The Sepsis Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) is a collaborative medical research center focused on sepsis translational science.


As part of the University of Washington (UW) Department of Medicine, SCORE-UW is a global collaboration between a network of hospitals, industry, blood banks, universities and funding partners. 

The mission of SCORE-UW is to improve clinical outcomes globally in critically ill sepsis patients by discovering and advancing sepsis-related science, therapeutics, and medical technologies through shared bioinformatics-based translational science.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection, characterized by systemic endothelial activation and microvascular dysfunction. These responses result in regions of microvascular leak, poor perfusion, and inadequate tissue oxygenation that play important mechanistic roles in end-organ failure, morbidity, and mortality.

To date, most sepsis-related product development efforts have focused on stopping the infectious pathogen, rather than harnessing the patient’s immune system.

SCORE seeks to improve adult and pediatric patient outcomes by focusing on the host response. By focusing on the host response, SCORE will better be able to translate why the same pathogen causes a mild reaction in one person compared to a life-threatening response in another.

Bioinformatics, biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapeutic products developed through SCORE will be commercialized by industry or with other strategic partners. In select cases, SCORE may commercialize, alone or in partnership, products in low- and middle-income countries. 

SCORE complements other sepsis organizations that are focused on advocacy, awareness or direct patient care.

SCORE is building a multiplex bioinformatics tool that is continuously sourced by a data matrix of patient demographic, geographic, health markers, serologic biomarkers, and image parameters that will utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to interpret the data to predict organ failure, mortality and optimize patient outcomes in real-time in patients with sepsis.

This will result in:

  • Proactive differentiation of patients who will proceed to have a critical and/or life-threatening response. Appropriate triage is critical in the care of patients.
  • Individualized care through prediction of response to therapy & treatment; the SCORE approach leads to true “theranostic” treatment algorithms.
  • Point of Need treatment allowing networked bioinformatics evaluation of evolving unique host-response, external factors and relevant and geographic triggers
  • Identification of new therapeutic products & services
  • Opportunities for integration of SCORE bioinformatics with other information systems to improve patient outcomes.

By unlocking the pathophysiology of sepsis, SCORE will create new opportunities for precision-medicine based therapies and theranostics to improve patient outcomes.

SCORE Organizational Structure


Organizational structure


W. Conrad Liles, MD, PhD
Associate Chair and Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Departments of Pathology, Pharmacology and Global Health
Co-Director, Molecular Medicine Training Program (MMTP)
Co-Director, Molecular Medicine and Mechanisms of Disease (M3D) Graduate Program
Director, SCORE-UW
University of Washington


Craig H. Smith, MD
Affiliate Professor, Department of Medicine
Co-Director, SCORE-UW
University of Washington

Translational Critical Care Research

Mark M. Wurfel, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington


Pavan Bhatraju, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington


Mike Fitzpatrick
SCORE-UW Chief Strategy and Operations Officer