News Archive

Sun, 2016-12-11 Petra Fromme was nammed Innovator of the Year

Petra Fromme, an Arizona State University researcher who is cracking the mystery of proteins and how they function, was hailed as Innovator of the Year at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation, Nov. 10, at a celebration also honoring Arizona businesses, legislators, teachers and students who are leading the state in science and technology discovery and entrepreneurialism. Fromme, a Regents’ Professor and director of the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the ASU

Wed, 2016-03-23 Sean Seyler was awarded the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship March 2016

Sean Seyler was awarded the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship March 2016.  Sean is a member of Oliver Beckstein’s research group.

Tue, 2016-03-01 Sean Seyler selected to participate in the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Graduate student Sean Seyler was selected to attend the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. At the annual Lindau meetings, about 30–40 Nobel Laureates convene to meet the next generation of leading scientists: undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. The theme of the 66th meeting in 2016 is Physics. In a

Mon, 2016-02-22 Peter Rez on FOX10 News Talking about EMF Radiation

Peter Rez was interviewed by FOX10 news regarding the controversy surrounding EMF exposure:  Do wireless devices pose dangers? Link to watch: FEB 22 2016 09:36PM MST By Danielle Miller: PHOENIX (KSAZ) - We're living in the age of wireless everything -- and it's being debated whether devices, such as cell phones, wi-fi routers and even baby monitors could be harmful to us. "I started to get headaches and

Mon, 2015-12-14 Biophysical Society Announces Winners of 2016 Education Committee Travel Awards: Sean Seyler

The Biophysical Society has announced the winners of its Education Committee Travel Awards to attend the Biophysical Society’s 60th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, February 27-March 2, 2016. The recipients of this competitive award, all of whom are students and postdoctoral fellows, are selected based on scientific merit. Each awardee will be presenting their research during the meeting, will receive a travel grant, and will be recognized at a reception on Saturday, February 27

Thu, 2015-12-03 Petra Fromme receives highest faculty honor

Petra Fromme, the Paul V Galvin Professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Molecular Sciences, has been named Regent's Professor. Regents' Professor is the highest faculty honor and goes to full professors from one of the three Arizona public universities whose exceptional achievements have brought them national or international distinction. Fromme was nominated by ASU President Michael Crow and approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. Fromme, who has pioneered the study

Fri, 2015-10-09 ASU Advanced Computing Center awards computing time to Varda Faghir Hagh

Varda Faghir Hagh has been awarded computing time from ASU's Advanced Computing Center.  Varda is a PhD student at Prof. Michael Thorpe’s research group and she works on percolation theory. Recently ASU Advanced Computing Center (A2C2) has generously extended a grant of 70,000 core hours to her to pursue research on rigidity percolation in jammed systems.  They have also featured her research in the A2C2 Quarterly newsletter.

Wed, 2015-09-16 Cryo-EM will be coming to ASU

The coolest new way to take a near-atomic resolution snapshot of life at work is cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM), lauded recently by Nature as its 2015 "Method of the Year" is now coming soon to ASU.  ASU researchers have received a 3-year, $3.2 million award from the National Science Foundation.  This proposal was lead by John Spence in Physics along with co-PI's Petra Fromme, Ray Carpenter, Robert Roberson and Hao Yan.    

Sat, 2015-05-02 BioPhest 2015

BioPhest 2015 Saturday, May 2, 2015 550 E Tyler Mall Bateman Physical Sciences F Wing, Room 123 Arizona State University, Tempe AZ Breakfast is at 8 AM.  The program is starting at 9 AM. Arizona BioPhest meeting, the twelfth in the series, will be on May 2, 2015.  This event will be hosted by the Center for Biological Physics at Arizona State University.  This annual event allows scientists from Arizona with an interest in biological physics to meet for a day of short talks

Thu, 2015-04-30 John Spence has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Dr. John Spence was elected to the Fellowship and Foreign Membership of the Royal Society   Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science. Each year up to 52 new Fellows are elected by existing Fellows. There are currently about 1,430 Fellows. John Spence is distinguished for his innovative world-leading contributions to both biology and materials science. He led the team which conceived the first application of X-ray free-

Mon, 2015-04-27 David Dotson was awarded the Molecular Imaging Corporation Endowment Fellowship.

