News

Bringing DNA Sequencing to the High School Classroom

Christopher Lausted and Dr. Danielle Vermaak were featured guests of an ISB Research Roundtable presentation. The husband-and-wife team detailed the planning and rollout of a DNA sequencing curriculum project that was tested in Vermaak’s Lincoln High School science classroom in Seattle.

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 in Hospitalized Adults Differ by Age

A just-published study provides new information about which hospitalized COVID-19 patients are most likely to need mechanical ventilation or to die. The ISB-led work shows that vital signs and lab results at the time of hospital admission are the most accurate predictors of disease severity, more so than comorbidities and demographics.

Predicting ‘Long COVID’ At Initial Point of COVID-19 Diagnosis

Researchers have identified several factors that can be measured at the initial point of COVID-19 diagnosis that anticipate if a patient is likely to develop long COVID. They also found that mild cases of COVID-19, not just severe cases, are associated with long COVID. Their findings were published by the journal Cell.

Maternal COVID-19 Infection Increases Risks of Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight and Stillbirth

An ISB-led study examined the electronic health records of more than 18,000 people with SARS-CoV-2 tests during pregnancy, and found that those who contracted COVID-19 while pregnant were more likely to have poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and stillbirth. 

Nir Barzilai on Health Span, Life Span and the New Science of Longevity

Longevity and aging researcher Dr. Nir Barzilai participated in a fireside chat conversation with ISB Co-founder and Professor Dr. Lee Hood. The two renowned scientists talked about Barzilai’s study of 750 centenarians, how aging research has changed over the years, and what exciting developments are coming. 

Microbiome and weight loss

Can You Lose Weight? Ask Your Microbiome

The strongest associations with weight loss success or failure – independent of BMI – are found in the genetic capacity of the gut microbiome. These new findings open the door to diagnostic tests that can identify people likely to lose weight with healthy lifestyle changes and those who might need more drastic interventions.

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.

Fireside Chat with NIH Director Francis Collins and ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood 

ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood hosted a fireside chat with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins. The renowned scientists talked about their early careers and long friendship, the challenge of COVID-19, the preceding scientific work that led to the fast development of COVID vaccines, and much more. 

Claire Reid / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images, Unsplash

Dr. Lee Hood Writes ‘Second Opinion’ Columns for Los Angeles Times

ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood is credited with coining the term “systems biology” and has been a longtime advocate of P4 medicine. Now, Hood has been selected by the Los Angeles Times to share his insights in a new weekly op-ed column, called Second Opinion.

Coaching for Cognition in Alzheimer’s (COCOA) Clinical Trial Nearly Complete

The multi-year Coaching for Cognition in Alzheimer’s (COCOA) clinical trial is nearly complete. The trial examined diet, exercise and cognitive training as possible non-pharmacological interventions to Alzheimer’s, with some trial members receiving telephonic coaching centered on stress, diet and exercise, as well as brain training focusing on brain speed and attention.

A New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease

The impact of Alzheimer’s Disease is staggering – 6 million Americans diagnosed, a financial toll of $600 billion annually, and no effective drug treatments. ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood said the traditional approach isn’t working, and we need to think about it in brand new ways. 

David Sinclair On Why We Age — And Why We Don’t Have To

Dr. David Sinclair, a Harvard Medical School professor and New York Times bestselling author, was the guest of honor for the ISB-Town Hall Science Series on Thursday. He joined genomics pioneer and ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood for a conversation that covered the very latest in aging research.

NYT Illustration

ISB Research on the Aging Microbiome Featured in The New York Times

ISB’s research into the aging microbiome was featured in a story published by Anahad O’Connor for The New York Times titled “A Changing Gut Microbiome May Predict How Well You Age.” The research featured was published in Nature Metabolism by Drs. Tomasz Wilmanksi, Noa Rappaport, Sean Gibbons and Nathan Price.

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.

The Aging Microbiome

Gut Microbiome Implicated in Healthy Aging and Longevity

The gut microbiome is an integral component of the body, but its importance in the human aging process is unclear. ISB researchers and their collaborators have identified distinct signatures in the gut microbiome that are associated with either healthy or unhealthy aging trajectories, which in turn predict survival in a population of older individuals.

Drs. Anthony Fauci, Lee Hood Talk COVID-19, Vaccines, Future of Research, More

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down for a conversation with ISB’s Dr. Lee Hood. The renowned scientists spoke about the importance of basic research, the extraordinary speed of COVID research, the efficacy of mRNA vaccines on COVID-19, lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more. 

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.

Overall composition of gut microbiome in participants

Variations in the Microbiome Associated with Health, Disease

ISB researchers examined the associations between the gut microbiomes of about 3,400 people and roughly 150 host characteristics. The team looked at diet, medication use, clinical blood markers, and other lifestyle and clinical factors, and found evidence that variations of the gut microbiome are associated with health and disease.