ISB News

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.

Baliga, Peterson and Srinivas

ISB Creates PerSort, a New Cell Sorting Technology Aimed at Studying Tuberculosis

ISB researchers Dr. Nitin Baliga, Dr. Eliza Peterson and Dr. Vivek Srinivas have developed a new cell sorting technology, called PerSort, that isolates and characterizes dormant persisters that exist in cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.

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.

Corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

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.

Andrew Magis

ISB Researchers Identify Signals of Metastatic Cancer Years Prior to Diagnosis

By analyzing blood plasma samples taken at several time points, ISB researchers have identified specific proteins that persistently presented as outliers and signaled metastatic cancer well before patients were diagnosed. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Illustration depicting an individual's genetic risk for disease being "reflected."

ISB Researchers Show Genetic Risk for Disease Often Reflected in Our Blood

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.

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.

Corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

For Cancer Cells, There Is More Than One Path to Drug Resistance

In findings published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers show that cancer cells can take more than one path to reach a drug-resistant cell state. These findings could have promising implications for the future of cancer care.

ISB researchers

Unveiling the Guerrilla Warfare Tactics of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

ISB researchers have unveiled new insights on how Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis, enters and exits a dormant state in human hosts. About a quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, so these important findings will enable and accelerate the discovery of more effective TB drugs.

Dr. Jeff Ranish and Dr. Mark Gillespie

Mysteries of Cell Fate Unlocked with New Measurement and Modeling Techniques

In the cellular process of differentiation, information about the concentrations of an important class of proteins residing in a cell’s nucleus has been lacking, a missing link needed for scientists to fully understand how the process works. ISB researchers have quantified this important class of proteins that play a key role in the formation of red blood cells.

Sean Gibbons

Metabolomics Reveals Connection Between Gut Microbiome and Blood

Alpha diversity in the gut microbiome holds many clues to understanding human health. This blog post by Metabolon details how those clues are more accessible because ISB researchers can predict the diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome by examining metabolites in the blood. These findings were recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

soldier

ISB Researchers Seek a Better Way to Identify Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been a frequent injury among U.S. combatants, and blast-related mTBI has been called the “signature injury” from military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. ISB researchers are working to develop new methods to identify molecular changes in the blood of war veterans diagnosed with chronic mTBI.

Dr. Christian Diener, postdoc in ISB's Gibbons Lab.

New Modeling Tool Allows Microbiome Researchers to Map Community Ecology to Ecosystem Function

A promising new open-source metabolic modeling tool provides microbiome researchers a path forward in predicting ecosystem function from community structure. News of the software package, called MICOM, was developed in part by researchers in ISB’s Gibbons Lab, and its uses were published in the journal mSystems.

How Old Are You? Your Body Might Disagree With That Answer

Researchers at ISB harnessed deep molecular and physiological information to determine an individual’s biological age, which they found was reflective of overall health compared to chronological age. The findings were published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

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.

New Method to Detect, Analyze Rare T Cells Another Step Toward Personalized Cancer Vaccines

Members of ISB’s Heath Lab and their collaborators have developed a way to sensitively detect and analyze neoantigen-specific T-cell populations from tumors and blood. This promising development may have implications for creating targeted, individual-specific cancer vaccines.

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.