PhD student, David Dotson, was awarded the Molecular Imaging Corporation Endowment Fellowship.

Mon, 2015-04-27 Varda Faghir Hagh was awarded the William J. and Carol M. Motil Scholarship

PhD student, Varda Faghir Hagh, was awarded the William J. and Carol M. Motil Scholarship. 

Mon, 2015-04-27 Ian Welland was a recipient of the Tsong Prize for Undergraduate Research

Ian Welland was a recipient of the Tsong Prize for Undergraduate Research. 

Mon, 2015-03-30 Joshua Sadar was a recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship

Joshua Sadar was a recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship March 2015.  This award is based on the demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.  Joshua is a member of Quan Qing’s research group.  

Tue, 2015-03-03 New study brings medicine closer to non-addictive painkillers

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, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, joins an international team using

Fri, 2014-12-19 Dr. Stuart Lindsay named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Arizona State University research scientists Stuart Lindsay and Michael Kozicki have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).Election to the academy's fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.Those named today bring the total

Wed, 2014-10-01 Oliver Beckstein's Research Group Partner in DIBBs Program Grant

Middleware and High Performance Analytics Libraries for Scalable Data Science The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced awards to develop tools, cyberinfrastructure and best practices for data science in their press release Laying the groundwork for data-driven science.  Under the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program, innovative projects are funded that develop building blocks essential for advancing scientific discovery through data. One of only two US $5M early

Fri, 2014-08-29 Dr. John Spence and Dr. Uwe Weierstall Awarded by AzTE

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) awarded Dr. John Spence and Dr. Uwe Weierstall certificates acknowledging their success in getting beneficial research out to a larger audience.  They have a patent for their Gas Dynamic Virtual Nozzle for Generation of Microscopic Droplet Streams.  They also have a Non-Exclusive License with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for Gas Dynamic Virtual Nozzle (GDVN) for Generation of Micrometer and Nanometer Diameter Droplet Streams.  Money

Wed, 2014-08-20 Dr. Michael Thorpe Awarded by AzTE

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) awarded Dr. Michael Thorpe a certificate acknowledging his success in getting beneficial research out to a larger audience.  His Rapid Determination of Motions of Proteins and other Biomolecules (FrodaN) technology has developed into two different licenses: 1.  A Non-Exclusive License with Novo Nordisk A/S 2.  A Non-Exclusive License with Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH Money received from these licenses goes back into ASU research.

Fri, 2014-08-01 New ASU center to advance research in bioenergy, biomedicine

Petra Fromme, 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

Tue, 2014-06-10 ASU-led study yields first snapshots of water splitting in photosynthesis

An International team, lead by Arizona State University scientists, has published in Nature a groundbreaking study that shows the first snapshots of photosynthesis in action as it splits water into protons, electrons and oxygen-the process that maintains Earth's oxygen atmosphere.   "This study is the first step towards our ultimate goal of unraveling the secrets of water splitting and obtaining molecular movies of biomolecules," said Petra Fromme, professor of chemistry and

Thu, 2014-06-05 DNA nanotechnology opens future to biomedical applications with 3-D artificial enzyme

Using molecules of DNA like an architectural scaffold, Arizona State University scientists, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Michigan, have developed a 3-D artificial enzyme cascade that mimics an important biochemical pathway that could prove important for future biomedical and energy applications. The findings were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.  Led by ASU Professor Hao Yan, the research team included ASU Biodesign Institute researchers Jinglin

Tue, 2014-05-06 Novel injector allows X-rays to map membrane proteins

Membrane proteins, which include G-protein-coupled receptors, are responsible for many vital functions of the cells and play a key role in human health. They are a prime target for developing drugs to treat diseases such as hypertension, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Today, more than 50% of all drug targets are membrane proteins. However, these proteins are notoriously difficult to crystallize. Even when crystals can be obtained, they are very small,

Fri, 2014-04-11 Amino acid fingerprints revealed in new study

Some three billion base pairs make up the human genome – the floorplan of life. In 2003, the Human Genome Project announced the successful decryption of this code, a tour de force that continues to supply a stream of insights relevant to human health and disease. Nevertheless, the primary actors in virtually all life processes are the proteins coded for by DNA sequences known as genes. For a broad spectrum of diseases, proteins can yield far more compelling revelations than may be gleaned

