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Wilke Cohen Lyme Disease Project Receives $3M from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
Total Funding Has Reached $6.1 Million
ISB Researchers Have Discovered Potential Biomarkers and Successfully Reproduced the Borrelia Bacteria in the Lab
SEATTLE – June 1, 2016 – Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) has received a transformational, multi-year pledge from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to support the Wilke Cohen Lyme Disease Project. In addition to an initial $3.1 million in funding from Jeff and Liesl Wilke, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, and the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the project now has commitments totaling $6.1 million in pledges and cash.
“We are excited to help Dr. Lee Hood and the Wilke Cohen Lyme Disease Project in the important work they are doing to help those who suffer from Lyme disease,” said Alex Cohen, co-founder and president of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which has committed more than $50 million to more than 20 Lyme disease projects. “Lyme is a very complex and also poorly understood disease. However, we believe in ISB’s holistic, systems approach and share their commitment to finding more effective diagnostics and treatments.
“We are grateful that Steven and Alex Cohen understand the power of ISB’s systems approach to tackle the complexity surrounding Lyme disease,” said Dr. Lee Hood, ISB president and principal investigator. “While we have made some promising initial discoveries, we have a long way to go and this funding is crucial to our goals.”
Potential biomarkers: ISB researchers have discovered potential biomarkers, including a set of proteins in the blood known to be important for bone marrow regeneration and stability and other sets of proteins that are key players in the immune response. The results are preliminary and requires extensive follow-up.
Systems analysis of Lyme disease: ISB researchers and their collaborators have completed the first year of a prospective study in which subjects with newly diagnosed Lyme disease were enrolled and provided blood and urine specimens at several different time points. ISB’s analysis will cover blood and urine proteins, blood and urine metabolites, patients’ immune response, and genetic factors contributing to Borrelia strain differences.
Multi-omic analysis: The new patient samples enable deep multi-omic analyses that will best reveal useful biomarkers, vaccine targets and possibly new therapeutic targets. The blood and plasma samples will help verify the previously identified protein biomarker candidates and enable detailed exploration of the patients’ immune response to Borrelia infection.
Detection: ISB researchers have begun an in-depth mass spectrometry-based analysis of Borrelia coat proteins with the ultimate goals of developing methods for direct detection of the Borrelia pathogen and identifying potent vaccine targets.
Proteomics: ISB’s Moritz Lab has successfully developed a way to grow large quantities of the Borrelia bacteria in the lab, which is necessary to enable the study and identification of the proteins that are crucial to developing diagnostic tools for Lyme.
https://www.systemsbiology.org/news/201 ... oundation/
General or non-medical topics with information and discussion related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
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