ISB News

Spotlight on ISB Education graphic

2023-24 School Year ISB Education Highlights

Each month throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, we will highlight some of the top projects the ISB Education team is working on. In May, the ISB Education team hosted student visitors from Lincoln High School, dozens of science education leaders who run projects in Washington state’s ClimeTime program, and more.

STEM Program Models for Students from Historically Marginalized Communities

A new study unveils important insights and actionable protocols into providing equitable STEM experiences for high school students from historically marginalized communities. The research highlights the transformative power of informal STEM learning and the ease with which many organizations could provide these opportunities.

ISB Researchers Find a Chink in the Armor of Tuberculosis Pathogen

By using a computer model to understand the adaptions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the pathogen that causes tuberculosis, researchers at ISB have identified a network within Mtb that allows it to tolerate and resist drug therapies. This work is published in Cell Reports.

High School Duo Named Champions in DOE-Sponsored AlgaePrize Competition

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.

Innovator Award Program ROI

Six Years In, ISB’s Innovator Award Program an ‘Unqualified Success’ 

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.  

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. 

Spotlight On Amy Zamora, Former ISB Systems Research Scholar

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.

Genetic Switch May Predict Diatom Resilience in Acidified Oceans

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.

Coral: Healthy and Bleached

ISB Researchers Among World-Class Experts Targeting Coral Bleaching

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.

2021 Innovator Awards

Three Collaborative Projects Announced for ISB’s 2021 Innovator Award Program

ISB has kicked off the fifth year of its Innovator Award Program by announcing three collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects. The program was created in 2017 to support early-career scientists working on high-risk, high-reward innovations, and champions interdisciplinary collaboration for non-faculty ISB researchers.

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.

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.

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.

Drs. Monica Orellana and Nitin Baliga

New Study May Provide Knowledge for Increased Biofuel Production from Unicellular Algae

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.

Path-seq illustration

Profiling Pathogen Gene Expression from Infected Host Cells

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.

Amy Zamora

Spotlight on Amy Zamora, ISB Systems Research Scholar

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.

ISB’s Innovator Award Program rewards high-risk, cross-disciplinary research projects

The Innovator Award Program at Institute for Systems Biology is an annual internal initiative started in 2017 that aims to stimulate creativity, innovation and collaboration within ISB, to provide funding support for high-risk, high-reward projects, and to develop new technologies and discoveries that will impact the entire research organization.

ISB develops stress test to predict how diatoms will react to ocean acidification

In a study published in Nature Communications and with implications for understanding effects of climate change, ISB researchers show microscopic phytoplankton are more resilient in an acidified environment.