Colorectal Cancer Research

The researchers at UW Medicine, VA Pugent Sound Health Care System and the Fred Hutch Cancer Center are working to make colorectal cancer easier to prevent and detect, and to find better treatment options.

A colon cancer tissue scan; Fred Hutch.

Meet our Colorectal Cancer Researchers


Dr. Neelendu Dey is a UW Assistant Professor of Medicine. His primary research focus is the intestinal microbiota and his scientific role will be to develop an independent research program that will advance the understanding of the effect of the microbiome on human health and disease. Dr. Dey is co-director of the Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics.


Dr. Jason Dominitz is Professor of Medicine at UW, and the Executive Director for Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the VA Pugent Sound Health Care System where he leads over one thousand VA gastroenterologists and hepatologists across the nation, and has created new programs for colonoscopy quality assurance. Dr. Dominitz is Co-Chair of a VA research study comparing screening colonoscopy to annual stool-based screening for colorectal cancer in over 50,000 Veterans. 


Dr. William M. Grady is Professor of Medicine at UW, and a Fred Hutch Cancer Center researcher. His lab has worked to develop a safe, accurate and easy-to-administer test that picks up cancer warning signals in the DNA found in a blood or stool sample. Members of Dr. Grady’s lab have focused their research on a protien called TGF-beta receptor type 2, a protein often found to be abnormal in colorectal cancer patients that have methylated genes in their tumors. Scientists suspect that abnormalities in the TGF-beta receptor are one of the causes for colon polyps turning into colon cancer.


Dr. Rachel Issaka is a UW Assistant Professor of Medicine, and the Director of the FHCRC/UW Medicine Population Health Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. Her research focuses on decreasing colorectal cancer mortality through increased screening in medically underserved populations, and optimizing interventions that improve colorectal cancer care outcomes.


Dr. Cynthia Ko is Associate Professor of Medicine, and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Systems and Population Health at UW. Her research focuses on evaluating effectiveness off colorectal cancer screening and prevention, colorectal cancer epidemiology, and colonoscopy quality.