From planning, creating and executing workshops for educators to forging new relationships to elevate students, the ISB Education team has been in high gear. Each month throughout the 2022-2023 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the team is working on.
High school students Ashwin Mukherjee and Rohan Chanani worked with ISB Research Scientist Dr. Jacob Valenzuela on a project to build a machine learning algorithm to count algal cells from microscope images taken from a cell phone. In April, the team was recognized as champions in the DOE-sponsored AlgaePrize competition.
This year, two deserving scientists were bestowed recognition for giving back to STEM education. Dr. Serdar Turkarslan is the recipient of the JoAnn Chrisman Award for Distinguished Service to STEM Education, and Dr. Christian Diener was awarded the Dr. Christine Schaeffer Award for Exemplary Service to STEM Education.
The fifth cycle of ISB’s Innovator Award Program officially wrapped up this week with the principal investigators of the 2021-22 projects delivering their final presentations. In April, three 2022-23 Innovator Award collaborative projects were announced. The Innovator Award Program was launched in 2017, and has been tremendously successful.
ISB kicked off the sixth year of our successful Innovator Award Program by announcing three collaborative projects. This internal program is designed to support novel research ideas that cut across disciplines and research groups. Washington Research Foundation once again generously pledged $100,000 to fund the awards.
This past fall, AmeriCorps member Miranda Johnson packed her bags and left her home state of Illinois to join ISB as a Systems Thinkers in STEM Coordinator. Johnson is the first AmeriCorps member at ISB, so we had quite a few questions about how she got here, her experience thus far, and her future plans.
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.
Between 2018 and 2020, Amy Zamora’s tenure as a systems research scholar allowed her to merge her two interests – math and biology – and to learn a lot more along the way. “I didn’t really know how to combine my passions until I came to ISB,” she said.
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.
ISB Drs. Jacob Valenzuela and Nitin Baliga are working to answer key questions about how climate change is affecting marine life and food supplies. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced a $4 million grant over three years to support efforts aimed to help coral reefs survive the impacts of climate change.
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.
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.
With potential ramifications for increasing biofuel production from unicellular algae, ISB’s Drs. Mónica Orellana and Nitin Baliga, along with colleagues from the University of the Witwatersrand, used the chlorophyte algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to demonstrate the cell’s metabolic and physiological changes of lipid accumulation that occurs during nitrogen depletion.
Researchers at ISB reported a novel method, Path-seq, to profile expression of all MTB genes within infected mice. This study presents the most comprehensive transcriptome profiling of MTB from in vivo infection and a major technical advancement for studying any host-pathogen interaction.
Kyle Kinzler, a high school biology teacher from Portland, Oregon, spent part of last summer at Institute for Systems Biology to evolve his curriculum and learn new ways to teach relevant, compelling and innovative content to his students. As a result, he says his classes has “come alive.”
Amy Zamora joined ISB in August as a Systems Research Scholar. The Systems Research Scholars Program provides recent college undergraduates a springboard to become the next generation’s pioneers of interdisciplinary scientific research. In this Q&A, Zamora describes her experiences at ISB, research interests, future aspirations, and much more.
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