from and go along with what seems like will be most motivating for them. And patience, because things always take longer than you expect them to. 


The 2022 Pathways to Equity Symposium will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2022 from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM.  Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Donald Warne (Oglala Lakota), Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Director of the Indians Into Medicine and Public Health Programs, and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. Register here! 

Also, don’t forget to submit your nominations for the 2022 Beti Thompson Community Health Trailblazer & Cancer Health Equity Research Awards!  You can access information about nomination criteria as well as the link to submit nominations here. Awards will be presented at the Pathways to Equity Symposium.

As the Office of Community Outreach & Engagement has pivoted from in person to virtual outreach and education, they have launched a monthly podcast series entitled, Cancer Health Equity NOW, hosted by Community Health Educator Danté Morehead.   

April's episode is titled "Cancer Survivorship and Health Disparities in Latinx Communities," and features Martha Zuniga, Deputy Director for Entre Hermanos. You can listen to that episode and other other past episodes here.   
ITHS Receives Over $63 Million in Funding
Congratulations to our colleagues at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS)! The ITHS, which is a partnership between University of Washington, Fred Hutch and Seattle Children’s, has been granted more than $63 million in funding over the next five years through a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. The overarching goal of ITHS is to build regional collaborations throughout the Northwest to enable teams to conduct clinical and translational research (CTR), engage collaborators, and share data and resources to improve the health of the people across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The Consortium looks forward to a fruitful continued partnership with the ITHS.

To learn more, visit the ITHS website




Shared Resources User Satisfaction Survey

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (FHCC) Shared Resources appreciates your engagement with our services. We want to hear your feedback and perspectives!

On May 16, the FHCC Shared Resources annual User Satisfaction Survey will be emailed out to all users of our Shared Resources Core Facilities.

The purpose of this confidential survey is to gather actionable feedback on our Shared Resources core services. Your feedback will help us make improvements and increase efficiencies. We want to learn what’s important to our users! Upon completing the survey, participants will have an option to enter in for a chance to win fun prizes!  

If you have any questions about the survey, reach out to the Shared Resources Admin staff at

We look forward to your participation!


Experimental Histopathology

Gift from the Aldarra Foundation
The Aldarra Foundation has gifted more than $1 million to Fred Hutch and Dr. Evan Newell’s lab, to secure a cutting-edge technology and drive immunotherapy research. Having pioneered ‘CyTOF’ high-dimensional flow cytometry that uses mass cytometry to simultaneously quantify multiple different molecules on/in single cells, Dr. Newell recently collaborated with NanoString to develop in situ spatial molecular imaging (SMI) technology that detects specific RNA and protein expression in individual cells within an intact tissue sample. Aldarra Foundation's support will bring SMI to the Fred Hutch and fuel its broad uptake by helping Dr. Newell’s team use this approach to analyze samples from adult kidney cancer patients. 

HALO Software Upgrade
Experimental Histopathology has implemented a much-awaited update to HALO version 3.4.  In addition to fixing some bugs in the previous version, this update has some great improvements to functionality. New features include:    
  • New batch processing tools
  • Improved image reader
  • Updated Tissue Microarray module with new annotation management tools
  • New and improved Random Forest algorithm in the Tissue Classifier module
  • Ability to import Nanostring ome.tiff XML images and annotations
  • Redesigned and improved HALO Link user interface
Stop by Experimental Histopathology or visit the HALO Learning Portal for more information on HALO analysis and HALO Link, to help you get the most out of your digital slides and images.

Comparative Medicine
Reminder: Interns and Students Need Background Checks Prior to Beginning Work
In 2016, Center leadership initiated an animal use-specific background check required for any new investigator who will need access to CM spaces. This includes interns and summer students. The check is provided by Information Network Associates, Inc., and takes a minimum of one week to complete. Background clearance is required prior to facility orientation. So, please plan ahead for all students, interns, visiting scientists and new employees. You can contact with any questions.

Specimen Processing & Research Cell Bank
New Research Specimen Scheduling Template: A Message from SPL/RCB Director Jon Digel
The Specimen Processing laboratory & Research Cell Bank (SPL/RCB) is a member of the Translational Shared Resource Cores. We are introducing a new version of the Research Specimen Scheduling Template (RSST), with instructions for its use.  This form will facilitate the specimen processing pipeline through upgraded dropdown menus and improved ease of use.  The new RSST form will be introduced to the SPL users on April 15―links to this form can be found on both the SPL and RCB websites and the Knowledge Hub.

Of note, the specimen processing pipeline will now generally require that the RSST be returned to SPL two business days before specimen arrival. Emails with an RSST attachment must be sent securely by placing SECURE (case-insensitive) in the subject line of the email. 

On April 15, an SPL satellite lab that is located within the Bezos Clinic on the 6th floor of the SCCA (G6-091) will accept blood samples, if the samples require processing in 30 minutes or less. All other samples must still be brought by a research team member or courier to the main SP lab at 1208 Eastlake.  
I want to give a big thank you to the staff in SPL and RCB for maintaining the high quality of sample processing and tissue culture work, while working with limited staffing.

Thank you,
Jon Digel, SPL/RCB Director

Genomics Shared Resource
New Nanostring GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler
The Genomics Resource has recently added a Nanostring GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler.  The GeoMx is a
multi-cell profiler designed for high-throughput, high-plex studies.  The GeoMx can profile >100 proteins and >18,000 RNAs with user-defined regions of interest.  Additionally, the GeoMx is optimized for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.  The technology has a reputation for reliability and ease of use, making it ideal for biomarker discovery, clinical development, mechanism of action studies and tissue microenvironment characterization.  Contact us to learn more at


Specimen Acquisition Network

Among many challenges faced by the translational research community, the ability to find and access human-derived specimens and datasets is common and often leads to research bottlenecks and delays. These hurdles are not limited to one institution but common across all research centers. To help investigators with these challenges, the Specimen and Data Acquisition Network (SAN) was formed in 2019 as a collaborative network of research and healthcare institutions in the PNW. 
SAN is a multifunctional resource with a mission to help researchers and regional partners to remove barriers and work toward the goal of accelerating innovation in patient care​. SAN currently has 8 network partners with the Coordinating Center based at Fred Hutch. You can read more about our network in our most recent newsletter article or visit our website here. No matter where you are in the process, we can help you remove roadblocks and advance your science!
Reach out to us at and we’d be happy to help! 

Award Number P30 CA015704

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