ISB News

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.

Seattle Science Foundation and ISB

ISB and Seattle Science Foundation Partner to Create Video Series

What are multi-omics? Why does our microbiome matter? What’s the difference between genetics and genomics? What is a digital twin? ISB and Seattle Science Foundation have partnered to create videos answering questions like these and more, showcasing ISB scientists and their work.

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

Archive: 2021-22 School Year ISB Education Highlights

In this robust roundup from the 2021-22 academic year, we highlight the top projects the team worked on by month.

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 in Hospitalized Adults Differ by Age

A just-published study provides new information about which hospitalized COVID-19 patients are most likely to need mechanical ventilation or to die. The ISB-led work shows that vital signs and lab results at the time of hospital admission are the most accurate predictors of disease severity, more so than comorbidities and demographics.

Understanding, Preventing and Treating Long-Term Effects of COVID: RECOVER Study Enrolling Patients from Pacific Northwest

As part of a massive nationwide effort, ISB is leading a multi-site consortium for the NIH RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative. The Pacific Northwest consortium is made up of ISB, Providence, Swedish, and University of Washington School of Medicine.

Predicting ‘Long COVID’ At Initial Point of COVID-19 Diagnosis

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.

Cultivated meat illustration

How Systems Biology Is Helping Advance the Cultivated Meat Industry

The quest to create cultivated meat has been a true multidisciplinary puzzle. It’s biology, engineering, physics, bioinformatics, mathematics, computer science, and more. Enter systems biology. ISB and other organizations are toiling to better understand how to create lab-grown meat in a safe, effective manner that can eventually scale up to compete with traditional meat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Coaching for Cognition in Alzheimer’s (COCOA) Clinical Trial Nearly Complete

The multi-year Coaching for Cognition in Alzheimer’s (COCOA) clinical trial is nearly complete. The trial examined diet, exercise and cognitive training as possible non-pharmacological interventions to Alzheimer’s, with some trial members receiving telephonic coaching centered on stress, diet and exercise, as well as brain training focusing on brain speed and attention.

Jennifer Hadlock, Andrew Magis and Chengzhen Dai

COVID-19 Outcome Disparities Across Racial/Ethnic Lines

ISB researchers and their collaborators looked at the electronic health records of nearly 630,000 patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and found stark disparities in COVID-19 outcomes — odds of infection, hospitalization, and in-hospital mortality — between White and non-White minority racial and ethnic groups.

Dr. Wei Wei and Dr. Xiaowei Yan

A Better Way to Find Circulating Tumor Cells in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Despite the aggressive nature of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), circulating tumor cells that lead to metastases often go undetected in the blood. ISB researchers in Dr. Wei Wei’s lab and their collaborators have developed a novel method to better detect these circulating cells.

Drs. Nitin Baliga and Serdar Turkarslan

ISB Researchers Discover How Microorganisms Evolve Cooperative Behaviors

ISB research sheds light on how interspecies interactions arise, evolve and are maintained. The results, published in The ISME Journal, provide a new window to understand the key roles of these interactions in industrial applications, and in the health and disease of humans, animals and plants.

Priyanka Baloni

Bile Acids Provide More Evidence of the Gut Microbiome’s Effect on Alzheimer’s Disease

ISB researchers and their collaborators are looking beyond the one-drug, one-solution approach that has thus far failed in Alzheimer’s disease research. Instead, they are focusing on other promising research avenues, such as the possible role of the gut microbiome in dementia.

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

COVID-19 Immune Response Study Could Lead to More Effective Treatments

Findings from the ISB-Swedish COVID-19 Immune Response Study suggest that treatments aimed at arresting the infection at the stage of moderate severity may be most effective. The team studied 139 patients and found that mild COVID-19 is very distinct from the moderate or severe forms of disease, which appear surprisingly similar. 

Human proteome blueprint

HUPO Releases 10-Year High-Stringency Blueprint of Human Proteome

Like the draft “shotgun” Human Genome Project of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), the HPP has now reached a significant decadal milestone of more than 90 percent completion of the Human Proteome that is referred to as the human proteome “parts list.”