News & Events

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...