News & Events

Bright lights, big science: Revolutionary laser instrument receives $4.7 million boost from the National Science Foundation

September 17, 2019

Deep within the subterranean confines of Building C—the latest addition to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University—a pathbreaking machine is quietly taking shape. Designed to unlock some of nature’s tiniest and most fleeting mysteries, the Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) is the only instrument of its kind in the world. The device is the brainchild of physicist William Graves, a passionate authority on massive, intricate machines for leading-edge science. For the...

An innovative diagnostic for Lyme disease

August 26, 2019

When researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA of Ötzi, a man entombed in ice high in the Tyrolean Alps some 5,300 years ago, they made a startling discovery. Secreted within the tangles of the ice man’s genetic code was evidence he’d been infected with a bacterial pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ötzi is the first known case of Lyme disease. Today, Lyme disease is a mounting health concern, with estimates of over 300,000 cases in the US annually. The illness, which produces a...

DARPA grants ASU up to $38.8 million to create epigenetic tool for fight against weapons of mass destruction

July 22, 2019

Arizona State University announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build a field-deployable, point-of-care device that will determine in 30 minutes or less if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. The DARPA award, worth up to $38.8 million over four years in phases and options, will build on the university’s growing capabilities in developing molecular diagnostics for applications in...

ASU researchers chip away the mysteries of cancer metastasis

July 10, 2019

One of the current paradigms in cancer treatment is not to treat a tumor itself. Rather, therapeutics can focus on a tumor’s microenvironment — the area where tumor cells and a patient’s healthy tissues collide. Mehdi Nikkhah, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, has been working for the past five years on bioengineering a way to study the tumor microenvironment. In a project led by recent ASU...

LaBaer start-up selected for Flinn Foundation Entrepreneurship Program

March 19, 2019

Ordinatrix, a startup company launched by Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, is one of six bioscience firms from Phoenix and Tucson selected to participate in the Flinn Foundation’s 2019 Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program. Ordinatrix, a Phoenix-based company, will receive $30,000 in funding support and program services through a nonprofit partner. The services include “a professionally developed, yearlong plan specific to the needs of the company, helping them...

Biodesign C building designated Best of the Best Project nationwide

January 17, 2019

Arizona State University’s Biodesign C building was recently awarded as the national Best of the Best Project in the Higher Education/Research category by ENR (Engineering News Record), a publication focusing on engineering and construction news. Approximately 200 projects were considered for the honor, spanning 10 regions across America. “Biodesign C is an impressive structure, and the work that is taking place inside is impressive as well,” said Joshua LaBaer, executive director of...

Proteomics may have saved my mother's life. And it may yet save mine

December 14, 2018

The New York Times THE SERGEANT WITH the Mount Crested Butte Police Department in Colorado appeared and I was with my wife and our two young children, ages 2 and 7, at Lake Irwin, a remote campsite at 10,200 feet in the Rocky Mountains. When the officer stepped out of his S.U.V. cruiser, its blue and red emergency strobes piercing the darkness, I thought that perhaps a neighboring camper had summoned him to silence my dissonant guitar strumming beside the campfire. “I’m...

National Academy of Inventors announces two ASU researchers as 2018 Fellows

December 11, 2018

Arizona State University researchers Joshua LaBaer and Nathan Newman have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, the organization announced today. 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 impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.  “With...

Biodesign Executive Director Joshua LaBaer appears on 'Arizona Horizon'

December 6, 2018

One quarter of all breast cancers are among people with triple negative HER2 breast cancer. The aggressive form of cancer is caused by a mutation in cells. Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, and his partner are trying to figure out what is causing those mutations and that would lead to better treatments. He discusses his work on a recent episode of Arizona PBS' "Arizona Horizon." Dr. LaBaer is one of the nation’s foremost investigators in the rapidly...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, co-hosted a lively and innovative symposium, greeting the international guests in their native language. After enthusiastic applause, the presentations began. The symposium, which hosted representatives from Sichuan University and West China Hospital, in addition to researchers from the Biodesign Institute, focused on exploring strategies for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The gathering...