News & Events

Nobel Prize 2018 elevates awareness of immunotherapy research

December 10, 2018

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute are searching for new ways to diagnose, treat – and even cure – cancer patients using processes related to immunotherapy. According to the National Cancer Institute, immunotherapy is “a type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases.” The burgeoning field of immunotherapy was recently recognized at the highest level with the announcement of the 2018...

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...

Biodesign investigators awarded $5.8M NIH grant to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test

November 28, 2018

Resistant strains of bacteria pose a serious threat to the security of our global health system. As more and more bacteria develop resistance to our best antibiotics, once treatable diseases may re-emerge, potentially causing mass epidemics. “Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, now originating in both healthcare and community settings, pose serious consequences for public health and burden the U.S. economy with up to $20 billion in healthcare costs each year,” Shelley Haydel, an...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, co-hosted a lively and innovative symposium, greeting the international guests in their native language. After enthusiastic applause, the presentations began. The symposium, which hosted representatives from Sichuan University and West China Hospital, in addition to researchers from the Biodesign Institute, focused on exploring strategies for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The gathering...

Expert shares advances and opportunities for genetic editing

November 8, 2018

Genome engineering was the subject of the day as Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute kicked off a new lecture series designed to bring science’s preeminent thought leaders to ASU. The Arntzen Grand Challenges Lecture Series launched on Nov. 1 with a presentation by Samuel Sternberg, co-author of A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution—the premiere text on the emergence and future of genetic editing. CRISPR is a revolutionary tool...

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...

Escape from the lab! Six promising biotech start-up companies profiled at all-day symposium

October 1, 2018

  ASU’s many laboratories are seedbeds for an astonishing variety of new ideas. But the path from basic research to real-world applications can be complex, perilous and sometimes, bewildering. Recently, an all-day seminar, hosted at the Biodesign Institute, explored an array of promising research that has escaped the confines of the lab. New spinout companies, based on pathbreaking research, are bringing exciting innovations in the life sciences to market. The gathering was...

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...

Plants produce ‘green vaccine’ against norovirus

July 25, 2018

Each year, close to 700 million people are stricken with a viral infection that causes vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. While the majority will recover in a few days, some 200,000 infected patients will die. The culprit is known as norovirus—often referred to as 'the cruise ship illness'. Currently, no recommended treatments or vaccines are available.  In a new study, Andrew G. Diamos and Hugh S. Mason of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy describe a...

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...