News & Events

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...

Cancer through the lens of evolution

October 23, 2017

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” The oft-repeated maxim, (from Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols), offers a model of human fortitude. It could also serve as the motto of a cancer cell, emphasizing—with brutal precision—how treatment-resistant cancers outwit our best medical interventions.  Cancer owes its ability to colonize and devastate the body to the same Darwinian forces that have shaped all life on earth: chance mutation and natural selection....

ASU appoints world-renowned evolutionary biologist to lead new Biodesign Center

September 6, 2017

Cross-disciplinary center studies key forces behind evolution to empower life sciences The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has announced today the appointment of world-renowned evolutionary biologist Michael Lynch, Ph.D., as the director of an ambitious new effort to advance the u­nderstanding of evolution across all scales of life, from whole populations to the key forces at work deep within a cell. The overarching mission of Lynch’s new Biodesign Center for Mechanisms...

New book explores cancer’s pervasive mysteries

June 12, 2017

Evolution is a propulsive force, working incessantly to reshape life on earth, from the lowliest single-celled organisms to the planet’s vast forests, insect and bird populations, oceanic life and diverse mammalian species. Like all living things, cancer cells are also subject to the stringent dictates of evolution. Indeed, cancer has proven to be among the most adept players in Nature’s ceaseless game. Evolution is the reason humans and other life forms are vulnerable to cancer and why...