News & Events

Microbial remedies target chemical threats in the environment

November 16, 2020

Across America, hazardous waste sites pose an ongoing threat to human and environmental health. The most severe cases are known as Superfund sites, of which over a thousand currently exist. Some 50 million Americans live within three miles of one of these zones, potentially placing them at increased risk for cancer and other serious diseases. While decontamination of such sites is a public health priority, the technical challenges are daunting.  Of particular concern are a pair of...

Managing the microbiome raises new hope for autism

November 12, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Research, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) each year, and the number has been rising. The disease causes perplexing, lifelong developmental disabilities, which usually arise during early childhood and affect social skills, communication, personal relationships, and self-control. In new research appearing in the journal mSphere, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, James Adams and their colleagues highlight the crucial importance of...

Biodesign, on a research roll, announces new centers, state-of-the-art X-ray lab

September 28, 2020

The Biodesign Institute at ASU significantly expands its scientific enterprise, announcing three new centers/labs to advance explorations in the fields of microbiomics, green chemistry and pioneering compact X-ray science. With the new additions poised to begin operations, Biodesign continues its aggressive effort to probe exciting new domains, pursuing research to address human health, safeguard the environment, improve daily life and advance basic scientific understanding in diverse...

AZBio awards ASU researchers for exceptional work in biosciences

September 9, 2020

This month, AZBio announced that two of their annual awards will go to outstanding Arizona State University researchers — Joshua LaBaer and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. AZBio is a statewide organization that is dedicated to “building the biosciences industry in Arizona by providing access to key resources, connections and information in our biosciences community.” As part of those efforts, each year AZBio recognizes scientists, educators, leaders and companies that are furthering biological...

Solving obesity: Could manipulating microbes offer an alternative to weight loss surgery?

March 13, 2020

Already considered a global epidemic, human obesity continues to be on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 40% of the U.S. population is considered obese. The gamut of adverse health effects associated with obesity is broad, including such devastating illnesses as type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, sleep apnea and certain forms of cancer. Patients often suffer depression, loss of mobility, social isolation and inability to work. With costs...

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown named recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award at UAM

August 29, 2019

Universities worldwide recognize their brightest and most successful alumni with prestigious academic awards.   Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a faculty member in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology and an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, received the Distinguished Alumni award from her alma mater, the Universidad Autonoma...

Gut Bacteria Influence Autism-like Behaviors in Mice

May 30, 2019

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated one in 59 people in the United States, causing a variety of difficulties with social communication and repetitive behavior. Many factors, including genetic and environmental effects, are believed to influence symptoms, and there are no approved treatments. Now, using mouse models, Caltech researchers have discovered that gut bacteria directly contribute to autism-like behaviors in mice. An article published today in The Economist, “More...

Autism symptoms reduced nearly 50% two years after fecal transplant

April 9, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism, up from one in every 150 in 2000. They report that “about half a million people on the autism spectrum will become adults over the next decade, a swelling tide for which the country is unprepared.”  The apparent rise in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its stubborn resistance to treatment has spurred a legion of researchers to enter the field...

Krajmalnik-Brown encourages us to ‘go with our gut’

February 7, 2019

When Nicole Neuman, the editor of Molecular Cell sought a learned look at the connection of microbes to behavior, they knew exactly who to call: Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. “Dr. Rosy,” as she’s known at Arizona State University, is becoming increasingly well-known for her interest and expertise in gut-brain interactions. Molecular Cell is a companion to Cell, the leading journal of biology and the highest-impact journal in the world, so Krajmalnik-Brown knew the invitation to write a...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018

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...