News & Events

One step closer: Membrane protein structure expressed in Lyme disease could offer therapeutic target

November 26, 2019

Stories of those afflicted with Lyme disease abound and cases appear to be on the rise. Yet few are aware of the symptoms, severity or cause of this disease, which is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Lyme disease, which is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete bacteria, is transmitted from ticks to humans. It represents the most common vector-borne illness in the Northern Hemisphere, and in the United States alone, there are 300,000 cases annually. As the number of cases...

Discovery may expand cancer vaccine capabilities

October 2, 2019

For more than a decade, scientist Stephen Albert Johnston and his team at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have pooled their energies into an often scoffed-at, high-risk, high-reward goal in medicine: to develop a universal vaccine to prevent cancer. The mind-set is simple, according to Johnston: Treat cancer just like an infectious disease. So when his team looked deep within tumors, their research gold was discovering 200,000 cancer neoantigens, the...

ASU jumps to top 10 in global patent rankings

June 5, 2019

Arizona State University has moved into the top 10 of all universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. The university jumped to 10th place from 17th in 2017, according to a new report by the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.  ASU tied with the University of Michigan for the No. 10 spot on the list. Other universities listed in the top 10 include the University of California, Stanford University, MIT and the...

World’s largest canine cancer vaccine trial begins

May 9, 2019

Meet Trilly: The black-and-tan, floppy-eared, 9-year-old Gordon setter may have just made medical history by receiving a shot that may contain the very first vaccine intended to prevent cancer. “First one. We did it!” said Arizona State University scientist Stephen Johnston, a professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine. For Johnston, the moment was the culmination of a 12-year, high-risk, high-reward quest to reshape...

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...

Mutations boost immunity: toward a cancer vaccine

November 26, 2018

Despite significant advances in cancer research, the disease continues to exact a devastating toll. Because cancer is a disease of the body’s own cells, which mutate and develop under evolutionary pressure, conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation often leave behind a residue of resistant cells that go on to expand and wreak havoc. The best weapon against this implacable foe would be prevention, though to date, this has been an elusive goal. In a new study, Stephen Albert...

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...

New $6.4M grant to test a preventive cancer vaccine in a dog clinical trial

January 3, 2018

The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a multi-year grant of $6,421,402 to Stephen Albert Johnston at Arizona State University to support the largest interventional canine clinical trial ever conducted. The trial will assess the effectiveness of a unique vaccine in preventing any type of cancer in dogs.  The trial will enroll at least 800 owners’ pets to test the efficacy of a novel vaccine to prevent cancer. “Our goal has always been, that if this is possible, we should at least...

National Academy of Inventors announces pair of ASU researchers as 2017 NAI Fellows

December 14, 2017

Stephen Albert Johnston and Deirdre R. Meldrum honored Stephen Albert Johnston and Deirdre R. Meldrum of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization has announced. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible...

Immunosignature Enrollment and Starter Kit Pickup

December 14, 2017

Participation involves self-collecting a few drops of blood twice a month for four months through the winter. You can be paid $99, receive your entropy* score and some will receive a free Tdap vaccine booster. The website is now open for easy enrollment http://www.immunosignature.asu.edu. Sign up to advance our science and pick up your starter packet. Questions? Stephen.Johnston@asu.edu