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William M. Grady, M.D.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Lab Staff

Dr. Ming Yu, PhD
Dr. Yuna Guo, PhD
Dr. Andrew Kaz, MD
Dr. Stacey Meeker, DVM, PhD
Dr. Stacey Cohen, MD
Kelly Carter, BS
Sean Maden, BS
Corey Johnson
William M. Grady, M.D.
Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Rodger C. Haggitt Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology and Professor of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine

The Grady lab studies the molecular pathogenesis of gastrointestinal cancer with a focus on colorectal cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma.  Projects in the lab involve the study of:

  1. signal network deregulation in cancer,
  2. epigenetic alterations in colorectal and esophageal cancer, and
  3. mechanisms that affect the risk of cancer.  The development of biomarkers that can be used in the management of gastrointestinal cancer is also a focus of the lab.

Dr. Grady studies the mechanisms that cause normal colon cells to turn into cancer cells.  He is also working to clarify genetic modifications and molecular changes associated with a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.

One of Dr. Grady’s goals is to develop a safe, accurate and easy test to screen for signs of colorectal cancer in blood or stool samples. Such a test could encourage more people to undergo screening and limit the use of colonoscopy to those at high risk. As part of this effort, he serves as the local leader of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored study to assess the potential of early detection biomarkers for colon cancer screening.

Dr. Grady has pioneered tools to detect rare cancer-cell DNA in the blood of patients with colorectal cancer and to accurately model human gastrointestinal cancer in the lab, which will help researchers learn how these tumors develop and design better treatments.

It’s not clear which Barrett’s esophagus patients will go on to develop esophageal cancer, so Dr. Grady is developing screening tools to detect molecular changes that flag patients with Barrett’s esophagus, as well as
patients at risk of progressing. He is a principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network, a national collaboration aimed at moving breakthroughs in BE from
the lab to the clinic.

Dr. Grady also devotes time to patient care at the UW Medical Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He serves as the medical director for the SCCA’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Prevention Program, the region’s only dedicated clinic for individuals at high risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers, and he directs translational research in the Gastroenterology Division at UW.

Associated Research: 
University of Washington