News & 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


Study sheds new light on mitochondrial disorders

July 29, 2020

To perform myriad operations essential to life, cells require an energy source. They get it from the molecule ATP, produced through cellular respiration within specialized structures—the mitochondria. The production of ATP is a complicated process researchers are still struggling to fully grasp. Essential to the final production of ATP are a series of five respiratory complexes, collectively known as the electron transport chain. Scientists are working to ferret out the details of how...

Advances in cryo-EM pave the way for drug discovery

June 22, 2020

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) is a powerful technique capable of penetrating the mysteries of the molecular world at near atomic resolution. Along with X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), cryo-EM has been a boon to the field of structural biology, helping to unlock the fine details of proteins and their binding activities with small molecules. The enormous power and versatility of the method earned cryo-EM researchers the 2017 Nobel Price in...

ASU grad student earns fellowship from National Science Foundation

May 14, 2020

John Vant, a graduate student at Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the LeRoy Eyring Memorial Fellowship. That's even more impressive considering Vant said that attending graduate school was, for him, “a low probability phenomenon” and “not for kids like me.” Growing up, Vant always had a...

Three Biodesign researchers awarded NSF CAREER Award

April 10, 2020

Arizona State University has to date earned 15 National Science Foundation early faculty CAREER awards for 2020. The awards total $9.5 million in funding for ASU researchers over five years. Amongst these 15 recipients were three Biodesign Institute researchers: Richard Kirian, Brent Nannenga and Abhishek Singharoy. The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program identifies the nation’s most promising young faculty members and provides them with funding to pursue...

Powering up high school biology

March 17, 2020

In his lab at Arizona State University, Abhishek Singharoy studies how cells interact with each other on the atomic level. His research uses high-powered molecular visualization programs that can’t run on an average computer. Instead, he connects remotely to supercomputers based at national laboratories to run his simulations, tapping into their vast computational power. It’s a common model for researchers all over the world — which sparked an idea from Singharoy. “Why can't we...

X-ray eyes peer deeper into deadly pathogen

March 5, 2020

Tularemia is a rare but often lethal disease. It is caused by one of the most aggressive pathogens on earth, the bacterium Francisella tularensis. The microbe, transported by a variety of animals and insects, is able to enter and attack the body through a range of pathways, resulting in different constellations of symptoms and degrees of severity. Tularemia remains poorly understood and no safe and effective vaccine exists for the disease. The extreme lethality of F. tularensis and its...

ASU researcher explores biomolecular structures to advance nanotechnology

March 3, 2020

Nanotechnology is a hot topic in the engineering world. Discoveries at this tiny scale — meaning billionths of a meter, or the distance that fingernails grow each second — are inspiring optical and electronic innovations in fields ranging from medicine to construction. But creating the substances required to advance such work is a heated issue. Fabricating nanomaterials is difficult. Results can be inconsistent, and the process requires toxic solvents and high temperatures. Consequently,...

Research team finds possible new approach for sleeping sickness drugs

March 2, 2020

Using ultra-bright X-ray flashes, a team of researchers has tracked down a potential target for new drugs against sleeping sickness. The scientists have decoded the detailed spatial structure of a vital enzyme of the pathogen, the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. The result provides a possible blueprint for a drug that specifically blocks this enzyme and thus kills the parasite, as the team led by Christian Betzel from the University of Hamburg, Lars Redecke from the University of Lübeck and DESY...

The Art of Letting Go: Researchers track progress of separations field in spearheading diagnostics

February 14, 2020

Just as a cotton gin separates cotton fibers from seeds, separation methods for complex biological samples are often required to ferret out targets of interest for researchers and physicians. Diagnostic tests may require the separation of certain classes of cells from blood and specific proteins or DNA markers for disease from plasma. This field has come a long way, and there are a wide variety of methods employed to separate biomarkers or bioanalytes from a sample. Part art, part science,...

Science at the interface: Bioinspired materials reveal useful properties

January 27, 2020

The design of sophisticated new materials is undergoing brisk technological advancement. Innovations in material science promise transformative improvements in industries ranging from energy to manufacturing. In a new study, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and their colleagues explore new materials with physical properties that can be custom-tailored to suit particular needs. The work is inspired by mechanisms in nature, where the complex three-dimensional structure of surrounding...