News and events

Sentinels in the blood: a new diagnostic for pancreatic cancer

February 6, 2017

Despite enormous research strides, detection methods for many diseases remain cumbersome and expensive, and often uncover illness only at advanced stages, when patient outcomes can be bleak. One such illness is pancreatic cancer, which may display no obvious symptoms in its early stages, yet can develop aggressively. Indeed, according to the American Cancer Society, a staggering 80 percent of those stricken with this form of cancer die within 1 year of diagnosis. Now, however, Tony Hu, a...

Tiny, pond-dwelling organism reveals nearly bulletproof DNA

January 23, 2017

Meet the tiny, hair-lined ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. This nondescript pond-loving, pear-shaped protist, only visible through the microscope, has long fascinated scientists---even fueling Nobel prize discoveries---due to its highly unusual cellular biology and genetic structure.  Now, it turns out that Tetrahymena’s genome, its genetic blueprint, is even more fascinating than previously thought.   ASU Biodesign Institute geneticist Reed Cartwright and colleagues at the...

The future of personalized medicine

January 13, 2017

The 21st century’s barrage of new technologies has revolutionized the ways doctors practice medicine in the clinic and in their laboratories.   The rate of change is only expected to get faster, and so it is difficult for today’s medical experts to accurately depict the future of health care. There are some ideas however, that clinicians hope to see continue into the next frontier of medicine.   One of these emerging ideas is personalized medicine. While there has...

The Future of Personalized Medicine

January 5, 2017

Karen Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics; Amy Foxx-Orenstein, D.O., Director, Mayo Clinic Arizona Weight and Wellness Solutions Program; and Heather M. Ross, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation Personalized medicine promises to transform health and health care in the 21st century with new approaches to diagnosing and...

Atlas of the RNA universe takes shape

December 7, 2016

As the floor plan of the living world, DNA guides the composition of animals ranging from unicellular organisms to humans. DNA not only helps shepherd every organism from birth through death, it also plays an essential role in the development of many human diseases. But it wasn’t always so. Long before DNA emerged as the molecule of life, its closely related cousin, RNA (ribonucleic acid), held center stage.  The RNA world refers to a time in earth’s distant past when primitive...

New research sheds light on ‘gender gap’ in cystic fibrosis

September 9, 2016

A minor hiccup in the sequence of a human gene can have devastating impacts on health. Such flaws cause cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease affecting the lungs and other vital organs, often leading to death by the age of 30. In new research appearing in the current issue of Science Advances, Wade Van Horn and his colleagues from Vanderbilt and Northwestern Universities examine the underpinnings of this deadly affliction, including its apparent disproportionate effect on women, which is due in...

Nimble Storage donation revs up big data science

August 31, 2016

To advance research discoveries, ASU scientists have to rely on faster and more reliable computing power and state-of-the-art number-crunching to handle all of their evergrowing big data computing, network and storage needs.  Now, Nimble Storage's advanced petabyte technology donation to ASU's Biodesign Institute will allow faster access to 'big data' research into early disease detection and cancer research. Recently, leadership from Biodesign and Nimble...

Fateful evolution: new study improves accuracy of cancer diagnosis

August 24, 2016

A disorder known as Barrett’s esophagus (BE) affects some 200,000 Americans each year. The condition, which is caused by stomach acid damaging the lining of the esophagus, can lead to the development of a serious, potentially fatal cancer of epithelial tissue, known as esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). In a new study, Carlo Maley, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, uses evolutionary theory to make predictions about which BE patients will go on to develop...

The power of the patch: New project aims to make innovative device to empower consumer health

August 22, 2016

Karen Anderson is an ASU scientist who sees firsthand patient’s struggles with cancer while making rounds as a Mayo Clinic oncologist. Jennifer Blain Christen is an ASU electrical engineer who is pushing the boundaries of sensors and circuits technology to improve health care. Together, the ASU dynamic duo has combined their expertise to make a difference for people to quickly and inexpensively check their health status. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., of the Virginia G. Piper Center for...

Fostering North American partnerships

August 16, 2016

Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan (left), senior vice president for ASU's Knowledge Enterprise Development; Joshua LaBaer, an executive with the Biodesign Institute; and Luis Armando Kuroda of Mexico's Salud Digna and Fundación Vizcarra (right) sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Aug. 15. The MOU establishes a commitment to collaborate using ASU's undergraduate and graduate scientific researchers and Salud Digna's preventative health-care services with the goal of bringing greater...