News & Events

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,...

​12 leading medical centers unite to form brain tumor research collaborative

February 19, 2020

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University will join a 12-institution consortium to combine forces to develop new treatments that will improve the quality of life and long-term survival for patients fighting malignant brain tumors. The “ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors” partnership will be led by UF Health (University of Florida Health). “We are proud to lead the ReMission Alliance and are emboldened by the strength of our institutions as a united...

Discovery may expand cancer vaccine capabilities

October 2, 2019

For more than a decade, scientist Stephen Albert Johnston and his team at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have pooled their energies into an often scoffed-at, high-risk, high-reward goal in medicine: to develop a universal vaccine to prevent cancer. The mind-set is simple, according to Johnston: Treat cancer just like an infectious disease. So when his team looked deep within tumors, their research gold was discovering 200,000 cancer neoantigens, the...

ASU jumps to top 10 in global patent rankings

June 5, 2019

Arizona State University has moved into the top 10 of all universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. The university jumped to 10th place from 17th in 2017, according to a new report by the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.  ASU tied with the University of Michigan for the No. 10 spot on the list. Other universities listed in the top 10 include the University of California, Stanford University, MIT and the...

World’s largest canine cancer vaccine trial begins

May 9, 2019

Meet Trilly: The black-and-tan, floppy-eared, 9-year-old Gordon setter may have just made medical history by receiving a shot that may contain the very first vaccine intended to prevent cancer. “First one. We did it!” said Arizona State University scientist Stephen Johnston, a professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine. For Johnston, the moment was the culmination of a 12-year, high-risk, high-reward quest to reshape...

PBS’ 'Catalyst' shines the spotlight on Biodesign researchers’ stories

March 18, 2019

Arizona State University researchers work all over the world, from Antarctica to Mexico, and Tucson to Pasadena. Now, a group of journalists and storytellers at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is chronicling their research for a science documentary series for PBS. “Catalyst” returned to Arizona PBS Wednesday, Feb. 13 for a highly anticipated second season, featuring host Vanessa Ruiz, a Cronkite professor of practice and former...

Nobel Prize 2018 elevates awareness of immunotherapy research

December 10, 2018

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute are searching for new ways to diagnose, treat – and even cure – cancer patients using processes related to immunotherapy. According to the National Cancer Institute, immunotherapy is “a type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases.” The burgeoning field of immunotherapy was recently recognized at the highest level with the announcement of the 2018...

Mutations boost immunity: toward a cancer vaccine

November 26, 2018

Despite significant advances in cancer research, the disease continues to exact a devastating toll. Because cancer is a disease of the body’s own cells, which mutate and develop under evolutionary pressure, conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation often leave behind a residue of resistant cells that go on to expand and wreak havoc. The best weapon against this implacable foe would be prevention, though to date, this has been an elusive goal. In a new study, Stephen Albert...

Escape from the lab! Six promising biotech start-up companies profiled at all-day symposium

October 1, 2018

  ASU’s many laboratories are seedbeds for an astonishing variety of new ideas. But the path from basic research to real-world applications can be complex, perilous and sometimes, bewildering. Recently, an all-day seminar, hosted at the Biodesign Institute, explored an array of promising research that has escaped the confines of the lab. New spinout companies, based on pathbreaking research, are bringing exciting innovations in the life sciences to market. The gathering was...

Better vaccines through innovative DNA immunization

February 27, 2018

Proteins are central players in life processes and are among the most versatile and essential biomolecules. Structural proteins help build and repair tissue, including bones, cartilage, muscles, skin and blood. Enzyme proteins are essential to many chemical reactions, while antibodies—responsible for immune defenses against disease—consist of Y-shaped proteins produced by B cells. Other proteins subtly regulate the expression of genes and perform many other vital tasks. Adorning the...