ISB News

New Baliga Lab Publication in Cell Systems

The Baliga Lab’s Dr. Christopher Plaisier was the lead author of the study “Causal Mechanistic Regulatory Network for Glioblastoma Deciphered Using Systems Genetics Network Analysis” which published online in Cell Systems on July 14. Dr. Plaisier wrote a summary of the research: 3 Bullets: Using data from TCGA and ENCODE, ISB researchers developed integrative database and analysis platforms that provide insight about the underpinnings of glioblastoma multiforme. Researchers developed a…

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A Landscape of Pharmacogenomic Interactions in Cancer

The journal Cell published a study today (July 7) about the integrated analysis of drug response in 1,001 cancer cell lines. This study was undertaken by a large international group of researchers including ISB Senior Research Scientist Theo Knijnenburg. The researchers integrated heterogeneous molecular data of 11,215 tumors and 1,001 cell lines in order to study the drug response of these cell lines to 265 anti-cancer drugs. They uncovered numerous…

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New Publication in ‘Cancer Cell’

As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas project, the Shmuelvich Lab and colleagues published a paper in the journal Cancer Cell related to the rare cancer adrenocortical carcinoma. Read the summary: 3 Bullets: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, under-researched endocrine cancer with limited therapeutic options and overall poor outcome. TCGA researchers performed comprehensive analysis of 91 ACC samples to gain better understanding of potential genetic causes of the cancer….

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John Chevillet is a postdoc in the Hood Lab at Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle.

ISB Innovations: Ultrasound-Based Tumor Biopsies

Name: John Chevillet, PhD Lab: Hood Research: I am trying to develop an ultrasound-based method to take a sample from a tumor, thus replacing needle biopsies. An ultrasound-based method would minimize complications, better diagnose cancers, and direct the use of targeted therapies for personalized medicine. Wish List: If I had $10,000, I could analyze the blood specimens we currently have for cancer dna to demonstrate what this method can tell…

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ISB Gets $1.7M to Study Cancer Drug Resistance

Congratulations to the Sui Huang Lab at ISB which has received a five-year $1.7 million R01 award from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute for General Medical Sciences to study cancer sub-population dynamics to understand and develop drugs to inhibit lethal cancer-drug resistance. The project proposal states that the work will: “develop a quantitative and formal framework for describing the temporal evolution of cell phenotype distribution in a…

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ISB Recieves $6.5M NIH Contract to Create Cancer Genomics Cloud with Google and SRA International (Image credit: MIT Tech Review)

Cancer Genomics Cloud: ISB and Google Featured in MIT Tech Review

(Above illustration from MIT Technology Review.) MIT Technology Review published an article about the launch of Google Genomics and included a mention of ISB’s new Cancer Genomics Cloud project. ISB received an up-to $6.5 million, two-year NIH contract in collaboration with Google and SRA International. From the MIT Technology Review article: The idea is to create “cancer genome clouds” where scientists can share information and quickly run virtual experiments as…

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How Physics and Thermodynamics Help Assess DNA Defects in Cancer

3 Bullets: ‘Big data’ cancer research has revealed a new spectrum of genetic mutations across tumors that need understanding. Existing methods for analyzing DNA defects in cancer are blind to how those mutations actually behave. ISB scientists developed a new approach using physics- and structure-based modeling to systematically assess the spectrum of mutations that arise in several gene regulatory proteins in cancer. By Jake Valenzuela and Justin Ashworth A significant…

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New Details on Thyroid Cancer May Lead to More Precise Therapies

3 Bullets: Papillary thyroid cancer represents 80 percent of all thyroid cancer cases. Integrative analysis resulted in the detection of significant molecular alterations not previously reported in the disease. ISB researchers identified microRNAs which may lead to more precise therapy. By Lisa Iype Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for 80 percent of all cases. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)…

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Cancer genomics visualization at ISB

It’s Easier to Go ‘Viral’ When Your Partner Happens to be Google

By ISBUSA Since we announced that we got a $6.5 million contract from NCI to develop the Cancer Genomics Cloud pilot project, we’ve gotten some great press from around the world. It doesn’t hurt that one of our partners is Google, of course. Here are some of the headlines from around the world: Puget Sound Business Journal: Cancer in the cloud: Institute for Systems Biology teams up with Google NBCNews.com:…

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ISB Awarded $6.5 Million NIH Contract to Develop ‘Cancer Genomics Cloud’ with Google and SRA International

