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Scientists at the Biodesign Institute take their cues from people and nature, push the speed of progress, explore connections between disciplines, and turn new discoveries into information that can better human health, community safety and global sustainability.

An investment in the Biodesign Institute helps reduce human suffering and deliver answers faster, so that you can witness real-world impact in your lifetime. Now is the time to make a difference.

Sources of funding

Science is an expensive proposition. It requires advanced equipment, experts who know what questions to ask, and a team of staff and students to support the work. 

To obtain funding for scientific research, scientists write proposals that go to government agencies, private foundations and individuals who share their scientific priorities. In fiscal year 2020, our scientists submitted $283 million in proposals, and the institute had $39.4 million in external research expenditures.

More than half of our research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, along with smaller amounts of funding from other federal entities. We also receive support from corporate sources, such as Open Philanthropy Project and OncoMyx Therapeutics, and from generous donors who accelerate our research.

In addition, individual gifts — regardless of size — have real impact on accelerating research, providing education and training, attracting top-tier scientists, and offering opportunities to our students and researchers. At Biodesign, donors often actively engage with the scientists they support.

We care about health

Biodesign is at the forefront of personalized medicine, using new information from proteins, the human genome and the gut microbiome to create custom solutions for illness. Our neuroscientists work alongside biologists, engineers and geneticists to discover biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, understand how the disease works and develop effective treatments. We rapidly respond to the needs posed by infectious diseases; for example, by developing treatment for Ebola and saliva testing for COVID-19. And as of 2023, our scientists study 18 different forms of cancer, working to improve early diagnosis, treatment and even prevention.

We believe ASU Biodesign is producing some of the most innovative cancer research in the country.

Sandra LaCava Dorothy Foundation

We care about our safety

Bioterrorism, nuclear terrorism, cyberterrorism, or the accidental or intentional import of exotic diseases are not the kinds of things we like to think about. Yet there’s no doubt, as a nation we must be prepared. Ensuring our troops on the ground have the technologies they need to monitor and respond to threats is a focus of our work.

Biodesign has played an integral part in establishing the university’s role in national defense. Our researchers are tracking pandemic threats by monitoring sewage in cities worldwide; increasing cybersecurity by exploring DNA’s information-storing abilities; and developing technologies to rapidly assess a person’s radiation absorption.

We care about global sustainability

From access to safe drinking water to the development of sustainable energy sources to ridding the planet of plastic pollution, Biodesign researchers are taking their cue from the ultimate innovator — nature.

We have established new techniques to help clean up contaminated sites using specialized bacteria that transform hazardous chemicals into benign end products. Our Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing is engineering solutions to plastic pollution by developing green materials and sustainable alternatives. Inspired by the way plants and other photosynthetic organisms collect and use the sun’s radiant energy, researchers are also refining technologies that capture and store sunlight as carbon-free or carbon-neutral fuels.

As an ASU alumnus, I’m thrilled to be a part of a place that is so focused on real-world solutions to our major problems.

Brian Swette Intellectual Fusion Fund

Make an impact

Give to the Cancer Research fund

Partner with our researchers in the effort to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

Give to other areas of need in Biodesign

Support the programs and research efforts that mean the most to you.

Give to the Student Travel Grant Program

Help our students gain global experience.

Charles Arntzen

Arntzen Auditorium Legacy

The Arntzen Auditorium Legacy fund will help ASU researchers and students thrive by making it possible to engage with world-renowned scientific leaders. Join us in providing this opportunity to current and future generations with a philanthropic investment.

Join the Pioneers Circle

The Pioneers Circle comprises science enthusiasts, curious knowledge-seekers, and committed philanthropic supporters who invest in Biodesign’s groundbreaking research.

Biodesign’s scientifically diverse teams are remarkably successful in securing funding for their research from government and industry partners. However, grants do not cover all research-related expenses and are often earmarked for specific aspects of a project.

Philanthropy empowers our faculty and students with the flexibility they need to bolster their efforts and reach bold research goals.

Biodesign Pioneers will receive:

  • Access to exclusive discussions with our leaders and scientists.
  • VIP seating at the annual Arntzen Grand Challenges event.
  • Sneak peeks and updates on our research discoveries.
  • Opportunities for behind-the-scenes Biodesign tours.

With a gift of $1,000 or more annually, Pioneers Circle members can direct their support to areas such as cancer, sustainability and the environment, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, security, student scholarships and training, or current area of greatest need.