ISB News

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.

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.

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.

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.

A New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease

The impact of Alzheimer’s Disease is staggering – 6 million Americans diagnosed, a financial toll of $600 billion annually, and no effective drug treatments. ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood said the traditional approach isn’t working, and we need to think about it in brand new ways.

Personalized Nutrition and Your Gut Microbiome

In ISB’s first-ever Research Roundtable event, Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons delivered a presentation titled “Gut-Check: Personalized Nutrition and Your Microbiome.” His talk covered a lot of ground, including recently published research showing how the health of our microbiomes can predict longevity, and how we can build and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Wei Wei

Andy Hill CARE Fund Awards $100,000 to ISB's Dr. Wei Wei

To advance research at the intersection of COVID-19 and cancer, The Andy Hill CARE Fund has awarded ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Wei Wei a $100,000 grant to study chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), one of the most commonly diagnosed leukemias in the Western world that mainly affects older individuals.

Goldwater Scholar Daniel Chen

ISB Undergraduate Researcher Daniel Chen Earns Goldwater Scholarship

Daniel Chen, an undergraduate researcher in ISB’s Heath Lab and junior at the University of Washington, has been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Chen has been a key member of ISB’s COVID-19 Immune Response Study.

Dr. Naeha Subramanian

Dr. Naeha Subramanian Promoted to Associate Professor

Dr. Naeha Subramanian – an expert in immunology, innate immunity, and host-pathogen interactions, and head of ISB’s Subramanian Lab – has been promoted to Associate Professor. “I am honored with this promotion and excited about the incredible research being conducted in my lab. It is a pleasure and privilege to tackle exciting questions everyday,” she said.

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.

Drs. Anthony Fauci, Lee Hood Talk COVID-19, Vaccines, Future of Research, More

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down for a conversation with ISB’s Dr. Lee Hood. The renowned scientists spoke about the importance of basic research, the extraordinary speed of COVID research, the efficacy of mRNA vaccines on COVID-19, lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more.

Drs. Naeha Subramanian, Leah Rommereim Gilmore, and Ajay Suresh Akhade

Small, Persistent Increase in the Expression of NOD1 May Promote Cancer Risk

ISB researchers have found that a small, persistent increase in the expression of NOD1 could be responsible for higher cancer risks. The research team found that a slight 1.5-fold uptick in NOD1 expression can activate the protein and downstream signaling pathways in a manner similar to vast (30- to 200-fold) overexpression.