News and events

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News coverage

  • May, 2015, Professor John C.H. Spence elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society
  • April, 2015, Key blood pressure drug seen in startling new detail, Zhang, H., et al., Cell
  • April, 2015, Our Ever Green World, New York Times
  • February, 2015, X-ray crystallography brings pain pathways into view, Fenalti, G., et al., Nat Struct Mol Biol
  • December, 2014, First time-resolved XFEL studies at atomic resolution, Tenboer, J., et al., Science, ASU News Article, Biodesign Article
  • September, 2014, AzTE award to John Spence and Uwe Weirstall
  • July 2014, First time-resolved XFEL studies of Photosynthesis, Kupitz, C., et al., Nature
  • August, 2014, Launch of the Center for Applied Structural Discovery, AzCentral Article, Biodesign Article
  • April, 2014, New link of dietary fats to colon cancer, Wang, D., et al., PNAS
  • December, 2013, New structure of major drug target protein, Liu, W., et al., Science
  • December, 2012, In vivo protein crystallization opens new routes in structural biology, Koopmann, R., et al., Nature Methods
  • December, 2012, New insights into African Sleeping Sickness, Redecke, L., et al., Science, One of Science’s top 10 breakthroughs
  • February, 2011, Serial femtosecond nanocrystallography, Chapman, H., et al., Nature


New theories and materials aid the transition to clean energy

October 14, 2021

With each passing day, the dark side of our addiction to fossil fuels becomes more apparent. In addition to slashing emissions of carbon dioxide, society must find sustainable alternatives to power the modern world. In a new study, Gary Moore and his research group explore different approaches to catalysis, a chemical process that plays an essential role in biological reactions, as well as many industrial applications. Catalysts are substances that speed up the rates of chemical...

Improvements in microscopy home in on biology’s elusive details

October 13, 2021

In the late 1600s, the Dutch tradesman Anthoni van Leeuwenhoek began investigating the world of the very small using the first microscope, discovering a riotous world of protists, bacteria, and other previously unseen organisms. Subsequent generations of scientists have developed ever-more-sophisticated means of probing the microscopic world, bringing many mysteries of the biological realm into stunning relief. Now, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD)...

A unique material with tunable properties is explored in a new study

September 13, 2021

If you’re old enough, you may still have a box of cassette or VHS tapes lying around. These storage devices were popular in the 1970s and 80s, but have since fallen into disuse, replaced by CDs and other digital media. Now, researchers are taking a new look at chromium oxides, magnetic chemical compounds once used to coat the surfaces of such tapes. In a new study, Scott Sayres and Jacob Garcia, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU’s School...

New research advances clean energy solutions

September 2, 2021

Meeting society’s growing energy needs has become a daunting challenge for humanity. Demands for energy are expected to nearly double by the year 2050, while the effects of climate change, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, are already wreaking havoc in the form of droughts, wildfires, floods and other disasters. Gary Moore, a researcher at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU's School of Molecular Sciences, thinks chemistry will play a vital role in the...

Biodesign Institute, Molecular Sciences, Mayo Clinic unravel DNA repair mechanism

August 12, 2021

The health of a cell is largely determined by the health of its DNA and the genetic information it carries. The correct genetic code will ensure the regular functions to maintain the life of a cell. When DNA becomes damaged, the cell’s repair mechanism, the DNA polymerase enzyme, plays a crucial role in detecting and repairing genetic damage. DNA can be fragile and damaged by environmental factors, such as chemicals or ultraviolet light. For example, when ultraviolet light damages DNA in...

New study targets molecular culprit of liver disease

July 15, 2021

Some 80-100 million people in the US have a serious medical condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The affliction is caused by abnormal retention of fat within cells or organs. People of all ages are vulnerable to this disease, though individuals suffering from obesity or type 2 diabetes are at heightened risk. In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) and their colleagues use NMR technology to probe a protein known as...

In memoriam: Regents Professor John Spence

June 30, 2021

John Spence, a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, the Richard Snell Professor of Physics and ASU Regents Professor, died peacefully Monday morning, June 28, in Boston.  Spence’s career spanned more than 40 years at ASU, where early on he was a key contributor to ASU’s world-renowned program in electron microscopy and, most recently, was the director of science for the NSF BioXFEL Science and Technology Center on the application of X-ray...

Study paves the way for new photosensitive materials

April 22, 2021

Photocatalysts are useful materials, with myriad environmental and energy applications, including air purification, water treatment, self-cleaning surfaces, pollution-fighting paints and coatings, hydrogen production and CO2 conversion to sustainable fuels. An efficient photocatalyst converts light energy into chemical energy and provides this energy to a reacting substance, to help chemical reactions occur. One of the most useful such materials is knows as titanium oxide or titania, much...

Petra Fromme’s pioneering efforts in X-ray crystallography honored with the prestigious Anfinsen Award

April 12, 2021

Arizona State University researcher Petra Fromme has received the 2021 Christian B. Anfinsen Award. The honor is bestowed by The Protein Society, the premier international association dedicated to supporting protein research. In presenting Fromme with this prestigious prize, the Protein Society recognizes her groundbreaking efforts to advance the field of protein research, using ultra-high-speed X-ray crystallography to probe matter at the tiniest scales and shortest time durations. These...

First detailed look at crucial enzyme advances cancer research

March 29, 2021

In order to develop more effective drugs against a range of cancers, researchers have been investigating the molecular structure of many diseased-linked enzymes in the body. An intriguing case in point is Taspase 1, a type of enzyme known as a protease. The primary duty of proteases is to break down proteins into smaller peptide snippets or single amino acids. Taspase 1 appears to play a vital role in a range of physiological processes, including cell metabolism, proliferation, migration and...