PRESS RELEASE Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) has received a $6.5 million, up to two­-year, federally funded contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). ISB is one of three organizations awarded a contract by NCI to develop a cloud-­based platform that will serve as a large­-scale data repository and provide the computational infrastructure necessary to carry out cancer genomics research at unprecedented scales. ISB’s Shmulevich…

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ISB Gets $2.3 million NIH Grant to Use Single-Cell Technology to Fight Cancer

Pictured above: Dr. Qiang Tian, left, and Dr. Edward Lin, right, discuss single-cell analysis technologies developed at Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. September 22, 2014 – ISB has received a $2.3 million NIH grant over four years in response to NCI’s “Provocative Questions” Initiative. The project will apply ISB’s most advanced single-cell omics technologies to an innovative clinical trial for colorectal cancer (ADAPT). Principal investigator Qiang Tian, MD, PhD,…

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New Structural Map Helps To Understand Aggressive Tumors

3 Bullets: Aggressive tumor growth is linked to high activity of a macromolecular assembly called RNA polymerase I. ISB and FHCRC researchers collaborate to map the architecture of the assembly using a powerful crosslinking-mass spectrometry (CXMS) technology. Structural maps provide important insights into therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. By Mark Gillespie Rapidly growing tumor cells require large amounts of protein for their survival. This increased protein synthesis, or translation, can…

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ISB Researchers Help Identify Four New Subtypes of Gastric Cancer That May Lead to New Targeted Treatments

3 Bullets: Gastric cancer has a high mortality rate, but current classification systems haven’t been effective in helping to identify subtypes relevant for treatment of the disease. TCGA researchers have integrated molecular data from 295 stomach tumors and have discovered four subtypes of gastric cancer. Stratification of patients into these four subtypes paves the way for the development of new personalized therapies. By Theo Knijnenburg Gastric cancer is among the…

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Cover image for ISB's 2013 Annual Report.

ISB’s 2013 Annual Report is Now Available

Institute for Systems Biology has a dizzying breadth of research projects. But when we talk about what we do, it’s how we do it that matters most. The systems approach that we pioneered and exemplify continues to distinguish our ability to tackle the most complex biological and environmental challenges today. Because of how we apply our hallmark collaborative, cross-disciplinary and integrative approach, our collective success is greater than the sum…

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ISB and Seattle BioMed held its annual Lightning Talks on June 12, 2014. The talks offer scientists the chance to share current research and to enable potential collaborations across institutes.

3-Minute Science: ISB and Seattle BioMed Hold Annual Lightning Talks

Photo: Theo Knijnenburg, a research scientist in ISB's Shmulevich Lab, presentaed a summary of his work related to gene mutations and cancer drug sensitivity. Systems biology is about the culture as much as a scientific approach. ISB and Seattle BioMed have an inter-institutional agreement that enables the collective to benefit from shared knowledge and technology resources. For the second consecutive year, we held Lightning Talks (June 12) to allow researchers…

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ISB's Ilya Shmulevich describes his lab's work in The Cancer Genome Atlas project and how ISB and FHCRC could collaborate.

Melding ISB and FHCRC Brain Power for Cancer Research

(Photo above: ISB’s Dr. Ilya Shmulevich describes his lab’s work in The Cancer Genome Atlas project and how ISB and FHCRC could collaborate.) Big health challenges require big science. Cancers are prime examples of overwhelmingly complex diseases that need the power of a cross-disciplinary, systems biology approach to decipher the underlying dysfunctional gene networks in order to find ways to prevent and manage the diseases and develop more effective therapies….

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Data Visualization from Largest Genetics Catalog of Deadliest Brain Tumor

In Cancer Research, It’s HOW That Matters

By Martin Shelton, Theo Knijnenburg and Joseph Zhou ISB Editorial Board Members The oldest existing record of cancer occurs in a 4000-year-old Egyptian papyrus. It describes, in detail, a woman with symptoms eerily similar to those of modern breast cancer patients. As for the prescribed treatment, there was simply this statement: “No cure.” Sadly, this short and assertive conclusion remains true. According to the American Cancer Society’s annual cancer statistics…

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Cancer Detection requires a cross-disciplinary, systems biology approach.

Cancer Detection: A Systems Biology Approach

By Martin Shelton ISB Editorial Board Member With the exception of cancers of the skin, mouth, and blood, it is difficult to detect cancer by sight or with a routine health screen. The natural variety that exists at the cellular level — even within cells of the same type — challenges our ability to differentiate healthy tissue from diseased. This variety, what biologists call heterogeneity, means that equally healthy cells…

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