ISB News

Central Dogma

The Power of Touchscreens: ISB Researchers Develop Game to Help Students Learn Molecular Biology

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between DNA, RNA and proteins? ISB researchers have created a video game that teaches secondary students (grades 6-12) the key tenets of molecular biology in a fun, interactive and engaging way, and can be used by teachers as a supplemental aide to assist with complex lessons.

Knatokie Ford and Jim Heath

Dr. Knatokie Ford Shares STEM Journey, Learnings and Advice in ISB-Town Hall Seattle Livestream

Dr. Knatokie Ford was the featured speaker of a virtual event hosted by ISB and Town Hall Seattle, and shared many of the experiences that helped pave her way to become a leading voice in STEM policy and advocacy, and identified several ways parents and teachers can encourage kids to become tomorrow’s STEM professionals.

View of the responsive recruitment website and electronic consent platform as seen on mobile phone and desktop devices.

ISB Builds Digital Platform for COVID-19 Research Study – and Beyond

In a multi-institutional study of a highly infectious disease like COVID-19, paperless consent for study participants is critical. One component of the COVID-19 Immune Response Study is a recruitment website with an IRB-approved and HIPAA-compliant electronic consent platform for enrolling patients.

Reshaping STEM Education Toward a More Equitable Future for Students

ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons recently participated in a virtual event titled “Reshaping STEM Education Toward Equitable Futures for Washington Students.” Panelists shared their insights about how to leverage this complex moment to reshape STEM education toward equity, sustainability, and prosperity for Washington state’s students — especially those furthest from opportunity.

Shmulevich-Thorsson

ISB Researchers Among Recipients of AACR Team Science Award

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has recognized The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project with the 2020 AACR Team Science Awards. Award recipients include Dr. Ilya Shmulevich, ISB professor and head of the Shmulevich Lab; ISB senior research scientist Dr. Vésteinn Þórsson; and former Shmulevich Lab members Drs. Brady Bernard and Theo Knijnenburg.

learning amid pandemic

ISB Education Prepares Teachers for New Realities of K-12 Learning Amid Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic impact on K-12 education. In response, ISB Education has stepped up with a series of virtual workshops to provide much-needed support for student learning. Since March, more than 500 teachers and principals representing every educational district across Washington state have attended our “Systems Are Everywhere” workshops.

Leroy Hood: Leading the systems biology revolution

ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood won the Lasker Award in 1987. The Lasker Foundation recently published a profile of Hood, writing: “The highlights Hood’s scientific career are like peaks in a mountain range spanning diverse fields, from molecular immunology and engineering, to genomics, to systems medicine.”

Bacterial tug of war between prevotella and bacteroides -- gut microbiome

It’s ‘Either/Or’ for Two Common Gut Microbiome Genera, and Switching Teams Is Tougher Than Expected

There is a dichotomy between Bacteroides- and Prevotella-dominated guts — two common gut bacterial genera — and there is a significant barrier when it comes to transitioning from one to the other.

Co-corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and co-lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

For Cancer Cells, There Is More Than One Path to Drug Resistance

In findings published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers show that cancer cells can take more than one path to reach a drug-resistant cell state. These findings could have promising implications for the future of cancer care.

ISB researchers

Unveiling the Guerrilla Warfare Tactics of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

ISB researchers have unveiled new insights on how Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis, enters and exits a dormant state in human hosts. About a quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, so these important findings will enable and accelerate the discovery of more effective TB drugs.

Merck and ISB Collaborate to Understand and Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Merck is collaborating with ISB and its partners to analyze blood samples and nasal swabs from Swedish Medical Center patients with SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples will be examined using proteomic, metabolomic, transcriptomics and genetic techniques to evaluate the impact of infection on different organs, and to identify potential biomarkers to predict the risk of severe disease.

Dr. Jeff Ranish and Dr. Mark Gillespie

Mysteries of Cell Fate Unlocked with New Measurement and Modeling Techniques 

In the cellular process of differentiation, information about the concentrations of an important class of proteins residing in a cell’s nucleus has been lacking, a missing link needed for scientists to fully understand how the process works. ISB researchers have quantified this important class of proteins that play a key role in the formation of red blood cells.

the case for masks

Molecular Biologist Dr. Sui Huang: We Should All Be Wearing Masks

ISB’s Dr. Sui Huang has been a powerful voice in a growing chorus contending that masks are an effective tool to stop the spread of COVID-19. Huang calls guidelines from the CDC and other public health agencies “unfortunate,” as they sweep aside a potentially powerful measure that could help “flatten the curve.”

ISB’s Dr. Nathan Price Inducted into AIMBE’s College of Fellows 

Dr. Nathan Price has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows. Price was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for his contributions deriving medical and biological insights from large-scale data analysis and network modeling, and translating those insights to society.

Illustration of a person using a katana to slash a coronavirus in half

Merck, ISB, Swedish Collaborate In Trial to Understand, Treat COVID-19

ISB and Swedish Medical Center launched a study to follow hundreds of patients who contract COVID-19 to learn why those infected have drastically different outcomes. “Each of the COVID-19 patients has a unique lesson to teach us about how the medical and scientific community can respond most effectively to this pandemic,” said ISB President Dr. Jim Heath, who co-leads the study.

Education resources

During Coronavirus Outbreak, Free Online Resources for Stuck-At-Home K-12 Students

ISB Education is continually working to identify effective resources to support student learning. In response to the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of K-12 schools across the nation, we recognize that many schools and families are looking for resources to meet the needs of students.

CDC Coronavirus Image

ISB Statement Concerning the Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak

ISB is committed to the health and safety of our research and administrative staff. Some of our scientists are conducting important COVID-19 research. Otherwise, ISB is adhering to Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders. For the latest coronavirus information, please monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage linked from this news item.

Sean Gibbons

Metabolomics Reveals Connection Between Gut Microbiome and Blood

Alpha diversity in the gut microbiome holds many clues to understanding human health. This blog post by Metabolon details how those clues are more accessible because ISB researchers can predict the diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome by examining metabolites in the blood. These findings were recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.