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News

Discovering New Cancer Treatments By Studying Cacti

December 12, 2018 | News

What can a type of cactus tell us about cancer, and treating the disease? Two researchers at ASU believe it's a lot. Carlo Maley and Athena Aktipis have helped set up a cactus garden on the school’s Tempe campus — but the garden doesn’t feature the kinds of specimens you might expect to see. Instead, they’re plants with kinds of malformations on them. Maley is an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and director of the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center. Aktipis is...

National Academy of Inventors announces two ASU researchers as 2018 Fellows

December 11, 2018 | News

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...

Nobel Prize 2018 elevates awareness of immunotherapy research

December 10, 2018 | News

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...

Biodesign Executive Director Joshua LaBaer appears on 'Arizona Horizon'

December 6, 2018 | News

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...

Will Mars missions make humans sick? Here's what we know

December 3, 2018 | News

While it's unclear if microbes are lurking on Mars, studies of earthly bacteria show that space can make some germs especially unpleasant. No one wants to risk a contagion in space. Returning home can be tricky, medical supplies are limited, crews cannot treat every complication that might arise, and a single infected astronaut could jeopardize an entire mission. That’s especially true for any future human missions to Mars, in which an astronaut with the sniffles would be at least...

Biodesign investigators awarded $5.8M NIH grant to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test

November 28, 2018 | News

Resistant strains of bacteria pose a serious threat to the security of our global health system. As more and more bacteria develop resistance to our best antibiotics, once treatable diseases may re-emerge, potentially causing mass epidemics. “Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, now originating in both healthcare and community settings, pose serious consequences for public health and burden the U.S. economy with up to $20 billion in healthcare costs each year,” Shelley Haydel, an...

ASU microbiologist receives NSF CAREER Award to study greenhouse gases

November 26, 2018 | News

Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz, a microbiology researcher at the Biodesign Institute and associate professor with Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences, has received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his work in the Amazon. Cadillo-Quiroz and his international team of researchers are studying the Amazon peatlands from an ecosystem perspective — investigating microbes, tree size and growth, climate and floods, and changes in greenhouse gases such as...

Mutations boost immunity: toward a cancer vaccine

November 26, 2018 | News

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...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018 | News

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...

ASU research propels awareness for contact lens recycling movement

November 15, 2018 | News

Microplastics are a growing area of concern for researchers and the public, with much of the focus on plastics in our oceans. Until recently, the environmental impact of the plastic we put in our eyes has been largely overlooked. Now manufacturers and researchers are teaming up to raise awareness that disposing lenses down the toilet or the drain adds to the planet’s plastic pollution – and that recycling or disposing lenses with recyclable solid waste are eco-friendly options. Every...