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About Dr. Metzger

“PNRI is a research organization that encourages scientists to ask unconventional questions. It is a privilege to have the freedom to follow your scientific curiosity.”

During his postdoctoral training, Michael Metzger, PhD began a project looking for a new retrovirus that was thought to be the cause of outbreaks of leukemia-like cancers in soft-shell clams. Instead, he found that cancers cells themselves were jumping from clam to clam, infecting many of the animals in the environment — yet not all of the clams developed cancer.

Driven to Follow Scientific Curiosity

Michael’s drive to further explore the evolution of the unique cancer and the resistance of the surviving clams led him to establish a one-of-a-kind lab at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI) in 2018 as an assistant investigator.

As an affiliate faculty member of the University of Washington’s Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program and the Department of Genome Sciences, Michael mentors graduate students in his lab.

Trained in the Pacific Northwest, Michael earned a master’s degree in epidemiology and a PhD in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Washington. He completed a short postdoctoral fellowship in basic science at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Stephan Goff’s lab at Columbia University — where he first identified transmissible cancer in clams.

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