The mission of the Seattle Flu Alliance is to understand how respiratory viruses spread and evolve, sharing that knowledge to prevent illness and death. Studying these viruses helps researchers and public health organizations make decisions that protect the public’s health, like developing new vaccines or promoting social distancing. When we understand how viruses are transmitted, we can catch them earlier and slow their spread across the Seattle area. We envision our research contributing to healthier communities that are protected from the threat of new and evolving respiratory diseases.

The Seattle Flu Alliance is made up of leading researchers from The Brotman Baty Institute, UW Medicine, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle Children’s, and the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health.

The Seattle Flu Alliance supports studies and research projects aimed at learning how respiratory viruses are detected, monitored, and controlled:

  • The CASCADIA Study: A study to examine how COVID-19 occurs in adults and children, and how well COVID-19 vaccines work to prevent infections and illness.
  • Husky Coronavirus Testing: Students, faculty, and staff of the University of Washington take part in this study of how COVID-19 spreads in the UW community. Participants will answer questions and may be offered a COVID-19 test.
  • Symptoms Survey: King County residents can participate in weekly surveys to help experts learn about the spread of respiratory illnesses. This study is led by Outbreaks Near Me, a partnership between Boston Children's Hospital and The Brotman Baty Institute.
  • Antibody and Immunity Research Study: The Brotman Baty Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center are collaborating on a study to learn more about the immune response to respiratory illnesses.
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute COVID-19 Collaboration Initiative: Investigators at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, University of Washington Institute for Protein Design, and The Brotman Baty Institute are collaborating to study how respiratory pathogens spread through a community, including what happens as SARS-CoV-2 transitions from pandemic to endemic spread. The initiative will also predict further evolution of the virus for better design of vaccines and therapeutics.

“The Seattle Flu Alliance is helping us to understand the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ways respiratory viruses are spread. This research will fill in the gaps in our knowledge and better prepare us for future outbreaks and pandemics.” Dr. Helen Chu, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Infectious Disease, UW Medicine

Principal Investigators

The Seattle Flu Alliance is led by experts in respiratory disease research. Learn more about their research using the links below.

Trevor Bedford, PhD Professor, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and Computational Biology Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center; Affiliate Faculty, Department of Genome Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Michael Boeckh, MD, PhD Head, Infectious Disease Sciences Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

Helen Chu, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease, UW Medicine.

Janet Englund, MD Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Seattle Children’s.

Tina Lockwood, PhD, DABCC, DABMGG Professor and Division Head, Genetics and Solid Tumors, UW Medicine.

Barry Lutz, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, UW Medicine.

John (JT) McCrone, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Vaccine and Infectious Disease, Fred Hutch Cancer Center.

Jay Shendure, MD, PhD Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington.

Lea Starita, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington; Co-director, Brotman Baty Advanced Technology Lab, The Brotman Baty Institute.

Cécile Viboud, PhD Senior Staff Scientist, Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health.

Alpana Waghmare, MD Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s; Assistant Professor, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

Ana Weil, MD Principal Investigator, Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Washington; Assistant Professor, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington.