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WIB-Seattle: YWIB Spring Into STEM: Wisdom of the Immune System with Adaptive Biotechnologies
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WIB-Seattle: YWIB Spring Into STEM: Wisdom of the Immune System with Adaptive Biotechnologies

When: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PDT
Where: Adaptive Biotechnologies
1551 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA  98102
United States
Contact: WIB-Seattle

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Young Women In Bio-Seattle (YWIB) is partnering with Adaptive Biotechnologies to explore how our “adaptive” immune system can learn to diagnose and treat cancer. Girls from 6th through 12th grade will learn how next-generation DNA sequencing can uncover this information and how this information can change how doctors may treat disease. Guided by Adaptive's computational biology scientists, students will use Adaptive’s software to review DNA sequences and identify small amounts of cancer. By identifying this “minimal residual disease” (MRD), girls will learn how to answer new research questions. As part of this experience, students will also have the opportunity to tour Adaptive’s state-of-the-art facility and view the labs.

A Spanish interpreter will be available to support bilingual students.   



3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Check In
3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Introduction to immunology and MRD
                                     (light snacks and beverages will be provided)
4:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Groups rotate through activities
            Activity 1: Identifying MRD in samples (35 minutes)
            Activity 2: Using statistics to stratify samples (35 minutes)
            Activity 3: Facility tour (35 minutes)
5:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Close/Evaluations


Speaker Bios

Speaker 1: Anna Sherwood

Anna Sherwood grew up in Port Townsend, WA. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Washington State University and subsequently joined the Peace Corps serving as a volunteer in China. She earned her Ph.D. in Plant Biology at UC Davis and after a post-doctoral fellowship at Adaptive Biotechnologies, she decided to stay there. Sherwood is now the VP of Research and Development at Adaptive Biotechnologies. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her family, playing in her garden, and sometimes getting in a run.

Speaker 2: Rachel Gittelman

Rachel Gittelman grew up in the Seattle area and earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. During grad school, she studied how evolution has shaped the human genome. Since joining Adaptive's computational biology team, she has focused on analyzing client and collaborator data in a variety of disease settings to inform company-wide strategy.

Speaker 3: Jessica Kuong

Jessica Kuong is currently working in her dream job as a Research Scientist II at Adaptive Biotechnologies. She is the first in her extended family to graduate from college, earning a BS in Cell Biology and minor in Music from the University of California San Diego, followed by a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She moved to Seattle in 2011 for a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington to work on next-generation sequencing projects. Kuong has taught as a Biology instructor at various community colleges in the Greater Seattle area. She is also a well-trained classical pianist and harpist and is currently learning to code in python.

Speaker 4: Courtney Wilkins

Courtney Wilkins is a computational biologist in the Research and Development division of Adaptive Biotechnologies. Wilkins received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2008 before pursuing postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington in innate antiviral immunity. Throughout her career, she has remained committed to promoting science education and outreach.


YWIB age group
Grades 6-12


Pricing Information*

  • Members: Free
  • Non-Members: Free
Pricing notes: In order to participate in this event, students must complete and submit one of the two following Adaptive waiver forms. One form (located here) is for participants under the age of 18 and must be signed by a parent/guardian. The other form (located here) is for participants age 18 and greater and must be signed by the participant. Email completed form as a PDF to Chelsea Mullins ( by May 22, 2019. If these forms are not completed, the student will be unable to participate in any portion of this event.

Online Registration Deadline:

May 24, 2019


Walk-Ins Accepted?


Venue Capacity:



Parking Information

Students can be dropped off at the main entrance to Adaptive Biotechnologies. Bike parking is available upon request.

Directions from Public Transit

Please use the King County Trip Planner to determine your transit route.