Research Programs & Facilities

UW researchers and support staff on the UW campus, UW Medical Center, Harborview and our South Lake Union research hub are dedicated to winning the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, heart disease, infectious disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, vision loss and other causes of disability and premature death.

UW Medicine at South Lake Union Biotech and Medical Research

Researchers at UW Medicine's continually expanding biomedical and clinical research hub at South Lake Union (SLU) are working to develop life-changing therapies and medical breakthroughs. The SLU site includes more than 1,200 researchers and support staff in five lab buildings.

Green design is a hallmark of UW Medicine's South Lake Union campus, a recipient of the American Institute of Architects Washington Council Civic Design Award. The buildings include sustainable, high-performance features such as a highly efficient chilled beam radiant cooling system, significant natural day-lighting supplemented by automated lighting control systems in laboratory areas, and exterior sun shades that limit solar gain, further reducing energy use. Sustainably harvested wood decking and low water use vegetation complete the design.


The Allen Discovery Center at UW Medicine — part of the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group — uses newly developed technology to create global maps of development that reveal relationships between the vast numbers of diverse cells that make up a single organism, with major impacts across developmental biology, neuroscience, cancer biology, regenerative medicine and other fields.

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Our allergy and infectious disease researchers are internationally renowned for their research and receive direct awards totaling $40 million per year. They conduct innovative basic and clinical research in a wide range of areas, including treating and studying sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS and creating new vaccine-based ways to treat and prevent infectious disease and improve global health.

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Cancer Vaccine Institute researchers are focused on developing vaccines to prevent cancers responsible for millions of deaths and enormous healthcare costs — breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers — and to prevent cancer relapse. Cancer vaccines are ideally suited to both primary and secondary cancer prevention. Their mission is to bring the power of precision medicine and cancer immunology out of the lab and into the lives of people with cancer or at high risk for cancer.

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The Center for Cardiovascular Biology is dedicated to discovering the molecular basis of cardiovascular disease, harnessing this information to develop new therapies and training the next generation of cardiovascular physicians and scientists.

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The Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (CERID) facilitates infectious diseases research with specific strengths in host-defense, biochemistry, immunology, and drug and vaccine development. Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics (CMiST) is a hub for researchers and clinicians who are educating the community about the importance of the microbiome in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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The Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID) conducts basic and clinical research directed toward understanding the function of the immune system with the goals of harnessing the immune system to prevent cancer and infectious diseases and developing new strategies to treat autoimmunity.

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Center for Lung Biology researchers perform, coordinate, enhance and stimulate basic research directed toward understanding fundamental mechanisms of lung development, repair and disease. The Lung Immunity and Repair Program is one of the Center’s largest research efforts in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Research within this program is varied, including basic biomedical research as well as transitional studies.

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Dermatology researchers conduct basic, clinical and translation research on a diverse range of topics. They include many aspects of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin cancers such as melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma; atopic dermatitis; wound healing; ichthyosis and related skin disorders; the interface between skin and biomaterial; the role of ultraviolet radiation and interactions with caffeine; and the action of defensins in the innate immune response of the skin.

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Diabetes Institute investigators have complementary interests in diabetes, obesity, inflammation, lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis. They conduct both basic research to clarify the mechanisms causing diabetes and obesity and their consequences — and translational research to transform their research findings into clinical solutions.

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Immunology researchers work to advance understanding of the function of the immune system in order to enhance our ability to fight infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune disease. Basic research of all aspects of immunology is critical to this mission, as well as translational research to link their findings to the development of new therapies.

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Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM) researchers are developing stem-cell-based therapies to treat our most serious diseases and injuries including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart and liver failure, spinal cord injury, kidney failure, cancer and osteoarthritis. Many degenerative diseases result from cell deficiency. Stem cells give us a way to replenish the cells that are lost or dysfunctional. ISCRM faculty and researchers are making discoveries that may hold the promise of new treatments for a wide variety of diseases.

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UW Medicine is fortunate to host the Institute of Translational Health Sciences​ (​ITHS)​, one of the national Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites that work to change how biomedical research and training is performed. This national consortium is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NCATS’ Clinical and Translational Science Award Program supports a national network of medical research institutions — called CTSA hubs — that work together to improve the translational research process to get more treatments to more patients more quickly. The hubs collaborate locally and regionally to catalyze innovation in training, research tools and processes. CTSA Program support enables research teams including scientists, patient advocacy organizations and community members to tackle system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical and translational research that no one team can overcome.​​​​

Within the UW Medicine and surrounding research community, ITHS fosters innovative health research through pilot funding, research facilities, expert consultations, tools and technologies, and career development programs.

