News & Events

Cancer paper makes Top 100

March 30, 2020

News that Stephen Albert Johnston’s published approach to cancer prevention is one of 2019’s most downloaded papers in cancer research is testament to scientific interest in breakaway approaches to cancer. Today, Johnston’s paper is 14th most popular among more than 1,000 papers submitted to Nature Scientific Reports from across the world. “The work we reported represents the foundational research for the vaccines and diagnostics we have been working on for 15 years,” said...

Philanthropy: It’s not ‘all about the ‘Benjamins’

February 25, 2020

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 14. My mom and dad sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “Look, this is going to be a challenge. Your mother has terminal cancer.” It was a stunner. My mom was 44 years old. Suddenly, the carefree days of riding my bike, playing non-stop basketball and hanging out at the gym were over. Now I spent my time trying to comprehend cancer, monitoring my mom’s illness and taking turns with my dad and my sister, flying mom from Allentown,...

​12 leading medical centers unite to form brain tumor research collaborative

February 19, 2020

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University will join a 12-institution consortium to combine forces to develop new treatments that will improve the quality of life and long-term survival for patients fighting malignant brain tumors. The “ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors” partnership will be led by UF Health (University of Florida Health). “We are proud to lead the ReMission Alliance and are emboldened by the strength of our institutions as a united...

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...