2020 saw a substantial increase in the number of acquisitions of startup biotechnology companies. Many buyers are becoming increasingly interested in buying these promising companies before they go public, as this often makes the purchase more economically feasible. Acquisitions of startup biotech firms increased in 2020 in spite of the ongoing pandemic, which caused many buyers to negotiate contracts remotely. Silicon Valley…
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A University of Washington physician and professor, whose team of researchers identified the first case of the coronavirus in the United States, has been named “Washingtonian of the Year.” Dr. Helen Chu of the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI) at the UW’s School of Medicine, was cited for the discovery and ongoing work leading to COVID-related therapies, treatments,…
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Scientists have determined the optimal conditions following a stem cell transplant that could control HIV without the need of an everyday pill, according to a study published today in eLife. Finding the right balance of stem cell dose, cell type and timing of antiretroviral therapy (ART) could potentially lead to a spontaneous cure of HIV. There are only two cases of…
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Leroy Hood: Reflections on a Legendary Career

Leroy Hood is the perfect scientist to write the lead article in the first issue celebrating the 40th anniversary of GEN. Lee’s career essentially parallels that of the biotech industry, and as you will see from his article, he is hugely responsible for many of the essential tools and technologies that have driven much life sciences research and clinical product development…
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Researchers from the Division of Rheumatology and colleagues have demonstrated the previously not-understood mechanism in which UV light exposure in lupus patients leads to local inflammation of the skin and systemic inflammation of other organs including the kidneys. Lupus, a systemic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, affects over 300,000 people in the United…
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Researchers in ISB’s Subramanian Lab have found that a small, persistent increase in the expression of NOD1 could be responsible for higher cancer risks.  NOD1 is an innate immune sensor within our cells that detects pathogens and cell-state disturbances and mounts an inflammatory response. When its regulation is thrown out of whack, uncontrolled NOD1 signaling leads to an increase of proto-oncogenes (multi-functioning…
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Study Offers Good News on COVID-19 Immunity

For close to a decade the labs of Dr. David Rawlings at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Dr. Marion Pepper at the University of Washington have collaborated on a project studying the immune response in malaria infections. As the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the U.S., they turned their expertise and the techniques pioneered for malaria to a new line of inquiry: Did mild infection from…
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Washington Research Foundation (WRF) has pledged $100,000 to the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) to support early-career scientists working on high-risk, high-reward healthcare innovations with a path to commercialization and public benefit. In keeping with ISB’s vision, the goal is the advancement of research that addresses pressing issues in human health. ISB created the Innovator Award Program in 2017 to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among its…
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An “incredibly dynamic year of change,” a “new hope,” and a “gangbusters” year in which the tech sector will come “roaring back.” Those are some of the phrases used by Pacific Northwest tech, science and business leaders to describe their outlook for 2021 ― offering a sense of optimism as we emerge from an extraordinarily challenging year. Of course, the…
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