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Metabolomics researchers work closely with a large number of scientific and clinical collaborators and biostatisticians on various metabolomics projects such as the identification of cancer biomarkers for early detection, recurrence monitoring and therapy prediction. They are also involved in studies of diabetes and heart diseases as well as nutrition-based disease prevention and aging. They have a strong interest in expanding the understanding of disease risk factors using metabolite profiling approaches.

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Research in microbiology brings together investigators from across a wide range of interests including physiology, microbial ecology, virology and microbial pathogenesis. Our team seeks to understand the impact of organism interaction with each other and with their environments.

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The Mitochondria and Metabolism Center (MMC), located on UW Medicine’s South Lake Union campus, joins investigators from across disciplines to explore the molecular processes contributing to prevention, therapeutics and diagnostic possibilities.

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Rheumatology researchers are working to increase knowledge of rheumatic diseases and thereby improve the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. Particular emphasis is placed on the disease mechanisms in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, from foundations and local donors. Research findings are published regularly in national and international scientific journals.

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The UW Proteomics Resource (UWPR) helps researchers with the large-scale study of proteins and their many roles in human health and disease. Its mission is to advance proteomic technologies and apply these technologies to significant biological problems. The UWPR performs experiments motivated by UWPR members as well as collaborative projects with the larger UW community. UWPR provides access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and computational support for Resource members and their collaborators.

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The Vascular Imaging Laboratory is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers who are dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge, education and training in the field of medical imaging. Their primary focus is atherosclerosis research using high-resolution MRI and other imaging modalities such as CT, PET and ultrasound. They also provide training, pathology and clinical trial services. The Vascular Imaging Lab is committed to advancing imaging technology and identifying the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease.

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Vision Science Center brings together scientists from across departments to work on research that will lead to the discovery of next-generation tools for diagnosing, preventing and treating all types of eye disease.

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UW Medicine at Harborview Lab Research

Harborview is home to the UW Laboratory Research Programs​. Harborview-based faculty obtain over $240 million in research and training funding per year, performing translational and basic research as well as clinical studies and treatment trials, epidemiology and health services research. Lab-based research includes cell biology, neurosciences, vascular biology, inflammation, infectious diseases, lung biology and microbial pathogenesis.

Research & Training Building

The Research & Training Building opened in 1999 and houses an auditorium, training and meeting rooms and seven floors of laboratories and other research support space and offices. Approximately 40 faculty across thirteen departments and divisions conduct lab-based research at the building.

BUILDING INFORMATION

Ninth and Jefferson Building

The Ninth and Jefferson Building opened in 2009 and contains laboratories, laboratory support space, and offices. The building also houses the Department of Global Health, the Center for AIDS and STD, the Kidney Research Institute​, the Eye Institute, the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH).​

BUILDING INFORMATION


University of Washington / Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research advances knowledge in the clinical epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of HIV/ AIDS by fostering collaborative and interdisciplinary research, supporting career development in junior investigators and providing research infrastructure and resources to researchers and scientists at our affiliated institutions.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center helps advance Alzheimer’s research with a specific focus on precision medicine to improve the care, functioning and quality of life of both patients and caregivers.

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Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence enhances research, education and patient-centered care for patients with severe illness, and their families.

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The Center for Videoendoscopic Surgery (CVES) studies the implementation of minimally invasive surgeries to treat diseases of the esophagus and foregut.

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The Clinical and Bio-Analytics Transplant Laboratory (CBATL) works to improve transplant patient care through genomic evaluation, data science, experimental design and statistical analysis.

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Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children (WACh) makes scientific discoveries, cultivates leaders and bridges disciplines to advance the health and well-being of women, adolescents and children.

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Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC) conducts research and promotes education and prevention programs aimed at diminishing the personal impact of trauma and broadening the effectiveness of injury prevention and treatment programs regionally and nationally.

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International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) conducts clinical research, expands international clinical trial capacity and advances research for HIV and infectious disease interventions.

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The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is a global network working with local partners to develop skilled healthcare workers and strong national systems in resource-limited countries.

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Kidney disease researchers are committed to bench-to-bedside (and back to bench) research to tackle important kidney diseases and related issues to improve patient outcomes and to guide new policy development. They provide opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials, receive novel therapies and inform the direction of basic, translational and clinical kidney research.

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The Northwest Liver Research Program was founded to increase the collaboration between interdisciplinary researchers working to better care for patients with liver diseases and tumors.

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Investigators explore interactions between the genital microbiome and sexually transmitted infections to understand bodily effects and related morbidity.

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The Sports Health and Safety Institute strives to explore and provide information about the benefits and risks of sports and recreation activities. Their work informs the health decisions made by athletes, coaches, parents and health professionals.

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The Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) assesses the impact of surgical procedures on patients, society and the healthcare system and improves the practice of surgery through education, training and policy initiatives.

