News & Events

Winged victory: a new chicken brings hope to Africa

February 3, 2015

In Uganda—as in most African countries—over 85 percent of families live in rural village conditions, where small-scale backyard poultry operations are ubiquitous. In addition to providing sustenance, the birds can help residents achieve economic and social independence in areas often plagued by cycles of impoverishment and depravation. This is particularly true for village women—traditional keepers of the flocks. Unfortunately, chicken breeds indigenous to Uganda often perform poorly...

Mysteries of infection charted in spacebound worm

January 15, 2015

On Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft streaked skyward from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Lacking human crewmembers, the vessel nevertheless carries very special living cargo—the tiny nematode worm, C. elegans and the foodborne pathogen Salmonella.  In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the soil-dwelling creature will be used to examine the process of bacterial infection by Salmonella, in a reduced gravity...

Exceptional ASU faculty members honored as University Professors

December 17, 2014

  Five of Arizona State University’s faculty members were appointed University Professors in a ceremony hosted by ASU President Michael M. Crow and Provost Robert E. Page, Jr., and attended by Patrick Kenney, George Justice and Ferran Garcia-Pichel, the deans of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Our University Professors are groundbreaking leaders in their creative art or science,” Crow said. “They represent the world-class minds that choose ASU as the place to...

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...