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Scientists determine structure of important drug target using groundbreaking approach

July 23, 2015

Tempe, Arizona – Using the brightest X-ray laser in the world, scientists have determined the structure of a molecular complex that is responsible for our sense of sight. Researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) collaborated with an international team of researchers from 19 institutions working to develop a roadmap for more selectively targeting pathways for drug treatment. The innovative approach may lead to more...

A closer look at a deadly bacterium sets the stage for new vaccines

May 22, 2015

Tularemia, or rabbit fever, is a severely debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, and the pathogen involved has potential as a biological weapon. To better understand the disease – and to better design potential vaccines – an ASU team looked at a key cellular protein in unprecedented detail. The bacterium Francisella tularensis is responsible for tularemia, which can spread from rabbits to people. In addition to being endemic in North America, Europe, and Asia, the highly infectious...

Key blood pressure drug seen in startling new detail

April 23, 2015

A new Arizona State University research study has revealed the fine details of how an experimental drug works to regulate blood pressure, paving the way to the development of better drugs. The ASU team’s interdisciplinary work, led by Petra Fromme, of the Biodesign Institute, may one day help scientists better control blood pressure irregularities with a new class of drugs that could limit harmful side effects. The new research focuses on a type of drug known as an angiotensin II...

X-ray crystallography brings pain pathways into view

February 16, 2015

Powerful opiate drugs are a mainstay in modern medicine, alleviating pain in both acute and chronic forms. These charms, however, bear a curse. Users quickly develop tolerance to their effects, requiring ever-increasing doses of the drug. Further, such opioid compounds lead to drug dependence, owing to their notoriously addictive qualities. In a first of its kind study, Petra Fromme, Ph.D., a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute joins an international team using...

ASU appoints Petra Fromme as director of new Center for Applied Structural Discovery

August 1, 2014

Petra Fromme, Ph.D., an Arizona State University professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been appointed by President Michael M. Crow to lead a new Biodesign Institute initiative that will have a significant impact on the fields of bioenergy, enzyme catalysis and drug discovery, called the Center for Applied Structural Discovery. “Petra Fromme’s research promises to crack nature’s code and replicate fundamental biological processes, such as photosynthesis, for profound societal...

NIH funds center at ASU to battle infectious diseases

October 5, 2010

ASU has been awarded a $7.7 million grant for the next five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to unravel the structures of membrane proteins that play a key role in protection against infectious diseases. As part of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI:Biology), ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be home to one of nine new national centers for structure...