Seattle, WA – December 20, 2022

Last year, Washington Research Foundation (WRF) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Fred Hutch) launched a new collaborative funding program to advance technologies that can have a significant impact on improving the health of communities. Since then, WRF has awarded two cycles of $750,000 in funding that have supported 11 technology commercialization projects at Fred Hutch with grants between $50,000 and $250,000. Today, WRF announces an additional $1 million to Fred Hutch to continue support for the program.

“This program is enabling researchers at Fred Hutch to take their discoveries one step closer to becoming therapeutic products and interventions that could potentially transform how diseases are treated,” said Hilary Hehman, M.S., J.D., vice president, Business Development, Fred Hutch. “The additional funding from WRF allows us to continue operating the program and supporting researchers who are on the frontlines of innovative science.”

“The projects we have funded so far demonstrate the breadth of exciting research that has commercialization potential at Fred Hutch,” said Meher Antia, Ph.D., director of grant programs at WRF. “We are delighted to continue our support to enable more of these discoveries to eventually make a difference for patients.”

Recently, five Fred Hutch researchers received funding under the program.

  • With a $250,000 award, Sujatha Srinivasan, Ph.D., and David Fredricks, M.D., are developing a rapid point-of-care diagnostic for bacterial vaginosis (BV) in Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division.
  • In the same division, $240,000 grant recipient Martin Prlic, Ph.D., is leading a project intended to improve the efficacy of immunotherapy treatments by targeting suppressive intratumoral regulatory T cells (Tregs) in a variety of cancers.
  • Patrick Paddison, Ph.D., in collaboration with Slobodan Beronja, Ph.D., and Cyrus Ghajar, Ph.D., are pursuing a different approach to improving cancer immunotherapies. With $100,000 in support, Paddison and colleagues are developing a platform in the Human Biology Division to identify the antigens on a patient’s tumor that will be the most effective in provoking an effective immune response to the cancer.
  • Taran Gujral, Ph.D., is creating an AI-driven platform to accelerate the development of drugs for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Gujral’s research will also be carried out in the Human Biology Division with the help of a $250,000 award.

Read more about the WRF-Fred Hutch collaboration here.