Robins Lab

Robins Lab

Graphic of t cells attacking a cancer cell

T cells (green) attacking a cancer cell (blue)

Graphic by Lisa Donahue

Our Research

The Robins Lab research is computationally based and focuses on the adaptive immune system and its response to cancer and viral infection.

Taking advantage of new high-throughput sequencing technology, through multiplex screening assays and in collaboration with clinicians and other experimental groups, we are isolating and sequencing millions of T cell receptor VDJ rearrangements from different clonotypes. With immunosequencing techniques, we can attempt a comprehensive description of the T cell repertoire and ask how this repertoire is modified during an immune response.



Graphic showing receiver operating characteristic curves

With immunosequencing, what is past is prologue

Hutch News | JM Kocarnik | May 15, 2017

In a recent issue of Nature Genetics, Dr. Harlan Robins and colleagues in the Public Health Sciences and Human Biology Divisions were able to develop a statistical classification framework that can “read” these immunological histories in individuals to diagnose their cytomegalovirus status.

Dr. Harlan Robins

Scientists read infection history in immune genes

Hutch News | April 13, 2017

Every infection leaves a record. Unlike ancient societies that transcribed their histories on papyrus scrolls, our infections leave their traces in the immune system. Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Adaptive Biotechnologies have begun to decode these histories in new research published online earlier this month in Nature Genetics.

Graphic of dark blue and teal proteins of this specific TCR will only be found together, but can easily become lost in a sea of other TCRs.

An easy pairing

Hutch News | Sabrina Richards | Aug. 19, 2015

Fred Hutch’s Harlan Robins develops a new method to match thousands of pairs of key genes needed for cancer immunotherapy.