The Best of the AACR Journals Collection: Author Profiles
Title & Affiliation:
Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Q: What is your primary area of study/research?
A: Tumor immunology and immunotherapy.
Q: What influenced your decision to embark on a research career?
A: During my clinical training, I was influenced by what was clearly a very incomplete understanding of cancer pathogenesis and the inadequacy of available treatments for patients. A professor I had at the time suggested that the solution to this was research, and advised that I pick an area of focus in the lab and stick with it. At the time, tumor immunology was not the obvious choice, however my interest in bone marrow transplantation for treating leukemia logically led me to study the immune system.
Q; What excites you most about your research area?
A: Right now is an extraordinary time in cancer immunotherapy. New technologies are providing much greater insight into the interactions between cancer cells and the immune system, and allowing studies with patient samples that we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. What is most exciting to me is that the research being done at many institutions is leading to new treatments that improve patient outcomes.
Q: What are your hobbies or passions outside of work?
A: I have a wonderful family that have been incredibly supportive of my career, allowing me to spend long hours in the lab and to travel far too much. I enjoy running and my running shoes accompany me everywhere, although I am definitely not getting faster with age.