News & Events

In the gravitational field, researcher Jennifer Barrila excels

November 13, 2014

Jennifer Barrila, Ph.D., an assistant research professor at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Thora W. Halstead Young Investigator’s Award, from the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR). Barrila is an accomplished microbiologist and structural biologist working in Biodesign’s Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, in the laboratory of professor Cheryl Nickerson. The high honor bestowed by ASGSR...

Biodesign and Nature team to launch npj Microgravity

October 10, 2014

Nature Publishing Group and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University today announce the launch of npj Microgravity, a new open access journal. The journal is specifically dedicated to publishing research that enables space exploration and research that is enabled by spaceflight.  It will also publish research utilizing ground-based models of spaceflight. Microgravity is an extreme environment in which gravity is greatly...

Creating dialogue to improve vaccine awareness

September 9, 2014

The best medical therapies won’t do much good if the public abstains from using them. Resistance to life-saving interventions may have a variety of root causes, particularly if the biotechnology involved is new and poorly understood in the non-medical community. In a new study, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and their international collaborators at the Centre for the Study of the Science and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway, examine public...

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,...