News & Events

Programmable 'Legos' of DNA and protein building blocks create novel 3D cages

March 29, 2019

The central goal of nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale, especially to build microscopic devices or structures. Three-dimensional cages are one of the most important targets, both for their simplicity and their application as drug carriers for medicine. DNA nanotechnology uses DNA molecules as programmable “Legos” to assemble structures with a control not possible with other molecules. However, the structure of DNA is very simple and lacks the...

Wayne W. Luchsinger Chemistry Scholarship paves way for veteran to earn a 4+1 degree

March 12, 2019

Tyler Rockwood is finishing up his 4+1 master’s degree in biochemistry and medicinal chemistry in the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University. The Phoenix native was the recipient of the Wayne W. Luchsinger Chemistry Scholarship, an award that gives preference to veterans of one of the U.S. military services. Rockwood enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve during his senior year of high school and left for boot camp just 10 days after graduation. While friends were hanging...

Plucky science: Researchers’ nanotweezers used in detection of conformational changes

March 12, 2019

Biomolecules, such as DNA and proteins, are not static structures. They undergo complex conformational changes that are essential to their functioning and the signaling pathways they belong to. Understanding these changes is pivotal to a deeper comprehension of how the body works and could eventually shed light on certain diseases that afflict us. Recent advancements in DNA nanotechnology provide insight into the subtle role of biomolecules. Channeling DNA’s chemical and physical...

Of science fiction and salamanders New tools for tissue regeneration

October 4, 2018

Scientists have been searching for ways to develop materials that are as dynamic as living things, with the ability to change shape, move and change properties reversibly. Now, with nature as their inspiration, Northwestern University scientists, along with Arizona State University’s Nicholas Stephanopoulos, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, have developed soft materials that autonomously self-assemble into molecular superstructures...

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...

Useful in a pinch: nanoscale tweezers are triggered by light

July 16, 2018

Using segments of DNA, researchers at ASU have constructed a pair of tweezers, measuring 100,000 times tinier than the width of a human hair. A brief burst of ultraviolet light causes the jaws of the tweezers to switch from their closed to open position in seconds—about 65 times faster than similar devices. The new light-activated tweezers are the latest innovation in the fast-moving world of nanotechnology. Devices of this kind, which can directly interact with and influence biological...

Restoring loss: Bio-inspired materials boost regenerative medicine

August 8, 2017

Technology could one day help treat diseases including stroke, heart attacks, Parkinson’s and arthritis What if one day, we could teach our bodies to self-heal like a lizard’s tail and make severe injury or disease no more threatening than a paper cut? Or heal tissues by coaxing cells to multiply, repair or replace damaged regions in loved ones whose lives have been ravaged by stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease? Such is the vision, promise and excitement in the...

Junior faculty in ASU's School of Molecular Sciences receive recognition

March 15, 2017

Four faculty members in the School of Molecular Sciences have recently received national recognition for their research and scholarship. Assistant Professors Ryan Trovitch and Gary Moore were awarded prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards. These awards are designed to support teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization, and are the most competitive of the National Science Foundations...

ASU top recipient of prestigious Air Force Young Investigator awards

January 25, 2016

ASU’s innovation winning streak has continued among its next generation of talented faculty. Three ASU researchers---more than any other university in the nation----have been awarded part of $20.6 million in total grants funded through the U.S. Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). ASU assistant professors Ximin He, Nicholas Stephanopoulos and Yu Yao will use the three-year YIP awards to pursue groundbreaking discoveries and developing new building blocks and high...