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Seattle is known for many things: rain, Amazon, Starbucks, Fifty Shades of Grey, the Space Needle … the list goes on and on. But amid the beautiful mountains, frappuccinos and startup incubators, the Emerald City has emerged as a leader in another field: global health.

From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH to Splash, Washington Global Health Alliance, World Vision and more, Seattle is home to some of the sector’s leading organizations. In all, there are more than 33 of them striving to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people through vaccinations, digital health solutions and other interventions.

In addition to our booming nonprofit scene, we also have a burgeoning ecosystem of world-class hospitals, labs and research institutes. These include Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The Infectious Disease Research Institute, The Center for Infectious Disease Research and more. Add to that the University of Washington’s public health school — one of the best in the nation — and you have quite the concentration of knowledge, discovery and life-altering ambition.

So what has come out of this dense global health sector in the last few years? Here’s a quick summary:

  • Seattle Children’s found a dye based on deadly scorpion venom that lights up cancer cells so that surgeons can see — and remove — deadly brain tumors. They’ll be testing it for the first time in human subjects this summer.
  • Researchers from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found a vaccine candidate that puts us significantly closer to an HIV vaccine.
  • The Benaroya Research Institute’s Immune Tolerance Network was heavily involved in a new study which found that feeding infants peanuts could prevent potentially deadly allergies.
  • To learn more about the innovative research lighting up labs across our fair city, I highly recommend this article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer on the top 20 diseases Seattle researchers are investigating.

Weber Shandwick Seattle is proud to play our part in this hub too. We’re lucky to call some of these organizations our clients, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue growing our expertise and knowledge in this area through our Social Impact Practice.

From now on, when you think of Seattle, think beyond the usual icons. There are people in this “city by the sound” working every day to ensure that everyone on Earth has access to the health care they need.

Making the world a better place? That’s a reputation any city would be proud to have.

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