News & Events

PBS’ 'Catalyst' shines the spotlight on Biodesign researchers’ stories

March 18, 2019

Arizona State University researchers work all over the world, from Antarctica to Mexico, and Tucson to Pasadena. Now, a group of journalists and storytellers at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is chronicling their research for a science documentary series for PBS. “Catalyst” returned to Arizona PBS Wednesday, Feb. 13 for a highly anticipated second season, featuring host Vanessa Ruiz, a Cronkite professor of practice and former...

Probing life’s simplest organism to understand the complexity of cancer

February 18, 2019

The simplest multicellular animal known to man (Trichoplax adhaerens) has no nervous system, no muscle tissue, and, most importantly, no history of cancer. Typically, cancer is a disease afflicting multicellular organisms that spreads as cells grow and divide. Arizona State University researchers are looking to these small creatures to learn more about how they evade the deadly disease, and the implications this has for other multicellular animals. At the Biodesign Center for...

Discovering New Cancer Treatments By Studying Cacti

December 12, 2018

What can a type of cactus tell us about cancer, and treating the disease? Two researchers at ASU believe it's a lot. Carlo Maley and Athena Aktipis have helped set up a cactus garden on the school’s Tempe campus — but the garden doesn’t feature the kinds of specimens you might expect to see. Instead, they’re plants with kinds of malformations on them. Maley is an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and director of the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center. Aktipis is...

National Cancer Institute awards Carlo Maley $10.8M grant

November 1, 2018

When Carlo Maley first delved into his studies on the evolution of disease, he was struck with how little the field had been explored. He decided that his skills in evolution and computational biology would be well-suited for the job. “I went to PubMed and looked for all papers that had both cancer and evolution in the title … and I only came up with a handful of hits. It became clear that evolution is fundamental to the basic science of cancer, which explains why people have such a...

Calling all Deadheads: ASU hosts Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting

October 10, 2018

We see it in movies, TV shows and books, but we rarely see it in science – the zombie apocalypse may be nearer than we think, and an ASU-hosted event intends to address that. On Oct. 18-21, ASU will host the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting, an interdisciplinary gathering blending the arts and sciences to address the provocative, ever-engaging topic of zombies. According to the website, a zombie is defined as “an entity that is fully or partially under control of another entity,” a...

Biodesign Institute researcher interviewed on PBS' Arizona Horizon

August 8, 2018

Carlo Maley, a Biodesign Institute researcher and a professor in the School of Life Sciences, was recently interviewed on Arizona PBS' Arizona Horizon. Host Ted Simons talked to Maley about the new Arizona Cancer Evolution Center, which is a new center that aims to attack cancer through groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approaches, including looking at cancer through an evolutionary lens. Arizona State University researchers received an $8.5 million grant from the National Cancer...

National Cancer Institute selects Arizona State University to lead revolutionary research in cancer

June 6, 2018

Arizona State University has been awarded more than $8.5 million over five years from the National Cancer Institute to establish the Arizona Cancer and Evolution Center. The grant will establish ASU as a key player and the hub of an international network of research scientists who are dedicated to understanding cancer in an entirely new way. “The establishment of the Arizona Cancer and Evolution Center at ASU by the National Cancer Institute positions the university at the forefront of new...

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...

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...

The Ecology of Collective Behavior

November 29, 2017

Presented by Deborah Gordon, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology, Stanford University. Like many complex biological systems, an ant colony operates without central control. Each ant responds to its interactions with other ants nearby. In the aggregate, these stochastic, dynamical networks of interaction regulate colony behavior. Ants are extremely diverse, and species differences in collective behavior reflect relations with diverse environments. A long-term study of desert...