News/Events

Dealing with stress: new research highlights the survival skills of disease-causing E. coli

January 30, 2012

Escherichia coli bacteria thrive in the lower intestine of humans and other animals, including birds. Most are vital constituents of the healthy gut flora, but certain forms of E. coli cause a range of diseases in both humans and poultry.  In this month’s issue of the journal PLoS ONE, a team of researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute investigates disease-causing E. coli strains known as APEC (for Avian Pathogenic E. coli).  By studying circular segments...

ASU microbiologist, ASU alum join forces to help save endangered salamander

December 20, 2011

A new study co-authored by Arizona State University and University of Florida researchers on the endangered Ozark Hellbender giant salamander is the first to detail its skin microbes, the bacteria and fungi that defend against pathogens. Published Dec. 19 in the online journal Public LIbrary of Science (PLoS) One, the study details changes in the salamander’s declining health and habitat, and could provide a baseline for how changing ecosystems are affecting the rapid decline of...

Nickerson named finalist for research excellence award

September 27, 2011

Arizona State University’s Cheryl Nickerson has been selected as one of four finalists for the Arizona BioIndustry Association’s Award for Research Excellence. The 2011 recipient will be recognized at an awards dinner at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., on Oct. 13. Prompting her nomination was Nickerson’s pioneering research into the responses of cells to the unique microgravity environment of spaceflight. She is internationally recognized for her use of the...

NASA honors Cheryl Nickerson, pioneer in space-based microbial research

August 2, 2011

On August 2nd, Cheryl Nickerson, a microbiologist at Arizona State University’s Biodesign  Institute will receive the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal— NASA’s most prestigious  commendation for outstanding contributions to science.   "It is a distinct honor and privilege that my biological research in support of the U.S. Space Program has been acknowledged by NASA in such a prestigious format," said Nickerson. "It is the goal and...

ASU scientist presents during economic mission of Belgium

June 29, 2011

A scientist in ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology presented research to attendees at a meeting in New York City during the Belgian economic mission presided by Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium. Belgium officials attending included the Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters and Belgian secretary of State, Steven Vanackere, along with U.S. and Belgian business leaders. Aurélie Crabbé, Ph.D., was one of a few outstanding young scientists invited to...

Final countdown: Atlantis to carry next generation vaccine candidate on last space voyage

June 28, 2011

On July 8, at approximately 11:26 a.m. EDT, the space shuttle Atlantis will streak skyward from the Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A, for one last mission. While the STS-135 flight marks the end of the space shuttle’s glory days, its final trip may open a new era of research into infectious diseases, thanks to space bound experiments conducted by Dr’s. Cheryl Nickerson, and Roy Curtiss III, along with their colleagues at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. Nickerson,...

The world is not flat: Exploring cells and tissues in three dimensions

October 19, 2010

The cells and tissues in our bodies grow, develop and interact in a highly complex, three-dimensional world. Likewise, the various microbial pathogens that invade our bodies and cause infectious disease interact with this complex 3-D tissue milieu. Yet the methods of culturing and studying human cells have traditionally been carried out in two dimensions on flat impermeable surfaces. While such 2-D culturing and modeling efforts have produced a steady stream of critical insight into cell...

Out of this world: new study investigates infection of human cells in space

March 30, 2010

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the unique conditions of spaceflight will be used to examine how cells remain healthy or succumb to disease, particularly in the face of stress or damage.  At 3:21 a.m. PDT on April 5, researcher Cheryl Nickerson and her team at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University watched their latest experiment rocket into low earth orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-131.The goals of the research team, which includes Jennifer...

The Medium is the Message: Manipulating Salmonella in Spaceflight Environment Curtails Infectiousness

December 12, 2008

Joe Caspermeyer, Media Relations Manager & Science Editor (480) 727-0369 | joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu Infectious pathogens like Salmonella typhimurium employ a startling array of techniques to skillfully outwit the body’s defense mechanisms and produce illness. Through their expression of genes—the fundamental building blocks of cellular physiology—such microbes ingeniously adapt to varied environments, modifying their disease-causing potential or virulence. Cheryl...