Dr. James Heath Discusses Seattle Consortium Progress in Modulating the Immune Response for COVID-19
Dr. James Heath, President of the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and a founder and board member of IsoPlexis as well as several other biotech companies, was the featured speaker in a recent webinar with The Scientist, now available on-demand.
In this webinar, Dr. Heath speaks about how he and his team have begun to map the functional immune responses of patients with COVID-19 at both the serum and single-cell level using functional proteomics from IsoPlexis. In late March, the ISB teamed up with several other companies and institutions, including Merck and IsoPlexis, to begin studying numerous patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in hopes of gaining more insight into the immune response and how to create effective treatments and vaccines.
Some of what has been learned from this study so far includes:
- IL-6 levels correlate with disease severity—the higher the IL-6 level, the worse the COVID-19 case.
- Cytokines are elevated in COVID-19 patients almost across the board, but IL-6 is the most drastic.
- Chemokines produced by COVID-19 patients, except for IFN-γ, are dominated by monocytes, as revealed by IsoPlexis’ technology.
- This is important because monocytes are antigen presenting cells for these patients, helping T cells mature into B cells, which can potentially provide immunity against future infection. Losing this ability promotes cytokine release syndrome, or cytokine storm, and also makes the rest of the immune system dysfunctional.
This study began with a small patient cohort, but Dr. Heath is looking to expand the number of patients participating to increase the demographics represented, ensuring that this disease is studied thoroughly, and that findings are validated.
Watch the on-demand webinar now to learn more about this Seattle Consortium and about how single-cell proteomics and the ISB are making a difference in combating COVID-19.