Many faculty members in the School of Molecular Sciences have appointments in interdisciplinary research centers, several of which combine expertise from a range of traditional disciplines to pursue molecular level solutions to important scientific problems.
The Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe (MotU) (Alexandra Navrotsky, Director) is a collaborative research and education initiative of the School of Molecular Sciences, the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy and the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. MotU synergistically applies materials research methods and explores alien and extreme conditions and environments with the expectation of discovering new, useful materials and understanding planetary compositions, structure, materials, and evolution. MotU aims to attract and inspire scientists, engineers, and students across multiple STEM fields, including cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy, planetary science and exploration, mineralogy and petrology to interact with materials science and engineering, chemistry, physics, and biology to address grand questions of the diversity of materials in the universe.
Part of the ASU Biodesign Institute and directed by Dr. Petra Fromme, the Center unites scientists from biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, to develop and apply groundbreaking technologies and methodologies to accelerate the rate of discovery of the structure and function of biomolecules. Current research is focused on femtosecond nano-crystallography of membrane proteins, the study of membrane proteins in infections diseases, and biology with X-ray Lasers.
A part of the ASU Biodesign Institute and directed by Dr. Sidney Hecht, the Center studies the molecular basis of mitochondrial diseases and biological chemistry and drug design. Research is active in several areas, including understanding nature’s biochemical energy lexicon—the energy code, identification of chemical scaffolds to enable therapeutic design and design of systems biology models predictive of human function.
The Center for Bioenergy and Photosythesis is directed by Dr. Kevin Redding and carries out frontier multidisciplinary scientific research designed to use biological and biologically-based artificial systems to address societal energy needs in a sustainable manner, with an emphasis on solar energy conversion and bioinspired energy transformation to meet human needs, and investigates other aspects of photosynthesis that affect society and the environment.
The Center for Biological Physics conducts research into biological phenomena using the tools and methodologies of physics at Arizona State University. The center includes seven core faculty members with home appointments in the School of Molecular Sciences and several graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
A research center within the ASU Biodesign Institute, the Center for Innovation in Medicine is directed by Dr. Stephen Johnston and Dr. Neal Woodbury. The center is tackling important problems in medicine and disease not by building on existing discoveries and knowledge, but by attempting to transform understanding of disease. Research projects range from developing a single vaccine to prevent virtually all types of cancer to treating oncoming illness before experiencing any of the symptoms.
Founded in 1960, the Center for Meteorite Studies houses the world's largest university-based meteorite collection. The collection contains specimens from over 1,600 separate meteorite falls and finds, and is actively used internationally for planetary, geological and space science research.
A part of the ASU Biodesign Institute and directed by Dr. Hao Yan, the Center explores the emerging field of biomimicry and focuses on complex and dynamic self-assembly using DNA as programmable molecules, using DNA self-assembly for the construction of interactive spatial networks of chemical and biochemical species, and develops multicomponent and multifunctional nanoparticle and nanowire materials for biosensing, bioimaging and energy applications.
A research center within the ASU Biodesign Institute, the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics is directed by Dr. Stuart Lindsay. The center develops new methods for single-molecule DNA sequencing, studies how genes work and the way in which proteins change DNA structure to switch genes on and off. The Center also studies the chemistry and physics of the liquid-solid interface to understand electrochemical and charge transfer processes at the single-molecule level.
Directed by Tim Long, the Biodesign Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing will integrate the concepts of green chemistry and sustainable engineering practices across the continuum of materials innovation to provide the products we need for a sustainable life. Efforts will utilize additive manufacturing processes and focus on multiphase systems. The center will embrace a “molecules to manufacturing” paradigm to catalyze innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.