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About ISB

ISB is a biological research facility located near the UW campus in Seattle, WA. Committed to the development of predictive, preventive medicine, ISB uses systems approaches to understand the biology and medicine. It is located in the fascinating city of Fremont with a long and interesting history and many interesting shops and locations. The facility is right next to the Burke-Gilman trail a beautiful biking and jogging trail that goes through various locations such a the UW campus and the Gas Works park.

The overarching goal of the ISB is to promote systems biology approaches to understand biology and to make medicine personalized, predictive and preventive. Systems Biology involves looking at a biological entity (perhaps a cell, a particular pathway or process, or a collection of genes) as a collection of parts, a system, that work together and observing their interactions rather than the parts. It is a unique approach that looks at the entire system at once. Using large scale technology and powerful computer algorithms, it reveals insights about how the building blocks of life work in the presence of others that cannot be revealed while studying them in isolation. ISB’s main medical goal is the development and advancement of predictive and preventive medicine.

As per its systems biology approach, ISB treats sickness as a malfunction in the system, parts that are not working. ISB aims to predict and prevent such malfunctions by fully understanding the healthy and sick systems and the signals produced by sick systems. Measuring changes in protein expression, gathering data from accurate computer models, and taking and analyzing the patients genome are current technologies and techniques being developed by the ISB in order to make their dream of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine come true.

Baliga Lab

The Baliga Group at ISB studies the gene regulatory network of Halobacteria salinarum, a salt-loving extremeophile. Using a systems approach, the group observes the effects of environmental changes on gene expression in Halo and map out the pathways that archea utilize to regulate their gene expression and adapt to their challenges to their new environment. The group then develops mathematical models of these regulatory networks in order to regulate to predict the affects of new changes to the cell's environment. They also development software such as Gaggle or cMonkey, in order to sort and analyze the massive amounts of data accumulated using a system's approach. In the future, these efforts will further the development of predictive, preventive medicine by allowing scientists and doctors to understand and manipulate such networks in humans that are diseased or malfunctioning.

Another important goal of the Baliga Group is improving science education. The group works with schools throughout Washington to create models centered around Halobacterium to teach systems biology concepts to middle and high schoolers.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Institute for Systems Biology, 1441 North 34th Street, Seattle, WA 98103-8904