ISB News

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

2021-22 School Year ISB Education Highlights

From planning, creating and executing workshops for educators to forging new relationships to elevate students, the ISB Education team has been in high gear. Each month throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the team is working on.

Dr. Jack Gilbert on the State of the Microbiome Field

In the final ISB-Town Hall Seattle Science Series of 2021, ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons sat down with UCSD Professor Dr. Jack Gilbert, and the two microbiome experts discussed past research, exciting science happening today, promising products and therapies on the horizon, and much more.

Reimagine: Your Immune System Event Generates $60,000 to Fuel Critical ISB Research

More than 300 people registered for Reimagine: Your Immune System, ISB’s annual virtual fundraiser, for an evening that included guest appearances Nobel laureate Dr. David Baltimore, immunology expert Dr. Mark Davis, ISB President Dr. Jim Heath, and a host of ISB researchers studying the human immune system.

Nir Barzilai on Health Span, Life Span and the New Science of Longevity

Longevity and aging researcher Dr. Nir Barzilai participated in a fireside chat conversation with ISB Co-founder and Professor Dr. Lee Hood. The two renowned scientists talked about Barzilai’s study of 750 centenarians, how aging research has changed over the years, and what exciting developments are coming.

Dr. Andrew Magis: Identifying Markers for Cancer Years Before Diagnosis

By taking detailed measurements of blood and other biological samples, ISB scientists have shown they can identify markers for cancer years before diagnosis. This was the topic of a recent Research Roundtable presentation delivered by Dr. Andrew Magis, Director of Data Science in ISB’s Health Data Science Lab.

Microbiome and weight loss

Can You Lose Weight? Ask Your Microbiome

The strongest associations with weight loss success or failure – independent of BMI – are found in the genetic capacity of the gut microbiome. These new findings open the door to diagnostic tests that can identify people likely to lose weight with healthy lifestyle changes and those who might need more drastic interventions.

Drs. Jim Heath, Yapeng Su and Jihoon Lee

Metabolic Changes in Plasma and Immune Cells Associated with COVID-19 Severity, May Predict Patient Survival

Researchers from Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and other organizations have uncovered underlying metabolic changes that regulate how immune cells react to COVID-19. These findings are associated with COVID-19 severity and may predict patient survival. The work was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

2021 ISB Microbiome Series

2021 ISB Virtual Microbiome Series Announced

Our multi-day microbiome-themed virtual course and symposium is back by popular demand! ISB is hosting a two-day course on October 13 & 14, followed by a symposium on October 15. Both events are virtual and free. The intended audience for these events are graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, industry scientists, educators, clinicians, or any other variety of microbiome-curious person from across the globe.

Dr. Sean Gibbons Spotlighted in Alumni Profile

MIT’s Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics recently featured Dr. Sean Gibbons in an alumni profile. Gibbons discussed his academic arc that started in Montana and led to his master’s studies (sponsored by a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship) at Uppsala University in Sweden, completing his PhD in biophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, and conducting his postdoc work in the lab of Eric Alm. He also talked about some of…

Spotlight On Amy Zamora, Former ISB Systems Research Scholar

Between 2018 and 2020, Amy Zamora’s tenure as a systems research scholar allowed her to merge her two interests – math and biology – and to learn a lot more along the way. “I didn’t really know how to combine my passions until I came to ISB,” she said.

Tackling Lyme Disease with Immunity

It’s Lyme disease season in many areas of the United States, including the Northeast, the Midwest, and some places on the West Coast. In our latest Research Roundtable event, ISB Associate Professor Dr. Naeha Subramanian discussed the latest Lyme disease research conducted in her lab.

Wei Lab

New Technology Reveals Single Cancer Cells Have Different Appetites for Fatty Acids

A recently developed method by the Wei Lab at Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and University of California, Riverside provides new insights into cancer biology by allowing researchers to show how fatty acids are absorbed by single cells. This work was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Glioblastoma tumor slice and corresponding density map

Looking at Tumors Through a New Lens

To improve the efficacy of neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade against glioblastoma, researchers are looking for vulnerabilities in surgically removed tissues – a difficulty due to the vast differences within the tumor and between patients. To address this, ISB researchers and their collaborators developed a new way to study tumors.

Fireside Chat with NIH Director Francis Collins and ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood

ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood hosted a fireside chat with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins. The renowned scientists talked about their early careers and long friendship, the challenge of COVID-19, the preceding scientific work that led to the fast development of COVID vaccines, and much more.

Claire Reid / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images, Unsplash

Dr. Lee Hood Writes ‘Second Opinion’ Columns for Los Angeles Times

ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood is credited with coining the term “systems biology” and has been a longtime advocate of P4 medicine. Now, Hood has been selected by the Los Angeles Times to share his insights in a new weekly op-ed column, called Second Opinion.

Genetic Switch May Predict Diatom Resilience in Acidified Oceans

Researchers from ISB’s Baliga Lab recently published a paper in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, in which they identified a diatom-specific gene that may play a key role in predicting when diatoms might transition from a low/moderate to a high carbon dioxide environment.

Dr. Temple Grandin and the Importance of Getting Kids Outside

Dr. Temple Grandin was the featured guest of the latest ISB-Town Hall Seattle Science Series. Grandin discussed her new book – “The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World” – and a variety of other topics. Following her talk, she joined ISB President Dr. Jim Heath for a wide ranging Q&A discussion.

Coral: Healthy and Bleached

ISB Researchers Among World-Class Experts Targeting Coral Bleaching

ISB Drs. Jacob Valenzuela and Nitin Baliga are working to answer key questions about how climate change is affecting marine life and food supplies. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced a $4 million grant over three years to support efforts aimed to help coral reefs survive the impacts of climate change.