Nearly three years after the first cases of COVID-19 began appearing in Wuhan, China, the global health community is pausing today to reflect on the tragic impact of another world-changing virus, HIV, which continues to exact a ghastly toll on humanity. Since the discovery of the disease in 1981, HIV has claimed an estimated 40.1 million lives worldwide according to…
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Researchers Begin Trial for mRNA Flu Vaccine

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) are now recruiting participants age 65 and older who have not yet received this season’s flu vaccine for a trial of an investigational mRNA flu vaccine developed by Pfizer. The trial, taking place at many research sites across the U.S., will evaluate the vaccine’s efficacy and the immune response that it…
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Seattle-based cell and gene therapy company Sana Biotechnology will reduce its workforce by 15%, according to a statement issued Tuesday. The company said it was shutting a program focused on heart failure and outlined reset priorities for other programs. The layoffs will be complete by the end of the year, according to an SEC filing. Between 75 to 80 employees are affected, Sana’s…
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JoAnn Buchanan, Ph.D., was deep into the data. One click at a time, she scanned through the branching, twisting 3D shapes of mouse brain cells on her computer screen. And then Buchanan, a scientist at the Allen Institute, saw something weird: a kind of brain cell she wasn’t familiar with. “They’re just such beautiful cells, they’re so beautiful. And I just…
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Cajal Neuroscience, a Seattle startup taking a unique approach to developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, revealed more details about its strategy and announced $96 million in funding Tuesday. Biopharma companies have spent billions of dollars over decades on failed trials for Alzheimer’s directed at just one target, amyloid-beta. The one drug available against that target, Biogen’s Aduhelm, was approved in…
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Sara Calder is a life-long Washington state resident, and her education journey has been focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In October, she joined ISB as Systems Health and STEM Coordinator and our second-ever AmeriCorps member.  Calder’s journey to ISB is an interesting one, and she agreed to answer our questions to unpack her past experiences, future aspirations,…
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New research from the Steinbrenner lab on the evolution of herbivore peptide recognition by a plant immune receptor was recently published in eLife(link is external). This new research explores evolution and plant immunity, and utilizes the sequence of the ancestral gene from ~28 million years ago. Co-authors on the paper include Simon Snoeck, Biology postdoctoral scholar; Anthony Garcia, Biology graduate student; and Adam Steinbrenner, Biology Assistant…
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Tumors often get a lot of help in their efforts to survive and grow. Non-cancerous cells around a tumor can help it avoid attacks by the immune system, resist therapies that target them, and allow it to spread to other parts of the body. Researchers are now finding that some of these helpful neighbors aren’t even human cells — they’re…
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Drs. Chang Li, research assistant professor, and André Lieber, professor (Medical Genetics) recently met with former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, when he visited the University of Washington to discuss their new in vivo approach to treat sickle cell disease (SCD) and beyond. Collins is currently President Biden’s acting scientific advisor. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders…
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Seagen is on a roll this week. After naming David Epstein as its new CEO, the Washington-based biotech announced that Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) has been given FDA approval for the treatment of children aged two years and above with high-risk classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The regulatory nod, based on data from the Phase III study AHOD1331, covers the use of Adcetris with the chemotherapeutic agents doxorubicin,…
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