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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CRI iAtlas is a comprehensive web-based resource that allows oncologists and researchers to study and analyze interactions between tumors and the immune microenvironment. The iAtlas team released immuno-oncology modules that allow investigators to access and work with genomics data from trials of treatment with immune-checkpoint inhibitors.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Diseases develop gradually over years, sometimes decades, before symptoms appear, and are due to malfunctioning physiological processes brought about by our genes and environment. In research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ISB researchers have shown how an individual’s genetic risk for disease is often reflected in their blood.
Pop quiz: What’s the difference between DNA, RNA and proteins? ISB researchers have created a video game that teaches secondary students (grades 6-12) the key tenets of molecular biology in a fun, interactive and engaging way, and can be used by teachers as a supplemental aide to assist with complex lessons.