Make an Impact


The Biodesign Institute is a place unlike any other. Imagine hundreds of scientists working together. Biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, mathematicians—asking questions, learning from one another, and crossing all boundaries to discover new ways to help people everywhere thrive.

Whether it’s seeking a cure for Ebola, removing toxic chemicals from air and water, or developing a diagnostic tool to assess widespread radiation exposure, the scientists at the Biodesign Institute take their cues from people and nature.

What do people need, and how can nature show us the way? Today’s health and environmental challenges are coming at us fast and furiously. Biodesign scientists have little patience for slow progress. This is a no-holds-barred culture where curiosity and creativity are on overdrive.

Our Donors' Impact

Our nation’s ability to embrace the future is increasingly compromised by decreases in government funding for scientific research. The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University is a place where your personal investment—regardless of the size—will make a real impact for people, for the state, and, perhaps, for the world and generations to come.

With a donation to the Biodesign Institute, you are making an investment in hundreds of brilliant minds, sharing ideas and making discoveries together, all with the goal of solving some of life’s most vexing challenges:

  • Discovering the root cause of life-threatening maladies like cancer, diabetes, and autism. Our scientists are currently working to find cures, diagnostics, or more effective treatments for more than 100 different diseases, from prevalent cancers, diabetes, and immune disorders to childhood orphan diseases.
  • Achieving environmental sustainability by expanding options for improving the long-term health of our planet’s ecosystem.
  • Protecting lives by developing technologies to ensure safety during disaster and conflict.

With your help, we will accelerate lifesaving research; educate thought leaders and learners trained in our research laboratories; attract and retain premier scientific talent; offer opportunities for faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students; and provide summer training programs for the future generation of science learners.

Your investment is the ticket to becoming a true partner in understanding and stimulating scientific discovery. At the Biodesign Institute, donors often actively engage with the scientists they support.

Donors amplify impact

After experiencing his mother’s death from breast cancer, Phoenix sportscaster Jude LaCava and his sister, Sandra, were determined to prod the system. Disappointed in the pace of advances, Jude and Sandra started the Dorothy Foundation as a mechanism for funding faster cures. Meetings with noted oncologists and medical researchers across the country led them right back to Greater Phoenix’s Biodesign Institute, where researchers have developed a way of accessing data from clinical trials and sharing information to make new connections that will speed up a cure for cancer.

“We believe ASU Biodesign is producing some of the most innovative cancer research in the country," - Sandra LaCava, Dorothy Foundation


Spurring intellectual fusion

“As an ASU alumnus, I’m thrilled to be a part of a place that is so focused on real-world solutions to our major problems,” said Brian Swette, former Burger King chair and founder of Sweet Earth Natural Foods. Brian and his wife, Kelly, established a $10 million endowment at ASU in 2008 called the Intellectual Fusion Fund.

Their commitment helped fund the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, where today, researchers are using advanced tools of microbial ecology, chemistry, microscopy and mathematical modeling, with the end goal of harnessing renewable resources and mitigating environmental pollution.


Educating future generations

The Robert E. Schneider Foundation feels passionate about science education for youth. Their donation of $9,000 provided a hands-on science training camp in partnership with the AZSciTech Festival for 75-100 Chief Science Officers (elected school official who advocate and promote scientific inquiry in Arizona schools) at the Biodesign Institute in 2017. Each middle school/high school student worked with a Biodesign scientist to create a demonstration project and activity to share with their schools, helping future generations of science explorers.

The Robert E. Schneider Foundation also generously sponsored the 2018 Banner-ASU Neuroscience Scholars program, providing hands-on clinical training for Biodesign Scholars.

Biodesign Scholars