News & Events

SARS-CoV-2: a theme and variations

August 11, 2021

The celebrations were well underway. America seemed to be emerging from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis, following some of the darkest days in the nation’s history. A vast reduction in infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities, driven by improved therapies and above all, a suite of highly effective vaccines, had brought a collective sigh of relief. The July 4th festivities were euphorically anticipated, marking not only the nation’s independence from colonial rule but its...

Translating innovation from the lab to the marketplace

June 18, 2021

Academic entrepreneurs looking to translate their research from the lab to the marketplace often face a daunting challenge: the valley of death. This is the point in the innovation cycle where many technologies meet their demise. It represents the period when opportunities for governmental funding that support fundamental science breakthroughs have been exhausted, at the same time when industry investors are waiting for more testing and finishing touches. For researchers at Arizona...

Variances in critical protein may guide fate of those infected with SARS CoV-2

March 22, 2021

Of the many perplexing questions surrounding SARS CoV-2, a mysterious new pathogen that has killed an estimated 2.6 million people worldwide, perhaps the most insistent is this: why does the illness seem to strike in such a haphazard way, sometimes sparing the 100 year old grandmother, while killing healthy young men and women in the prime of life? A new study by Karen Anderson, Abhishek Singharoy and their colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, may offer some...

New ‘liquid biopsy’ blood test improves breast cancer diagnostics

August 7, 2019

 A new type of blood test for breast cancer could help avoid thousands of unnecessary surgeries and otherwise precisely monitor disease progression, according to a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Mayo Clinic in Arizona and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. TGen is an affiliate of City of Hope, which along with Cambridge University also contributed to this study. Published today in the premier journal Science Translational...

Proofreading the book of life: gene editing made safer

April 23, 2019

The advance of science is something like the wandering of an explorer through an uncharted jungle. Often, the dense undergrowth can seem impenetrable, but at certain privileged moments, a clearing opens, and an entirely new landscape emerges.                                    Something like this is occurring in the...

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...

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...

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...

Why Biodesign executive director Josh LaBaer is optimistic about cancer, part of ‘A Sip of Science’ series

May 10, 2018

ASU Biodesign Institute executive director Josh LaBaer hosted more than 50 community members May 6 at BLD restaurant in Chandler. LaBaer, a leading cancer researcher and also the executive director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, walked the crowd through the latest advances in his field. The conversation was the fifth event in Biodesign’s new “Sip of Science” series, which brings top scientists to local restaurants for an open dialogue about...

Biodesign researchers featured in breast cancer foundation's national campaign

October 18, 2017

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation funds more than 275 researchers across 15 countries and six continents. Biodesign Institute executive director Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., was asked to play a prominent role in BCRF’s international awareness campaign. As a BCRF grant recipient, LaBaer was selected for his work in identifying genes that are especially important on particularly aggressive types of breast cancer – and for his personal advocacy for breast cancer research: LaBaer's own...