ISB News

ISB Marking 20th Anniversary with Year-Long Celebration

A Message from ISB President Dr. Jim Heath

This year, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.

Dr. Jim Heath

President Dr. Jim Heath is pictured standing outside of ISB’s building at 401 Terry Avenue North in the heart of South Lake Union.

In 2000, Drs. Lee Hood, Ruedi Aebersold and Alan Aderem created ISB as the first-ever institute dedicated to systems biology. For the past two decades, our scientists have been on the ground floor on many important research areas — aging and wellness, computational biology, brain diseases, and many chronic and infectious diseases, to name a few. Furthermore, ISB has improved the quality of and accessibility to STEM education through curriculum development and by working with entire school systems to get students thinking like scientists.

We are proud of our past and excited about our future, and we have hit our stride.

ISB remains at the cutting edge of science. Our research is focused on using the tools of systems biology to define an individual’s state of wellness, to detect early transitions to disease, and to develop proactive interventions designed to prevent the full development of disease. We believe every patient is unique, and our affiliation with Providence St. Joseph Health, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care systems, provides a pipeline to rapidly move developments from the research bench to a patient’s bedside.

Our labs are working on big problems such as developing personalized cancer treatments and harnessing an individual’s immune system to fight disease, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, embracing machine learning to create biomedical, interpretable risk models for clinical decision support, and much more. 

In our 20th year, you are going to see, read and hear a lot about this work. 2020 is going to be a year-long ISB anniversary celebration, and we are reintroducing ourselves to our community here in Seattle and beyond.

As part of this celebration, we are partnering with Town Hall Seattle for a speaker series focusing on some of the most important topics in science and health care. The first of these events will focus on brain health and will be held Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Town Hall Seattle’s Great Hall. Neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. David Eagleman will deliver the keynote address and will take part in a panel discussion along with brain health expert Dr. Mary Kay Ross. Dr. Ross is founder and CEO of the Brain Health & Research Institute. (Get your tickets while you can!) The other ISB-Town Hall Seattle events will focus on vaccines, STEM education and artificial intelligence in health care, and will feature notable experts in each field. We will share more details about these events very soon.

ISB recently unveiled a new brand identity and installed signs on our building. For the first time, people passing our building on foot, in vehicles or on the Seattle Streetcar know ISB is in the heart of South Lake Union and that we are a vibrant life sciences research institute.

I am excited about our work and what we have planned in the coming year. Throughout 2020, you’ll be hearing from us and there will be numerous opportunities for you to learn more.

We are laser focused on pushing scientific boundaries. I would love for you to be a part of our mission. 

I wish you a prosperous and happy new year. 

Be well.

James R. Heath, PhD
President and Professor, ISB

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