News/Events

Hao Yan awarded $1.2 million to create ‘living electronics’

October 18, 2018

Hao Yan, director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, received an extension of the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant for his groundbreaking work in nanotechnologies. The additional $1.2 million will help “set the foundation for the bottom-up engineering of synthetic biology tools,” according to Yan. A previous five-year grant of $6.25 million allowed Yan’s team to use structural components of cells to test out fundamental elements and...

Two ASU professors receive 2018 NIH New Innovator Award

October 2, 2018

“No. 1 in innovation” is an accolade ASU proclaims proudly in all realms of university life. Today, ASU proved once again that it is deserving of such a title.      ASU professors, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and Rizal Hariadi, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, both researchers in the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, were announced as the recipients of the 2018 NIH New Innovator...

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...

Learning from Photosynthesis

November 13, 2017

The green sulfur bacterium makes its home in the chilly waters of the Black Sea. To eek out its lonely existence, this life form scavenges energy from the feeble sunlight available to it at a depth of over 250 feet. Plants perform the same remarkable trick, gathering radiant energy from the sun and converting it to biological energy essential for growth.  This process—perfected over billions of years—is known as photosynthesis. Now, Hao Yan and Neal Woodbury from ASU’s...

Harnessing the power of plants

February 22, 2017

Science fiction writers have often described a world where the biological and electronic realms operate in unison to achieve the extraordinary. The successful integration of living matter and electronic components could unlock many new possibilities in biomedicine, environmental sensing, and energy applications. One fascinating natural system that researchers are trying to learn more about is photosynthesis. The process—carried out by plants, algae and some bacteria—holds the secret...

Diagnostics goes digital with technology conceived at ASU

February 1, 2017

Innovation is part of $400 million international Digital Life Alliance aimed at producing a personalized health guide What if your smartphone could tell you that a potential disease or illness is lurking in your immune system? What if instead of contracting diabetes, you were able to stop it before it compromised your health — maybe even before you or your physician see any outward signs? This is the driving idea behind an international group of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs that...

Catching rays with DNA

September 24, 2016

DNA nanotechnology is a field that is one part chemistry and one part architecture, but with scientists using building materials that are 50,000 times smaller than a human hair. Now imagine using the coiled strands of DNA, wrapped end over end, to build tiny robots that could enter the body and deliver drugs exactly where they need to go, or nanoscale solar panels that work to provide more renewable energy. That is the promise, excitement and long term dream of this technology. “I was...

ASU spinout aims to shake up the health care status quo

March 16, 2016

Editor’s note: HealthTell recently completed a $40 million capital campaign. The company, a spinout of ASU's Biodesign Institute with a nearby manufacturing facility in Chandler, Ariz., is poised to enter the big leagues as “one of the top 5 startups to watch” in the highly competitive health care diagnostics arena. With HealthTell's funding milestone completed, we've taken the opportunity to look back at the high-risk, adventurous beginnings a decade...

Chemical Cages: new technique advances synthetic biology

February 10, 2016

Living systems rely on a dizzying variety of chemical reactions essential to development and survival. Most of these involve a specialized class of protein molecules—the enzymes. In a new study, Hao Yan, director of the Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute presents a clever means of localizing and confining enzymes and the substrate molecules they bind with, speeding up reactions essential for life processes. The research, which...

New year's optimism: Perspectives from ASU

December 31, 2015

Faculty and staff share why they're looking ahead to 2016, for reasons close to home and stretching into the far reaches of space Read the headlines on any given day and it’s easy to become discouraged about tragic events happening all around the world. But despite the depressing headlines, there are many positive things to look forward to as we begin a brand-new year — and some of those positive things are happening right here at ASU. We asked several ASU researchers, professors and...