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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diseases develop gradually over years, sometimes decades, before symptoms appear, and are due to malfunctioning physiological processes brought about by our genes and environment. In research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ISB researchers have shown how an individual’s genetic risk for disease is often reflected in their blood.
ISB Co-founder Dr. Lee Hood won the Lasker Award in 1987. The Lasker Foundation recently published a profile of Hood, writing: “The highlights Hood’s scientific career are like peaks in a mountain range spanning diverse fields, from molecular immunology and engineering, to genomics, to systems medicine.”
There is a dichotomy between Bacteroides- and Prevotella-dominated guts — two common gut bacterial genera — and there is a significant barrier when it comes to transitioning from one to the other.
In the cellular process of differentiation, information about the concentrations of an important class of proteins residing in a cell’s nucleus has been lacking, a missing link needed for scientists to fully understand how the process works. ISB researchers have quantified this important class of proteins that play a key role in the formation of red blood cells.
Dr. Nathan Price has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows. Price was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for his contributions deriving medical and biological insights from large-scale data analysis and network modeling, and translating those insights to society.
Researchers at ISB harnessed deep molecular and physiological information to determine an individual’s biological age, which they found was reflective of overall health compared to chronological age. The findings were published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A.
In a public panel discussion put on by Town Hall Seattle and ISB, legendary biologist Dr. Lee Hood, PSJH Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, and PATH’s Program Leader of Diagnostics Tala de los Santos addressed the promise — and challenges — of implementing and practicing 21st century health care.
In the two decades since joining Dr. Lee Hood as a postdoc, Dr. Qiang Tian has made a tremendous impact on ISB’s science and culture. March 31 is his final day at ISB, as he is returning to China and joining Shanghai’s National Research Center for Translational Medicine.