ISB News

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

2023-24 School Year ISB Education Highlights

Each month throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the ISB Education team is working on.

Autoimmune Disease and Pregnancy: ISB Study Challenges Prevailing Wisdom, Unveils Nuances

An ISB-led study showed nuanced pregnancy outcomes for pregnant individuals with autoimmune disease. The findings reinforce that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and provides important new avenues for further investigation.

Breakthrough T Cell Discovery Has Huge Potential for Engineering Custom Immune Responses

In a breakthrough discovery that changes how we understand T cells and with implications of how we can better engineer custom immune responses to fight disease, Institute for Systems Biology researchers showed that the different disease-fighting functions of different T cells are determined by the genetically encoded T-cell receptor sequence that are unique to those cells.

ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sid Venkatesh

Sid Venkatesh Joins ISB as Assistant Professor

Dr. Sid Venkatesh recently joined ISB as assistant professor and is our newest faculty member. In this Q&A, Venkatesh discusses his research, his aspirations in the gut-microbiota field, his philosophy as a scientist, what he does when he’s not in the lab, and more.

ISB Building at dusk

2023 Year in Review

Throughout 2023, ISB research has been published in impactful peer-reviewed journals and our scientists have been featured in major media outlets and popular podcasts. In this 2023 Year in Review, we showcase some of our most important and interesting highlights of the year.

ISB Associate Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons

‘1 in 1,000:’ Dr. Sean Gibbons Named Highly Cited Researcher for 2023

ISB Associate Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons was named a Highly Cited Researcher for 2023. It is the second consecutive year Gibbons has earned the distinction. The Highly Cited Research list is generated annually by Clarivate, which says: “Of the world’s population of scientists and social scientists, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1,000.”

ISB Researchers Find a Chink in the Armor of Tuberculosis Pathogen

By using a computer model to understand the adaptions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the pathogen that causes tuberculosis, researchers at ISB have identified a network within Mtb that allows it to tolerate and resist drug therapies. This work is published in Cell Reports.

Lifestyle coaching improves cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease trial.

Personalized Coaching Decreases Cognitive Decline in Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Supplementing the standard of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease patients with personalized lifestyle coaching leads to less cognitive decline compared to standard of treatment alone, according to an ISB-led two-year study. The results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Sarah Clemente

AmeriCorps Member Sarah Clemente Joins ISB as Systems Thinkers in STEM Ambassador Coordinator

Sarah Clemente recently joined ISB as a Systems Thinkers in STEM Ambassador Coordinator, and is the third AmeriCorps member to work with us. In this Q&A, Clemente shares what drew her to ISB, what she hopes to accomplish over the next year, and more. 

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters Are Essential for Maternal-Fetal Health

In light of the recent FDA and CDC decision to approve two updated messenger RNA COVID-19 booster shots, it is imperative to alert the pregnant population of the importance and effectiveness of these vaccines and boosters. 

Baliga Postdoctoral Fellow Training

Genetic Tools Probe Microbial Dark Matter

ISB researchers Nitin Baliga, Serdar Turkarslan, Mario Arrieta-Ortiz and Yaqiao Li collaborated with the University of Washington to present the first glimpse of the molecular mechanisms behind the unusual lifestyle of a group of tiny microbes called Patescibacteria. The breakthrough was made possible by the discovery of a way to genetically manipulate these bacteria, an advance that has opened a world of possible new research directions.

High School Duo Named Champions in DOE-Sponsored AlgaePrize Competition

High school students Ashwin Mukherjee and Rohan Chanani worked with ISB Research Scientist Dr. Jacob Valenzuela on a project to build a machine learning algorithm to count algal cells from microscope images taken from a cell phone. In April, the team was recognized as champions in the DOE-sponsored AlgaePrize competition.

Drs. Jennifer Hadlock and Samantha Piekos

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters Associated with Lower Rates of Stillbirth, New ISB Study Shows

Pregnant people who are vaccinated are less likely to contract COVID-19 than unvaccinated pregnant people, and those vaccinated and boosted are less likely to get COVID than those who are vaccinated only, according to the first-ever large study of boosters and pregnancy.

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

2022-23 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 2022-2023 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the team is working on.

Three Collaborative Projects Announced for ISB’s 2023 Innovator Award Program

ISB kicked off the seventh year of our successful Innovator Award Program by announcing three collaborative projects. This internal program is designed to support novel research ideas that cut across disciplines and research groups.

Dr. Leroy Hood, Popular Mechanics

Leroy Hood Wants To Show You How To Live for a Really, Really Long Time

Popular Mechanics interviewed ISB Co-founder and Professor Dr. Lee Hood for an article titled “Leroy Hood Wants To Show You How To Live for a Really, Really Long Time.” The story features Hood’s big-data approach and a focus on disease prevention – all in the quest to help us live longer.

Revolutionizing Healthcare: Exploring the Age of Scientific Wellness for Optimal Health and Disease Prevention

In their new book, “The Age of Scientific Wellness: Why the Future of Medicine is Personalized, Predictive, Data-Rich, and In Your Hands,” Drs. Lee Hood and Nathan Price introduce a new way of thinking about healthcare – a focus on preventing diseases and optimizing overall wellness.

LA Times Image

New Alzheimer’s drugs are costly and controversial. Are we going about this all wrong?

There is tremendous market and media frenzy around new Alzheimer’s disease drugs, but their efficacy is contested while the potential of prevention is untapped and underreported, Drs. Lee Hood and Nathan Price wrote in an opinion piece published by the Los Angeles Times.