News & Events

ASU develops state’s first saliva-based COVID-19 test

May 29, 2020

In an effort to make COVID-19 diagnostic testing easier and more readily available to Arizonans, researchers at Arizona State University have developed the state’s first saliva-based test. “This new saliva-based test will be a real game-changer for those individuals who want to know whether or not they have an active COVID-19 infection,” said ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, who leads ASU COVID-19 research efforts. “As we return to the workplace, schools...

Researchers identify marker that may predict whether lung cancer likely to spread

March 11, 2020

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. More than half of NSCLC patients die after developing metastases. There are no tests currently that would allow doctors to identify patients where more aggressive therapy could reduce mortality. Researchers at Tulane University and Arizona State University have identified a protein on tumor-derived extracellular vesicles that indicates if a NSCLC tumor is likely to...

Philanthropy: It’s not ‘all about the ‘Benjamins’

February 25, 2020

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 14. My mom and dad sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “Look, this is going to be a challenge. Your mother has terminal cancer.” It was a stunner. My mom was 44 years old. Suddenly, the carefree days of riding my bike, playing non-stop basketball and hanging out at the gym were over. Now I spent my time trying to comprehend cancer, monitoring my mom’s illness and taking turns with my dad and my sister, flying mom from Allentown,...

Biodesign Institute launches partnership with China’s #1 biomedical research complex

September 30, 2019

The world’s problems rarely respect national boundaries. Diseases like autism, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, infections cross populations, territories, genders and ethnicities. Today’s most formidable challenges require multidimensional, multidisciplinary and creative thinking and action. When it comes to innovation, Arizona State University casts a wide net from its metropolitan Phoenix home base. Partnerships form close to home, and throughout the far corners of the globe,...

Better samples, better science: new study explores integrity of research specimens

September 23, 2019

Effective diagnosis and treatment of disease draws on painstaking research, which often relies on biological samples. The avalanche of studies used to better understand illnesses and design effective therapies cost billions of dollars and potentially affects millions of lives. So, it would seem reasonable to assume that the reliability of biological samples, on which accurate results depend, would be of paramount concern for the scientific community. According to Chad Borges, a researcher...

Bright lights, big science: Revolutionary laser instrument receives $4.7 million boost from the National Science Foundation

September 17, 2019

Deep within the subterranean confines of Building C—the latest addition to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University—a pathbreaking machine is quietly taking shape. Designed to unlock some of nature’s tiniest and most fleeting mysteries, the Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) is the only instrument of its kind in the world. The device is the brainchild of physicist William Graves, a passionate authority on massive, intricate machines for leading-edge science. For the...

An innovative diagnostic for Lyme disease

August 26, 2019

When researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA of Ötzi, a man entombed in ice high in the Tyrolean Alps some 5,300 years ago, they made a startling discovery. Secreted within the tangles of the ice man’s genetic code was evidence he’d been infected with a bacterial pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ötzi is the first known case of Lyme disease. Today, Lyme disease is a mounting health concern, with estimates of over 300,000 cases in the US annually. The illness, which produces a...

Researchers offer new strategies for the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers

August 21, 2019

With advances in technology and our understanding of the human body, come better techniques for diagnosing disease. One recent innovation involves the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for a range of illnesses. Extracellular vesicles are tiny bubbles of material emitted from most living cells that can offer vital clues about the status of the cells producing them. However, the field of extracellular vesicle (EV) research is a relatively new one, and there are more refinements to be...

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...

DARPA grants ASU up to $38.8 million to create epigenetic tool for fight against weapons of mass destruction

July 22, 2019

Arizona State University announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build a field-deployable, point-of-care device that will determine in 30 minutes or less if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. The DARPA award, worth up to $38.8 million over four years in phases and options, will build on the university’s growing capabilities in developing molecular diagnostics for applications in...