News and events

ASU's Biodesign Institute hosts thousands of visitors for Open Door 2018

February 27, 2018

More than 2,600 people walked the halls of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute Saturday during the seventh annual ASU Open Door event. Kids of all ages and their families enjoyed nearly 40 science exhibits and activities organized by 16 research centers at Biodesign.  Guests had the chance to take a selfie and watch their face evolve with computer software, put on a spacesuit and do a microbiology experiment on the International Space Station, see how treatments to fight...

Study tracks evolutionary transition to destructive cancer

February 23, 2018

Evolution describes how all living forms cope with challenges in their environment, as they struggle to persevere against formidable odds. Mutation and selective pressure—cornerstones of Darwin’s theory—are the means by which organisms gain an advantageous foothold or pass into oblivion.  In a new study, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute led an international team to explore how evolutionary processes guide the pathways of cells. Their results, which appear in the advanced...

Old drug may have new tricks for fighting cancer

February 4, 2018

In recent years, a powerful suite of drugs known as kinase inhibitors have been developed to treat cancer and other diseases. Primary targets of such drugs include a family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) which protrude from cell surfaces like antennae and can activate cancer-related pathways in virtually all types of cancer when signaling molecules bind with them. In a new study, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute used an innovative method to screen a broad...

ASU research project to tackle a nuclear emergency moves to product development phase

January 17, 2018

Editor's note: The following article is an excerpt from a Genomeweb news feature When a false alarm warning of an impending nuclear missile launch recently panicked Hawaiians, it raised bigger questions on U.S. emergency preparedness. ASU has been at the research forefront with a multi-million, multi-year project aimed at helping to triage a population in the event of a nuclear emergency. Recently, GenomeWeb updated its readers on the progress of Project Bioshield, funded by the...

ASU launches inaugural Lab Safety Innovation Award

January 11, 2018

The Laboratory Safety Committee will issue awards for safe research practices After receiving his doctorate in microbiology in the 1980s, Mitch Magee, now a researcher in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, began studying tuberculosis (TB) in a lab on the East Coast. Because TB is a highly infectious, airborne disease, the lab purchased a centrifuge tool with a special lid to keep the bacteria from getting in the air. “We were smart. We knew what we were...

Evolution and Cancer take center stage at ISEEC conference

January 8, 2018

  Evolution is the creative force shaping all earthly life. It is also the reason why all multicellular life is susceptible to cancer. The processes of evolution are the fuel behind the interplay of malignant cells with the bodies they attack. From Dec 7-10th, researchers attended ISEEC 2017, the conference of the International Society for Evolution, Ecology and Cancer, held on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. The conference, which is held every other year, drew a highly...

Chinese partners bring strong potential to advance research at Biodesign Institute

January 3, 2018

ASU’s approach toward global research engagement addresses some of the most pressing problems facing us in health today—including global pandemics and a growing cancer incidence in the developing world—that are tied to issues that require multiple, transnational partners to come up with solutions more rapidly. Recently, ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer led a delegation to visit key Chinese partners to further explore new research possibilities. The stops...

Mayo Clinic, ASU collaborate to seed and accelerate research

December 18, 2017

In Silicon Valley, investors flock to back potentially disruptive new technology and apps — even if they are still in development. But the funding landscape is a little different for health research. Although novel ideas have great potential to radically improve health care and medicine, funding agencies usually choose to fund well-established research. This can be a barrier for researchers with new ideas. Together, Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic are addressing this challenge and...

Sugar-coated world

December 18, 2017

Sugar-coated world Glycans are essential to virtually every biological process in the body. These complex structures—composed of interlocking sugar molecules—adorn the surfaces of cells in fuzzy profusion. Glycans are a crucial part of a cell’s identity, helping it communicate with other cells and with the external environment. Glycans are also known to play a vital role in cancer, autoimmune disease and countless other afflictions. Despite their ubiquity and importance, glycans...

Liquid Biopsy, Opportunity and Challenges in Practice

November 8, 2017

Presented by Jianyu Rao, M.D., Professor, University of California Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan Medical Center. There are high expectations that liquid biopsy, including analysis of circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA and exosomes may bring disruptive changes in the diagnosis and management of variety diseases, especially cancer. In this presentation, Rao will discuss the potential applications and challenges of liquid biopsy in cancer diagnosis and management.