A Systems Approach to Sepsis

Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to infection damages its own tissues and organs. This aggressive and quickly progressing condition is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, and hospitalization costs related to sepsis top $24 billion each year.

Therapeutic interventions often don’t occur until after the onset of symptoms. The gold standard of sepsis diagnosis is a method that takes up to five days to complete. Patients are often treated with antibiotics before an infecting pathogen is identified, which can result in inappropriate or inadequate treatment during the earliest phase of the condition.


ISB is working to address the massive unmet need to accurately identify patients at risk of developing sepsis so that treatments can be initiated as early as possible.

To date, our researchers have:

  • Identified biomarkers in the blood that are predictive for the development of sepsis
  • Created a synthetic, cost-effective solution to detect and neutralize specific endotoxins responsible for half of all cases of sepsis
  • Developed a powerful growth-analysis tool that can observe pathogens that cause sepsis
  • Secured grant funding from several institutions, including the Department of Defense, to enable a systems approach to this debilitating condition



Researchers at ISB identified the first blood-based molecular panel that can assess a patient’s risk of developing sepsis as early as three days before the onset of the illness. We are in the process of securing intellectual property associated with the biomarker panel.


We have made great strides in better understanding what causes sepsis and how we can identify and treat the deadly condition as early as possible. But our work is far from done. Your support is crucial to our quest to predict who will be affected by sepsis, and finding ways to effectively treat it before it runs rampant. For more information, please contact:

Renee Duprel | 206.732.1287 |