News

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. Temple Grandin and the Importance of Getting Kids Outside

Dr. Temple Grandin was the featured guest of the latest ISB-Town Hall Seattle Science Series. Grandin discussed her new book – “The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World” – and a variety of other topics. Following her talk, she joined ISB President Dr. Jim Heath for a wide ranging Q&A discussion.

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.

Goldwater Scholar Daniel Chen

ISB Undergraduate Researcher Daniel Chen Earns Goldwater Scholarship

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.

Jennifer Hadlock, Andrew Magis and Chengzhen Dai

COVID-19 Outcome Disparities Across Racial/Ethnic Lines

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.

How Will Healthcare and Scientific Research Be Different in a Post-Pandemic World?

Providence President and CEO Dr. Rod Hochman joined ISB President and Professor Dr. Jim Heath for an hour-long conversation hosted by ISB and Town Hall Seattle about how healthcare and science will be different in a post-pandemic world.

Dr. Jim Heath at ISB

Inside the intense world of COVID-19 science, and unexpected findings from Seattle researchers

GeekWire published a story spotlighting ISB’s COVID-19 research. Reporter Lisa Stiffler spoke with ISB President Dr. Jim Heath about the breakneck pace ISB and all of our collaborative partners are working at to tease out COVID’s biological secrets to advance the understanding and treatment of the novel coronavirus.

Co-corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and co-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.

Knatokie Ford and Jim Heath

Dr. Knatokie Ford Shares STEM Journey, Learnings and Advice in ISB-Town Hall Seattle Livestream

Dr. Knatokie Ford was the featured speaker of a virtual event hosted by ISB and Town Hall Seattle, and shared many of the experiences that helped pave her way to become a leading voice in STEM policy and advocacy, and identified several ways parents and teachers can encourage kids to become tomorrow’s STEM professionals.

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.

Co-corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and co-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.

Merck and ISB Collaborate to Understand and Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Merck is collaborating with ISB and its partners to analyze blood samples and nasal swabs from Swedish Medical Center patients with SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples will be examined using proteomic, metabolomic, transcriptomics and genetic techniques to evaluate the impact of infection on different organs, and to identify potential biomarkers to predict the risk of severe disease.

Merck, ISB, Swedish Collaborate In Trial to Understand, Treat COVID-19

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.

ISB Unveils New Brand Ahead of 20th Anniversary

We created a new brand identity — including logo and tag line — to reflect ISB’s evolution since our inception in 2000, and ahead of our 20th anniversary. ISB is proud to be a part of the vibrant research community in Seattle, and is committed to translational and collaborative science.

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.

2019 education awards

ISB’s Mónica Orellana, Nyasha Chambwe Honored With Inaugural Education Recognition Awards

At ISB, many of our scientists and STEM professionals give their time and expertise and make profound impacts on our educational programs. Two of our researchers — Dr. Mónica Orellana and Dr. Nyasha Chambwe — were honored with inaugural Education Recognition Awards for their devotion to providing quality STEM education.

Jim Heath Makes Highly Cited Researcher List

ISB President Dr. Jim Heath was included in Highly Cited Researchers 2018. The list is published by Clarivate Analytics, and recognizes “world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and year in Web of Science.”