More than 300 people registered for Reimagine: Your Immune System, ISB’s annual virtual fundraiser, for an evening that included guest appearances by giants in immunology.
The main event of the evening was a robust conversation between ISB President Dr. Jim Heath, Nobel laureate Dr. David Baltimore, and immunology expert Mark Davis, who Heath said “is well known for basically discovering most things about T cells.” Of the conversation, Heath said it was “about as much immunology and virology expertise as one can imagine.” The three scientists talked about how science has changed over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges of understanding the complexities of the immune system, and much more.
The one-hour Reimagine event also included guest appearances by ISB researchers, including a short primer of what the immune system is by ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Jenn Hadlock, and a video montage of several of our scientists – Associate Professor Dr. Naeha Subramanian, Assistant Professor Dr. Wei Wei, Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons, Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Samantha Piekos, and Hadlock – whose work directly relates to the immune system.
‘ISB Saved My Life’
ISB Foundation Board member Marne Anderson delivered a heartfelt appeal. She recalled taking part in an ISB program seven years ago that collected blood, microbiome, saliva and other data. Through close monitoring of her personalized data, Anderson was warned of extremely high cortisol levels, and was advised to see a doctor. This intervention allowed Anderson to catch a colon cancer diagnosis early. “Within three weeks, I had 10 inches of my colon removed, was on chemotherapy, and on the road to recovery. ISB saved my life,” she said.
Earlier in the program, Heath emphasized the importance of clinical trial participants and the impact they’ve made during COVID-19. If you would like to explore clinical trial opportunities, you can find extensive information at clinicaltrials.gov.
Thanks to a generous $20,000 match from ISB board members, Reimagine: The Immune System was a fundraising success. To date, the evening generated $60,000 in unrestricted giving, and donations are still coming in. Heath underscored the importance of unrestricted gifts, saying ISB couldn’t study long COVID and other important areas without it.
In an article published by Pam Belluck for the New York Times titled, “New Research Hints at 4 Factors That May Increase Chances of Long Covid,” findings of an ISB-led study published in the journal Cell are covered in depth, including quotes from ISB president Dr. Jim Heath.
Researchers have identified several factors that can be measured at the initial point of COVID-19 diagnosis that anticipate if a patient is likely to develop long COVID. They also found that mild cases of COVID-19, not just severe cases, are associated with long COVID. Their findings were published by the journal Cell.
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.
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