Most Influential: Rick Horwitz of Allen Cell Institute

He left comfortable tenure at the University of Virginia about two years ago to lead the brand-new nonprofit Allen Institute for Cell Science here in Seattle—and he’s wasted no time. In April, Rick Horwitz, Ph.D., and his team opened the Allen Cell Explorer, a free scientific resource, accessible to anyone in the world, that has the potential to help speed up insights about drugs and diseases.

The Cell Explorer allows viewers to “see” inside microscopic photos of once-living cells. Forget parts of the cell you labeled in seventh-grade biology: mitochondria, nucleus, vacuole. “We don’t know where any of that is,” Horwitz explains. The inside of a cell is dynamic, moving and churning to conduct daily chores. The Explorer gives viewers ways to see 3-D images that are built using living cells, which are photographed in ways that expose specific structures at work. Read whole story here: http://www.seattlemag.com/news-and-features/most-influential-seattleites-2017-rick-horwitz

Seattle Genetics aims to put drug on front line of cancer

Seattle Genetics hides its big ambitions in a modest-looking set of beige Bothell office-park buildings, while some of its cousins in the local biotech world crowd together in the brainy-hood of Seattle’s South Lake Union. But there is nothing modest about this 18-year-old company, which is plowing forward patiently and aims to make a major splash in the cancer-drug market in 2017.Investors have driven SGEN stock up more than 50 percent this year, largely on the strength of its flagship drug known as Adcetris, which treats Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that can spread to the lungs, liver or bone marrow. The company employs around 900 full-time staff and will add perhaps 200 next year, said CEO Clay Siegall, who co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998. For original story https://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/seattle-genetics-aims-to-put-drug-on-the-front-line-of-battling-cancer/

Man makes his microbes into research study

Richard Sprague keeps samples of his own feces, in the family freezer, so he can send them to a Stanford University laboratory. Some days he tries to improve his sleep by swallowing potato starch to feed a certain population of microbes in his gut. Lately, he’s been studying his brain acuity every morning to see if changes in his diet can influence it.

A 52-year-old father of three and an ex-Microsoft manager who lives on Mercer Island, Sprague is a volunteer, among thousands of others, in a movement called “citizen science.” Read more at Seattle Magazine.