News & Events

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...

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...

All cells must die!

May 24, 2016

Event recap | Emerge 2016: The Future of Sport What will sports look like 25 years in the future? Jerseys might have built in heart monitors and defibrillators, skates may hover over magnetic tracks, and the Olympics may be held in outer space. Judging by the costumes of the night, there will be a lot of neon and silver, clothing will be infused with technology, and dogs will wear matching tracksuits with their owners. Another trend of the night was an increase in brain games and puzzles,...

Biomedicine and Biotechnology

April 13, 2016

Stephen Johnston, Ph.D., Professor and Co-director, Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine; Hugh Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology; and Carlo Maley, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Virginia G. Piper Biodesign Center for Personalized Diagnostics. The ASU School of Life Sciences is presenting this seminar.