Tue, 2014-03-11 'Big data' reveals human interests, behavior

Information technology advances are leading to ever-growing accumulations of “big data,” making it feasible to quantify more things long thought immeasurable. Arizona State University professor Ying-Cheng Lai and his research partners are combining expertise in computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics and physics in analyzing big data to explore human-interest dynamics. They want to see if it’s possible to identify patterns in what motivates people to become

Wed, 2014-02-19 Artificial leaf jumps developmental hurdle

In a recent early online edition of Nature Chemistry, ASU scientists, along with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, have reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is one of the goals of BISfuel – the Energy Frontier Research Center, funded by the Department of Energy, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

Thu, 2013-12-19 ASU researchers report major advance in human proteins

A group of researchers from Arizona State University are part of a larger team reporting a major advance in the study of human proteins that could open up new avenues for more effective drugs of the future. The work is being reported in this week’s Science magazine. In the paper, “Serial femtosecond crystallography of G-protein-coupled receptors,” the team reports that they have been successful in imaging, at room temperature, the structure of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR

Wed, 2013-11-06 ASU teams up with 7 research universities to establish new science center

Arizona State University is teaming up with seven other research universities to establish a new Science and Technology Center (STC), sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), with an initial five-year, $25-million grant (extendable for another five years). The STC award is one of three granted by the NSF in 2013, with the others going to Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The center will be based at the University at Buffalo (UB). It is expected to transform the

Fri, 2013-04-26 'Difference Maker' award honors ASU physicist, educator

Regents’ Professor Stuart Lindsay has been selected to receive the 2013 Gary S. Krahenbuhl Difference Maker Award presented by ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.The annual award was established through generous contributions of faculty, staff and friends of ASU, to recognize and celebrate a faculty member who personifies the spirit of difference-making demonstrated by Krahenbuhl, a former dean of the college.  Read more here

Sat, 2013-04-13 Defining Edge Research and Creative Work – Young Investigator Award S. Banu Ozkan

S. Banu Ozkan has developed a significant and defined research vision that explores the sequence-structure-function relationship of proteins, or “protein folding problem,” and the role of protein-protein and protein-peptide interactions in defining functions in a cell. Ozkan has established new modeling approaches to address the problem of protein folding using multi-scale techniques to capture a more accurate picture of protein dynamics. Similar approaches she has developed could

Thu, 2013-03-28 Environmental Health & Safety Award for Excellence

EH&S held the annual Compliance Officer (CO) breakfast on March 28, 2013 in Old Main. The annual breakfast serves to acknowledge and thank active COs at ASU. The EH&S Award for Excellence, which is awarded in recognition to ASU employees who have established superior achievements in EH&S programs and activities, was presented during the event. The recipient of this year's award was Professor Ranko Richert of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Professor Richert has

Mon, 2013-01-14 ASU research makes Science's top 10 breakthroughs

ASU scientists have been lauded by the journal Science, which cited their groundbreaking research on protein structures as one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2012. Working as part of an international team, the ASU researchers have been central to the technological developments leading to a stream of exciting discoveries since 2009 – the most recent of which were reported in a November 2012 edition of Science. For the first time, the scientists determined the three dimensional

Wed, 2012-12-05 X-ray laser helps slay parasite that causes sleeping sickness

An international team of scientists, using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, has revealed the 3D structure of a key enzyme that enables the single-celled parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis (or sleeping sickness) in humans. With the elucidation of the 3D structure of the cathepsin B enzyme, it will be possible to design new drugs to inhibit the parasite that causes sleeping sickness, leaving the infected human unharmed.   Read more here

Mon, 2012-11-12 ASU spin-out HealthTell named Start-up of the Year

HealthTell Inc., a spin-out company from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, was selected as the Start-up of the Year at the 2012 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation this week. The prestigious annual awards gala, sponsored by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority, spotlights innovations in science and technology and how they are applied to build a sustainable economy for Arizona's future. The start-up award is presented to a

Wed, 2012-11-07 An elegant analysis of protein assembly

A Nov. 7 "New and Notable" article by Yves Engelborghs in the Biophysical Journal describes an enthusiastically reviewed study of protein self-assembly by associate professors Marcia Levitus and Rebekka Wachter and coworkers. Both Levitus and Wachter are faculty members in ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Levitus is also part of the Center of Single Molecule Biophysics in ASU's Biodesign Institute. The analysis of the polymerization of protein subunits is an

