In the News


Good News at Fred Hutch
September 29, 2017

Drs. Edus "Hootie" Warren and Warren Phipps Photos by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Drs. Edus H. “Hootie” Warren and Warren Phipps of Fred Hutch Global Oncology have received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute’s Provocative Questions Initiative to study immune responses to Kaposi sarcoma. 


Kyle Rybczyk, clinic coordinator for the Nashville unit of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, first encountered HIV as a nurse in the mid-1980s. The experience "affected me profoundly — personally and professionally," he said. Photo courtesy of Katie Jennings / New Canoe Media

Kyle Rybczyk is the clinic coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, a unit of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN. Headquartered at Fred Hutch, HVTN is the world’s largest international collaboration focused on developing vaccines to prevent HIV/AIDS. It takes a global village to run a clinical trial like the AMP HIV Prevention Study underway now. Here is one villager’s story.


T.K. Hampton, a performer and HIV advocate in Nashville, Tennessee, wrote a musical about the urgency of ending HIV. Photo courtesy of Katie Jennings / New Canoe Media

A performer and HIV advocate in Nashville, Tennessee, T.K. “Thunder Kellie” Hampton works for Street Works, an HIV services organization and a key partner of the Vanderbilt University unit of the Fred Hutch-based HIV Vaccine Trials Network. He recently appeared in a musical he wrote and directed, "YOU Shall LHiV 2 Zero," at the U.S. Conference on AIDS. 

 


Illustration by Kim Carney / Fred Hutch News Service

The yearly flu vaccine is our best bet at preventing the flu, but it doesn't work for everyone. A new collaborative study has pinpointed a signature of nine genes that can predict whether people 35 or younger will respond to the flu vaccine or not.

 


Biodegradable nanoparticles (orange) carry short-lived gene therapy to specific cells (light teal). Animation by Kimberly Carney / Fred Hutch News Service

Scientists seeking a simple and gentle way to provide short-term gene therapy have a new tool: nanoparticles. In a paper published August 30 in Nature Communications, Dr. Matthias Stephan at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center describes nanoparticles he has developed that can streamline the delivery of bundled genetic material to specific cells.

 


Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Pioneering CAR T-cell therapy researcher Dr. Carl June, director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and a co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, delivered the keynote address at the Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy for HIV Cure at Fred Hutch. To his right is gene therapy and stem cell transplant specialist Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem, co-director of the Fred Hutch-based defeatHIV.


Immunology researcher Dr. Carl June gave the keynote talk today at the Conference on Cell & Gene Therapy for HIV Cure at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. June traces his lifelong fascination with T cells and their biology to his time studying bone marrow transplantation at Fred Hutch. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

University of Pennsylvania immunotherapy researcher Dr. Carl June, who led the development of an experimental therapy for advanced childhood leukemia that is expected to become the first CAR T-cell therapy to win U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, will give the keynote talk today at the Conference on Cell & Gene Therapy for HIV Cure at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

 


From Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program in Nashville, TN: (left to right) community engagement coordinator Keith Richardson, administrative assistant Latifa DaSilva, and community engagement manager Vic Sorrell. Photo courtesy of Katie Jennings / New Canoe Media

As community engagement manager at the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, Sorrell gives talks like this many times. But even 36 years into the pandemic, HIV can make for a difficult conversation, one the 39-year-old Sorrell tailors to the audience and the moment, speaking from his heart and trusting he’ll strike the right chord.


Scared — and brave
June 14, 2017

Laurie Sylla, a member of the community advisory board for the Fred Hutch-based defeatHIV research group, gave a presentation at Seattle's Gay City on how people with HIV feel about taking part in cure studies. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

How do people with HIV feel about volunteering for clinical trials testing experimental cures? If their responses could be summed up in one phrase, it would be the quote that Laurie Sylla chose for the title of her recent talk on the topic:  “We’re scared … and brave.” Sylla is a member of the community advisory board for defeatHIV, based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, one of six such research groups funded by the National Institutes of Health focused on curing the chronic viral infection.

 


Dr. Nishila Moodley, left, receives an achievement award from her mentor, Dr. Glenda Gray, before 700 members of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of HVTN

When Dr. Nishila Moodley took the stage to receive a special achievement award, 700 scientists, clinicians, outreach specialists and community members attending the annual meeting of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network — the largest global network working to develop and test a preventive HIV vaccine — cheered her accomplishment. They also celebrated the future of HIV vaccine research in South Africa.

 


Stock photo by iStock

Laboratory manipulation of the AIDS-causing virus reveals evolutionary ‘dead-ends’. [Editor's note: We've updated this story, originally published in Jan 2017, to reflect a newly published study.] 

