News

Bugs vs. Drugs: How Our Microbiomes Can Explain Our Response to Statins

ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons talked about the science behind statins in our most recent Research Roundtable virtual presentation. His talk was titled “Bugs vs. Drugs: How Our Unique Gut Microbiomes Shape Our Personalized Responses to Statins.”

Drs. Serdar Turkarslan and Christian Diener

ISB Honors Researchers Who Give Back to STEM Education

This year, two deserving scientists were bestowed recognition for giving back to STEM education. Dr. Serdar Turkarslan is the recipient of the JoAnn Chrisman Award for Distinguished Service to STEM Education, and Dr. Christian Diener was awarded the Dr. Christine Schaeffer Award for Exemplary Service to STEM Education. 

Sean Gibbons

Interview with Sean in Nature Computational Biology

Dr. Sean Gibbons, assistant professor at the Institute for Systems Biology and a Washington Research Foundation Distinguished Investigator, discusses with Nature Computational Science how he uses computational science to gain insights into the gut microbiome and to address the major challenges of this field, as well as his advice to young LGBTQIA+ scientists.

Gut Microbiome Composition Predictive of Patient Response to Statins

New ISB research shows that different patient responses to statins can be explained by the variation in the human microbiome. The findings were published in the journal Med, and suggest that microbiome monitoring could be used to help optimize personalized statin treatments.

Dr. Annie Levine joins the lab

Dr. Annie Levine joins the lab as a clinical fellow. Annie is a fellow in pediatric gastroenterology at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She graduated from Harvard with a BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures and earned her MD at the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. After completing her residency in pediatrics at Brown University in Providence, RI, she moved to Seattle in 2020 to start her clinical fellowship. Annie has been…

Dr. Jack Gilbert on the State of the Microbiome Field

In the final ISB-Town Hall Seattle Science Series of 2021, ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons sat down with UCSD Professor Dr. Jack Gilbert, and the two microbiome experts discussed past research, exciting science happening today, promising products and therapies on the horizon, and much more. 

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.

2021 ISB Microbiome Series

2021 ISB Virtual Microbiome Series Announced

Our multi-day microbiome-themed virtual course and symposium is back by popular demand! ISB is hosting a two-day course on October 13 & 14, followed by a symposium on October 15. Both events are virtual and free. The intended audience for these events are graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, industry scientists, educators, clinicians, or any other variety of microbiome-curious person from across the globe.

Dr. Sean Gibbons Spotlighted in Alumni Profile

MIT’s Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics recently featured Dr. Sean Gibbons in an alumni profile. Gibbons discussed his academic arc that started in Montana and led to his master’s studies (sponsored by a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship) at Uppsala University in Sweden, completing his PhD in biophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, and conducting his postdoc work in the lab of Eric Alm. He also talked about some of…

Personalized Nutrition and Your Gut Microbiome

In ISB’s first-ever Research Roundtable event, Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons delivered a presentation titled “Gut-Check: Personalized Nutrition and Your Microbiome.” His talk covered a lot of ground, including recently published research showing how the health of our microbiomes can predict longevity, and how we can build and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. 

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.

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.

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.

Tracking population health through waste water

Answering Nature’s Call: How Scientists Are Mining Sewage To Track Population Health

Everybody pees and poops. What if there was a way to use the byproducts of our everyday bodily functions to understand the general health of a population? That is exactly what MIT’s Dr. Eric Alm is pursuing. In an ISB-Town Hall Seattle live stream, Alm discussed the promise of this novel form of public health tracking. 

Nick Bohmann Joins the Lab

Nick Bohmann joins the lab as a Ph.D. student from the Molecular Engineering and Sciences program at UW. Nick graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 with B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering. His research interests include genome-scale metabolic modeling and ‘omics based computational biology, specifically related to the human gut microbiome. Nick’s work in the lab will focus on using computational tools to enhance the predictive capability of models of the…

James Johnson Joins the Lab

James Johnson joins the lab as a bioengineering PhD student at the University of Washington (UW). James earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. After graduating, he took a job as an R&D Associate Engineer at PepsiCo. After three years of applied science and engineering at PepsiCo, James decided to apply to the Bioengineering PhD program at UW in Seattle so that he could return to working…

Keystone Taxa Indispensable for Microbiome Recovery

How can we harness successional ecology to quickly repair antibiotic-damaged gut microbiota? ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons wrote this commentary for the journal Nature Microbiology detailing recent research that answers that question. Click the link to read the story (link will open as a new window). Illustration by Allison Kudla, PhD / ISB. 

Harnessing our inner ecology to track and treat disease

ISB’s virtual course and symposium focusing on the microbiome and its future role in precision medicine will take place on October 15 and 16. The event’s website went live earlier this week. The virtual course will be taught by Sean Gibbons, Christian Diener, Tomasz Wilmanski, Noa Rappaport, Alex Carr, Priyanka Baloni and Nathan Price. Symposium speakers are Jason Papin (University of Virginia), Ines Thiele (National University of Ireland, Galway), Thomas…