Heather Gustafson, PhD

"The goal of EDIT labs is to train a child's own immune system to eliminate cancer. We believe the key to doing this is through first understanding where the crucial dysregulation or untrained points are in that child's innate immune system. Then we use that information to "re-train" the innate immune system to clear cancer. Our team is curated from positive attitudes, a love of science, fundamental creativity, hard work and hope for the future. "

  • Dr. Heather H Gustafson directs EDIT Labs in the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s. Dr. Gustafson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on polymer engineering and a minor in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University, USA. She went onto earn her PhD in Bioengineering with a focus on drug delivery, pharmaceutics, nanomaterial development and innate immune interactions jointly from the University of Utah, USA and the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, Germany. Following completion of her PhD she completed a postdoctoral fellowship jointly between the University of Washington, USA and the Walter and Eliza Hall Medical Institute, Australia. Her postdoctoral work focused on how to manipulate the innate immune system specifically through the engagement of immunological cell death mechanisms to treat cancer. She began her tenure at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research in 2019, directing the Engineering and Designing Immunotherapies Lab (EDIT Labs). The EDIT Labs team focuses on understanding how to train a child’s innate immune system to fight and treat cancer.



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