 


Dr Kathy Mngadi and team at the March for Science event

The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa(CAPRISA) conducts research that is globally relevant and locally responsive, contributing to understanding HIV pathogenesis, prevention and epidemiology as well as the links between tuberculosis and AIDS care. Collaboration with the HVTN to find a safe, effective HIV vaccine is integral to this work.


Dr. Glenda Gray welcomes HIV Vaccine Trials Network members to an HVTN conference in Seattle in October 2014. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Glenda Gray, a leader of the Fred Hutch-based HIV Vaccine Trials Network and director of its Africa programs, is included in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world for her pioneering work on HIV prevention. The magazine announced the list today.


Dr. Julie Overbaugh receives congratulations on her recent Mentoring Award from Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Julie Overbaugh has long been committed to mentorship and graduate student training. These values have inspired the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center HIV researcher and Human Biology Division member over the past year as she settled into the newly created role of Hutch Associate Director for Graduate Education.


Bill Hall, a Tlingit from Southeast Alaska, serves on the community advisory board of the Fred Hutch-based defeatHIV cure research group. The Seattle Indian Health Board recently honored Hall for his leadership in HIV outreach to Native communities. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Esther Lucero, a nationally known health advocate for urban Indians, got her start as an HIV case manager in San Francisco in the late 1980s. That was when she became aware of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the city who were struggling with HIV/AIDS.


Dr. Keith Jerome Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

A Fred Hutch and University of Washington team of virologists and bioengineers led by Dr. Keith Jerome has received a $200,000 grant — the first phase of up to $1.5 million in milestone-driven funding over four years — to develop nanocarrier technology to deliver therapies to reservoirs of dormant, HIV-infected cells.


Timothy Ray Brown celebrates his 10th "birthday," marking the anniversary of the stem cell transplant that made him the first and so far only person in the world to be cured of the virus that causes AIDS. Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

A decade has passed since the first of two stem cell transplants cured Brown of both leukemia and HIV, making him the first and so far only person to be cured of the virus that causes AIDS. Sunday’s “birthday” celebration, a tradition among transplant cancer survivors, capped a day-long workshop on HIV cure research on the eve of a major HIV scientific meeting, the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, or CROI, being held in Seattle.


(from left to right) Dr. Gero Hütter, Timothy Ray Brown, Dr. Keith Jerome and Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem during a visit to the Hutch campus in 2015. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

A decade after the first and so far only known HIV cure, researchers are hard at work to find a cure for many more.

It’s a tradition to celebrate the anniversary of a lifesaving bone marrow transplant as a rebirth. By that measure, today marks the 10th “birthday” of one of the world’s best known transplant survivors: Timothy Ray Brown.


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Dr. Larry Corey speaks at an HIV Vaccine Trials Network conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2013. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Today the founder and leader of the world’s largest HIV vaccine network, Corey will deliver a plenary talk on the state of HIV vaccine development at next month’s AIDS 2016 conference, the biannual meeting of the International AIDS Society, in Durban, South Africa. In August, he will be the keynote speaker at the third Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy for HIV cure at Fred Hutch about an even more challenging goal: an HIV cure.


NIAID and its partners have decided to advance an experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial, called HVTN 702.


Dr. Larry Corey, virologist and Fred Hutch president and director emeritus, and Dr. David Baltimore, president emeritus of the California Institute of Technology - Caltech, wrote in a guest post for Forbes about their pursuit of an HIV vaccine.


Getting malaria on purpose
April 25, 2016 

Volunteer Molly Perry receives an injection of sporozoites — the infectious form of the malaria parasite — from Dr. Jim Kublin at the Fred Hutch-based Seattle Malaria Clinical Trials Center. Photo by Robert Hood

Volunteers roll up their sleeves and get infected to test an experimental drug.


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HVTN and HPTN Announce Initiation of Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) Study

April 7, 2016

First Study to Evaluate Efficacy of Broadly Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody in Reducing Acquisition of HIV-1 Infection Among At Risk Populations


Rod Fichter, who tested positive for HIV in 1986 but is able to control the virus without medication, was featured in the HBO VICE Special Report, "Countdown to Zero." Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Meet five ‘HIV controllers,’ some positive for decades, who may hold clues to ending AIDS.


Photo: Getty Images

“A lot of the myths that are still out there are the ones that were there in the 1980s,” says James Kublin, MD, the executive director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Here are seven things you should know about HIV.


Actor Charlie Sheen Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty

Fred Hutch's Dr. Jim Kublin, executive director of HIV Vaccine Trials Network, told MSNBC that Sheen could have carried the virus up to 10 years before it was detected.