News/Events

Meet the Promising New Researchers Making Waves on the Space Station

August 9, 2019

Each year, the president of the United States selects an elite group of scientists and engineers at the beginning of their independent research careers to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals at this point in their professions. This year’s selection of 314 scientists includes 18 NASA researchers. Although these...

Biodesign researcher honored by the White House with Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

July 30, 2019

  Every year, the U.S. government identifies up-and-coming scientists from each state who are deserving of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the nation’s highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. This year, Jennifer Barrila, an assistant research professor in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, received the PECASE award from...

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...

Will Mars missions make humans sick? Here's what we know

December 4, 2018

While it's unclear if microbes are lurking on Mars, studies of earthly bacteria show that space can make some germs especially unpleasant. No one wants to risk a contagion in space. Returning home can be tricky, medical supplies are limited, crews cannot treat every complication that might arise, and a single infected astronaut could jeopardize an entire mission. That’s especially true for any future human missions to Mars, in which an astronaut with the sniffles would be at least...

Farewell flat biology – tackling infectious disease using 3-D tissue engineering

September 10, 2018

In a new invited review article, ASU Biodesign microbiologists and tissue engineers Cheryl Nickerson, Jennifer Barrila and colleagues discuss the development and application of three-dimensional (3-D) tissue culture models as they pertain to infectious disease. They describe these models as predictive pre-clinical platforms to study host-pathogen interactions, infectious disease mechanisms, and antimicrobial drug development.   The review, entitled “Modeling Host-Pathogen...

ASU a major presence at synthetic biology conference

June 4, 2018

Gathering highlights, discoveries and tools at leading edge of DNA editing Synthetic biology uses basic research about DNA and proteins to design and build “living nanotech” that controls cell behavior. The payoff, scientists hope, will be novel biomaterials for rebuilding damaged tissue, molecular and cellular therapies, and localized drug delivery systems for tough cancers. An annual synthetic biology conference is being held in Paradise Valley this week, with Arizona State...

Space business is big business

March 28, 2018

Once, space was a vast emptiness beyond earth, hostile and remote. Today, space is humming with satellites essential for global telecommunications and human occupied vehicles that provide an innovative platform for cutting edge scientific research that is benefiting life in space and on Earth. Indeed, many Earth-bound innovations have benefited from space research, from advanced solar cells to developments in parallel computing and major advances in human health. In a path-breaking new...

Discovery's Desert Home

September 18, 2017

  Editor's note: The following story was featured in the February 15 print edition of the journal Nature.  The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University was designed to foster multidisciplinary collaboration and solve the world’s great challenges. The results speak for themselves. William Graves came to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) determined to change the world. The physicist had spent the past 13 years at the Massachusetts Institute of...

ASU postdoc awarded Alfred P. Sloan Foundation - NASA joint fellowship to study International Space Station microbes

May 16, 2017

Arizona State University has received new support from the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and NASA for its rising research stars to study the microbiome of the built environment on board the International Space Station (ISS).  ASU Biodesign Institute postdoctoral researcher Jiseon Yang was just one of five scientists chosen from across the country for a fellowship award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation under a joint call with NASA – “Microbes of the Built Environment...

NASA, ASU collaboration develops new 3-D tissue culture models with immune cells to better mimic human gut infections

March 10, 2017

Vaccines and antimicrobials have done more to transform medicine and extend the average human lifespan than any other scientific breakthrough. Yet infectious diseases remain the world’s no. 1 leading cause of death of children and young adults.  Now, with emerging epidemic threats like Zika, Ebola, SARS, TB and others, massive increases in antimicrobial resistance, and the time and cost for developing new antimicrobial drugs and therapeutics, scientists are worried about finding ever...