Innovators Network

IN Stories

Andrea Towlerton
Fred Hutch Research Technician and Innovators Network member Andrea Towlerton sees IN making a difference in Fred Hutch’s lifesaving work.


Passion Combines with Compassion
I arrived at Dr. Hootie Warren’s lab at Fred Hutch three years ago and joined Innovators Network almost immediately. People work here because their motivation in life is to help others. Working in this environment is absolutely awesome. Dr. Warren combines passion and compassion: He’s enthusiastic about research but also really understands the sacrifices patients make. It’s truly a gift to wake up each day and know that what you’re doing is helping others. 

Get INvolved
Joining Innovators Network is a great way to get involved in the Fred Hutch community. It’s a fantastic introduction to the amazing research being done right in Seattle at Fred Hutch! As scientists, we need to share our excitement and get people engaged and enthusiastic about where their contributions are going. That’s one reason why I bring my wonderful colleagues to IN happy hours. Fred Hutch provides a haven for scientists with interests ranging from infectious disease to diabetes to bounce ideas off each other. IN helps keep these brilliant minds here.

From Bench to Bedside
I’ve studied everything from bats to nanotechnology, but deep down I always wanted to work on clinical research. Translational medicine is the best of both worlds. Every day in the lab is different. We focus on immunotherapy strategies to target cancer, and my work ranges from the bench top to computational research to making sure the lab runs smoothly. Seeing research taken to the bedside is very rewarding. 

Each Person Makes a Difference
My parents instilled a desire to give back, whatever your resources. I feel it’s important to give back to a place that gives so much to patients. Last year, I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania after raising more than $10,000 through the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer — half of that in small donations of a few dollars each. In total, I’ve been able to contribute around $12,000 to Fred Hutch, and I’m just one person!

IN Helps Turn Research into Therapy
Every therapy starts with research. Philanthropy is only growing more critical to keep research flowing as federal funding diminishes. In our lab, we understand the importance of research and clinical care working together, and gifts from IN members help support our quest to create lifesaving therapies.


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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.