ISB News

Gut Microbiome Composition Predictive of Patient Response to Statins

New ISB research shows that different patient responses to statins can be explained by the variation in the human microbiome. The findings were published in the journal Med, and suggest that microbiome monitoring could be used to help optimize personalized statin treatments.

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.

Jim Heath AACR Academy Fellow

Dr. Jim Heath Named Fellow of AACR Academy Class of 2022

Dr. Jim Heath was announced as a newly elected Fellow of the American Academy for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy Class of 2022. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized as part of this renowned group of researchers who have done so much to move our understanding of cancer forward,” Heath said.

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.

Maternal COVID-19 Infection Increases Risks of Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight and Stillbirth

An ISB-led study examined the electronic health records of more than 18,000 people with SARS-CoV-2 tests during pregnancy, and found that those who contracted COVID-19 while pregnant were more likely to have poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and stillbirth. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

View of the responsive recruitment website and electronic consent platform as seen on mobile phone and desktop devices.

ISB Builds Digital Platform for COVID-19 Research Study – and Beyond

In a multi-institutional study of a highly infectious disease like COVID-19, paperless consent for study participants is critical. One component of the COVID-19 Immune Response Study is a recruitment website with an IRB-approved and HIPAA-compliant electronic consent platform for enrolling patients.

Shmulevich-Thorsson

ISB Researchers Among Recipients of AACR Team Science Award

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has recognized The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project with the 2020 AACR Team Science Awards. Award recipients include Dr. Ilya Shmulevich, ISB professor and head of the Shmulevich Lab; ISB senior research scientist Dr. Vésteinn Þórsson; and former Shmulevich Lab members Drs. Brady Bernard and Theo Knijnenburg.

Bacterial tug of war between prevotella and bacteroides -- gut microbiome

It’s ‘Either/Or’ for Two Common Gut Microbiome Genera, and Switching Teams Is Tougher Than Expected

There is a dichotomy between Bacteroides- and Prevotella-dominated guts — two common gut bacterial genera — and there is a significant barrier when it comes to transitioning from one to the other.