Translational Research Program

Translational research is a scientific approach that moves findings from the ‘bench’ to the ‘bedside’ and back in an expedient and systematic way. In other words, it “translates” new laboratory discoveries quickly into medical practices. Clinician findings are in turn shared with laboratory scientists to bring medical research full circle. This transfer of knowledge between laboratory scientists and physicians leads to improved patient care, health and well-being. The research emphasis of the BRI Translational Research Program is the area of immune-mediated disease. Immune-mediated disease research conducted at Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) focuses on the study of autoimmune, allergic and infectious diseases and vaccines. To learn more about research being conducted in these areas at BRI, please click on an area of focus listed below.


Jane Buckner, MD, President; Director, Translational Research Program; Member
Karen Cerosaletti, PhD, Research Assistant Member
Marc Gavin, PhD, Research Associate Member
Eddie James, PhD, Assistant Member
Bernard Khor, MD, PhD, Assistant Member
S. Alice Long, PhD, Research Assistant Member, Manager, BRI Human Immunophenotyping Core
James Lord, MD, PhD, Research Assistant Member and Digestive Disease Institute, VMMC
Erik Wambre, PhD, Assistant Member

Clinician Investigators at Virginia Mason Medical Center

Elisa Boden, MD, Digestive Disease Institute (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac)
Jeffrey Carlin, MD, Rheumatology (Inflammatory Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma)
Michael Elliott, MD, Neuroscience Institute (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Anthony Gerbino, MD, Pulmonary Diseases
Mariko Kita, MD, Neuroscience Institute (Multiple Sclerosis)
Christian Kuhr, MD, Transplant Center (Organ Transplants)
Uma Malhotra, MD, Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile)
Allen Scott Nielsen, MD, Neuroscience Institute (Multiple Sclerosis)
David M. Robinson, MD, Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
Richard Thrilby, MD, Digestive Disease Institute (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis)

Clinician Investigators at Other Medical Centers

Sylvia Lucas, MD, Neurologic Diseases, Western Multiple Sclerosis Center, University of Washington Medical Center
George McDonald, MD, Gastroenterology, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Buckner Laboratory, Jane Buckner, MD 
Cerosaletti Laboratory, Karen Cerosalleti, PhD
Gavin Laboratory, Marc Gavin, PhD
Khor Laboratory, Bernard Kohr, MD, PhD
Long Laboratory, Alice Long, PhD
Lord Laboratory, James Lord, MD, PhD
Wambre Laboratory, Erik Wambre, PhD

Core Facilities

Systems Immunology Division, Peter Linsley, Director
Clinical Core Laboratory, Thien-Son Nguyen, Manager
Genotyping Core Laboratory, Karen Cerosaletti, PhD
Human Immunophenotyping Core Laboratory, Alice Long, PhD
Tetramer Core Laboratory, I-Ting Chow, PhD

Translational Research Program Registries & Biorepositories

The Translational Research Program includes a group of Clinical Coordinators who interface with research participants, a Clinical Core Laboratory that handles and tracks all samples obtained from individuals and then transfers the samples to the research laboratories where scientists conduct their experiments.

Jane Buckner, MD, President; Director, Translational Research Program; Member
Wendy Kliment, Executive Assistant to the Associate Director
Gina Marchesini, MPA, Translational Research Program Manager
Thien-Son Nguyen, Clinical Core Laboratory Manager
Kassidy Benoscek, Inflammatory Bowel & Celiac Diseases Registry & IMD Control Registry Coordinator
Deric Khuat, Research Assistant
Nathan Hawley, Research Assistant
Kaytlyn Ly, Research Assistant
Laynee Laube, Research Assistant

Registries & Biorepositories

Allergy & Asthma

  • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Food (milk, peanut, shrimp, tree nuts)
  • Insect venom sensitivity
  • Pollen/grasses


  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Family members of individuals with type 1 diabetes

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Indeterminate colitis
  • Non-IBD controls (celiac, eosinophilic esophagitis, infectious gastroenteritis or colitis)

Infectious Diseases

  • Flu virus (H1N1)
  • Dengue virus
  • H1N1 and seasonal flu combination vaccine study
  • Influenza A vaccination study
  • Japanese encephalitis virus vaccination study
  • Pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Yellow Fever virus vaccination study
  • West Nile virus

Neurologic Diseases

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Rheumatic Diseases

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or arthritis
  • Relapsing polycondritis (RP)
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus/SLE)

Immune-Mediated Diseases Registry and Repository Healthy Control Group

To support immune-mediated disease research, BRI maintains a healthy control registry and biorepository, which provides laboratory scientists with much needed samples from people who do not have an autoimmune or immune-mediated disease.

To learn more about this registry and biorepository, please visit the Healthy Control Registry and Biorepository page.

To Learn More

To learn more about our Diabetes or Translational Research Programs or to contact any of our registry coordinators, please call one of the toll-free numbers listed below:

Diabetes: 1-800-888-4187 toll-free or by email at

Translational Research Program (Biorepositories): 206-287-5624 or

Email or text messaging is not a secure medium for sending or receiving sensitive or personal information, including health information.  Your use of email or text messaging with BRI constitutes consent to such communication methods.