ISB News

COCOA Trial Results Show Diet, Exercise Help Some with Dementia

The recently completed, ISB-led Coaching for Cognition in Alzheimer’s (COCOA) trial shows that diet and exercise can help people suffering from dementia. Senior Research Scientist Dr. Jared Roach discussed the findings in a Research Roundtable presentation.

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.

Baliga, Peterson and Srinivas

ISB Creates Algorithms To Accelerate Discovery of Efficacious Treatments for Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s second leading infectious disease killer after COVID-19. Drug resistance to TB is a public health crisis. ISB researchers have developed algorithms to predict the efficacy of drugs in treating Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the causative agent for TB. These research findings were published in the journal Cell Reports Methods. 

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.

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. 

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. 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. 

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.

Subramanian and Akhade

How Salmonella Co-Opts the Host Immune System to Conceal Itself

While scientists have long studied bacterial infections, less attention has been paid to how the host immune response affects bacterial gene expression in the body. In a just-published paper in PNAS, ISB researchers detailed how the bacterium Salmonella conceals itself from the host immune system.

Overall composition of gut microbiome in participants

Variations in the Microbiome Associated with Health, Disease

ISB researchers examined the associations between the gut microbiomes of about 3,400 people and roughly 150 host characteristics. The team looked at diet, medication use, clinical blood markers, and other lifestyle and clinical factors, and found evidence that variations of the gut microbiome are associated with health and disease.

Malaria Researchers’ Findings May Have Implications for Preventing Spread of Deadly Disease

ISB researchers and their collaborators are using systems biology approaches to learn how the malaria parasite is able to transfer to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. The information they have uncovered may help identify new ways to prevent people from contracting the deadly disease.

Using Blood to Predict Gut Microbiome Diversity

Predicting the alpha diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome is possible by examining metabolites in the blood. The robust relationship between host metabolome and gut microbiome diversity opens the door for a fast, cheap and reliable blood test to identify individuals with low gut diversity.