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Medical research centers across campus:


The AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) improves the health of populations by advancing the research and implementation of collaborative care to treat common and persistent mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

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Basic Biology of Aging houses one of six Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the United States that provide leadership for research into the biology of aging and support for community investigators.

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The Behavioral Research in Technology and Engineering (BRiTE) Center brings together researchers, clinicians, technologists and mental health advocates with a common goal of improving the lives of those suffering with mental illness, as well as those of their families and communities.

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The Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine unites UW Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s in taking major steps forward in the emerging field of precision medicine. By understanding the differences from person to person in disease vulnerability, researchers can develop more specific diagnostics and treatments for people with cancer, rare childhood diseases, Alzheimer’s and other conditions.

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Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs) is one of 11 health professional schools selected by the National Institutes of Health to act as hubs for the development, evaluation and distribution of pain management curriculum resources to enhance and improve how healthcare professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.

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The Center for Dialysis Innovation is a partnership of UW Medicine and Northwest Kidney Centers to improve the health and well-being of people receiving dialysis treatment. The Center includes researchers from the UW Engineered Biomaterials program and the UW Kidney Research Institute.

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The Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound develops industrial and medical ultrasound technology, fostering collaborations with industrial partners and educating students and technical professionals.

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Center on Outcomes Research in Rehabilitation (UWCORR) seeks to improve the function, level of independence and quality of life of people who have disabilities brought about by illness, injury or congenital origin.

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The Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB) seeks to eradicate the harm caused by a variety of health risk behaviors through the development and implementation of new prevention and treatment approaches.

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Cystic Fibrosis Center is a collaboration between UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital for patient care and research to improve the care of patients with cystic fibrosis, establish better treatments and ultimately find a cure for this disease.

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The Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute works to promote healthy aging in people and their companion animals to slow the rate of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related disorders.

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The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.

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The Institute for Prostate Cancer Research (IPCR) brings together a world-renowned team of scientists and clinicians in the hopes of one day finding a cure for prostate cancer.  A natural outgrowth of established research and clinical collaborations, the institute is a joint effort of UW Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The IPCR's mission is to understand the causes of prostate cancer and its progression, develop new prevention strategies, devise innovative diagnostics and improve survival and quality of life.

The IPCR calls on the strength of more than 40 scientists and scientist-clinicians in multiple disciplines, many of whom are international leaders in their fields. Together these researchers have already:

  • Identified and/or assembled up to 80 percent of the genes expressed in prostate cancer
  • Developed one of the largest serum and tissue banks in the world
  • Undertaken some of the most advanced studies of bone biology and skeletal metastases
  • Assembled information and genotypes for more than 300 families with hereditary prostate cancer
  • Developed many new therapeutic strategies

Since the IPCR's formation, its faculty members have been awarded more than $40 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. This includes one of only 10 prostate cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants nationwide from the National Cancer Institute to study prostate cancer progression.

IPCR faculty members have also received many other individual grants to study numerous aspects of prostate cancer. Receiving this level of private and federal funding constitutes a tremendous accomplishment and demonstrates the excellence of our faculty members and their work.

Together, these scientists and clinicians provide hope for men with prostate cancer and their families in the Northwest and the world.

For more information about the entities involved in the IPCR collaboration, visit UW UrologySCCA Prostate Group and Fred Hutch.

Questions about the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research may be directed to the IPCR Program Manager, Nola Klemfuss at nklemfus@seattlecca.org or 206-667-3042. Learn more about the Survivors' Celebration Breakfast.

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The Institute for Protein Design (IPD) develops and applies methods for designing synthetic proteins for a wide range of new functions, including catalysts for chemical reactions, vaccine candidates and flu virus inhibitors.

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The Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute integrates basic science research and an engineering focus, offering a strong mechanism for translational development.

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National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC-BIO) is a state-of-the-art surface analysis instrumentation and research facility serving the bioengineering research community.

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The School Mental Health Assessment, Research, & Training (SMART) Center is a transdisciplinary collaboration between the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Education that promotes quality improvement of school-based mental and behavioral health services.

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The Ultrasound-based Washington Molecular Imaging and Therapy Center (uWAMIT) is developing ultrasound as a modality for imaging and treating diseases in the early stages. Molecular imaging examines not only what anatomically is occurring, but the molecules that drive biological processes.

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The UW Center for Synthetic Biology (CSB) supports synthetic biology as an emerging discipline, focused on engineering biological parts and pathways that enable living systems to perform new and useful functions.

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The UW Institute for Neuroengineering (UWIN) was launched to solve some of today’s greatest scientific challenges about neural system function. UWIN bridges biology, computing, devices, data science, and computational neuroscience.

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The Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center studies the causes of hearing loss and disequilibrium.

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WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) provides leadership in the use of simulation technologies to improve the quality of healthcare education, patient safety and outcomes.

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