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.
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.
Daniel Chen, an undergraduate researcher in ISB’s Heath Lab and junior at the University of Washington, has been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Chen has been a key member of ISB’s COVID-19 Immune Response Study.
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.
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.
ISB and Swedish Medical Center launched a study to follow hundreds of patients who contract COVID-19 to learn why those infected have drastically different outcomes. “Each of the COVID-19 patients has a unique lesson to teach us about how the medical and scientific community can respond most effectively to this pandemic,” said ISB President Dr. Jim Heath, who co-leads the study.