News & Events

ASU scientist Roy Curtiss receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Microbiology

March 25, 2014

Roy Curtiss III, a scientist at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).“During his career, Roy Curtiss has had a profound impact on the discipline of microbiology,” said Dr. John Young, Chair of the ASM Lifetime Achievement Award Selection Committee. “He was a pioneer at the start of the recombinant DNA era, developing safe E. coli strains that could be...

Researchers identify vaccine candidate for catfish aquaculture industry

August 20, 2013

Catfish aquaculture is big business in the US. Big business. Total sales of these large, freshwater fish were worth over $340 million in 2012, with channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) accounting for more than 80% of US aquaculture business. Controlling disease-causing bacteria is important in any type of farming, and catfish husbandry is no different. One of the most important pathogens of commercially-raised fish is Edwardsiella ictaluri, a gram-negative bacterium...

New design may produce heartier, more effective vaccine

August 5, 2013

The bacterial pathogen Salmonella has a notorious capacity for infection. Last year alone, according to the Center for Disease Control, various species of Salmonella caused multistate disease outbreaks linked with contaminated peanut butter, mangoes, ground beef, cantaloupe, poultry, tuna fish, small turtles and dry dog food. The troublesome invader, however, can be turned to human advantage. Through genetic manipulation, the species S. Typhi can be rendered harmless and used in vaccines in...

Experimental vaccine offers improved protection for poultry

February 18, 2013

Chickens are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases similar to those affecting humans. Fowl typhoid is a widespread and devastating illness, particularly in the developing world, where the birds are a vital source of income and nutrition. Now Ken Roland and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have developed a candidate vaccine to safeguard poultry from fowl typhoid infection, while also providing protection from a related human bacterial...

Halting TB’s stubborn ascent

May 29, 2012

  Tuberculosis is an old foe. A 500,000-year-old human fossil discovered in Turkey bears telltale signs of the disease, which today continues to wreak havoc, killing an estimated 2 million per year, according to the World Health Organization.  Josephine Clark-Curtiss, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute has been exploring new lines of attack against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, causative agent of tuberculosis. In work carried out at the Institute’s...

Sensing self and non-self: new research into immune tolerance

February 13, 2012

At the most basic level, the immune system must distinguish self from non-self, that is, it must discriminate between the molecular signatures of invading pathogens (non-self antigens) and cellular constituents that usually pose no risk to health (self-antigens). The system is far from foolproof. Cancer cells can undergo unchecked proliferation, producing self-antigens that are tolerated by the immune system, rather than being targeted for destruction. At the opposite extreme, a range of...

Defensive measures: toward a vaccine for Ebola

December 5, 2011

On August 26, 1976, a time bomb exploded in Yambuku, a remote village in Zaire, (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). A threadlike virus known as Ebola had emerged, soon earning a grim distinction as one of the most lethal, naturally occurring pathogens on earth, killing up to 90 percent of its victims, and producing a terrifying constellation of symptoms known as hemorrhagic fever. Now, Charles Arntzen, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute ® at Arizona State University,...

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...

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,...

Spacebound Bacteria Inspire Earthbound Remedies

March 21, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Recent research aboard the Space Shuttle is giving scientists a better understanding of how infectious disease occurs in space and could someday improve astronaut health and provide novel treatments for people on Earth. The research involves an opportunistic pathogen known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the same bacterium that caused astronaut Fred Haise to become sick during the Apollo 13 mission to the moon in 1970. Scientists studying the bacterium aboard the Shuttle hope to...