Tue, 2012-10-30 Doctoral student Avishek Kumar investigates “wonder material” of the future

An “awe of nature’s ingenious design” inspired doctoral student Avishek Kumar to pursue graduate studies in theoretical physics.In his research on amorphous materials, Kumar develops new computational techniques to study graphene, widely believed to be the future of electronic materials. “Graphene is largely regarded as a wonder material,” says Kumar, because of its unique electronic, optical and thermal properties.” Read more here

Mon, 2012-06-18 Arizona State University secures defense contract

Arizona State University has been awarded a four-year contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a novel diagnostic technology called immunosignaturing for rapid detection of exposure to infectious disease agents before symptoms occur. This contract, with a cumulative value of $30,718,054, consists of a base period with 12 months of performance, valued at $9,057,732; and one option period with 36 months of performance, valued at $21,660,322.

Mon, 2012-06-04 X-ray laser resolves atomic structure of biomolecules

An international team, led by the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and including members from ASU, has shown how the world's most powerful X-ray laser can assist in cracking the atomic code of biomolecules. The team’s experiments, described this week in Science, used SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source to obtain ultrahigh-resolution views of nano-crystals of biomolecules. In the process, the work is helping pioneer critical new investigative

Wed, 2012-04-18 Petra Fromme 2012 Faculty Achievement Award

2012 Faculty Achievement Awards Recipient  Petra Fromme: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry honored for Natural Sciences/Mathematics Leading a pioneering international research team alongside professor R. Bruce Doak and Regents’ Professor John C. H. Spence, Fromme’s work has led to the development of a revolutionary new approach to determining atomic structures utilizing pulsed X-ray laser radiation focused on a stream of

Wed, 2012-02-22 Outrunning X-ray damage

X-ray crystallography is a powerful imaging method that can reveal structure and function of many biological molecules, including drugs, proteins and nucleic acids. The problems have been growing large enough crystals to use and sample damage caused by the X-rays. John C.H. Spence, a Regents Professor in ASU’s Department of Physics, reported on progress made in efforts to “outrun” the X-ray damage by demonstrating a serial snapshot femtosecond (10-15 second) diffraction (

Thu, 2011-10-13 All access genome

While efforts to unlock the subtleties of DNA have produced remarkable insights into the code of life, researchers still grapple with fundamental questions. For example, the underlying mechanisms by which human genes are turned on and off – generating essential proteins, determining our physical traits, and sometimes causing disease – remain poorly understood. Biophysicists Marcia Levitus and Kaushik Gurunathan at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University along

Thu, 2011-02-17 Unraveling life's mysteries

Unraveling the molecular basis of life is a long-standing quest of humanity.  A breakthrough towards this goal was reported in a pair of studies published Feb. 3 in the scientific journal Nature, detailing a new method developed to determine structures of biomolecules based on diffracture from protein nanocrystals that are so small that they are not even visible udner the microsocpe.  A tiny aerojet nozzle profides a fully hydrated constant stream of nanocrystals, both supplied

Thu, 2011-02-03 CBP Prof. Marcia Levitus has been elected as a member of the Biophysical Society Council

CBP Prof. Marcia Levitus has been elected as a member of the Biophysical Society Council in its 2011 elections

Thu, 2011-02-03 Breakthrough application of X-ray free-electron laser to study single proteins

A paper in Nature reports on breakthrough application of X-ray free-electron laser to study single proteins. Petra Fromme, Raimund Fromme, Bruce Doak, Kevin Schmidt, Uwe Weierstall, and John Spence are among the authors of the paper.  Read more here  

Mon, 2011-01-24 Research done at the Center featured in a popular science book

Image from the magazine cover featuring research done at the Center published in a popular science book (see the gallery).

Fri, 2010-11-12 Graduate student Justin Spiriti CCG Travel Award

CBP graduate student Justin Spiriti has been selected as a winner of the ACS CCG Research Excellence award by a panel of reviewers. Justin is advised by former CBP faculty member Arjan van der Vaart (now at the University of South Florida). Congratulations Justin!

Thu, 2010-09-30 NIH funds center at Arizona State to battle infectious diseases

Arizona State University 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.


Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871504, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504

The Center for Biological Physics
Contact Us | Webmaster