Neal Woodbury advises the executive vice president on issues related to major research activities on campus. He is responsible for developing new, large-scale, collaborative research projects. Additionally, he facilitates broader interactions between the Knowledge Enterprise and ASU’s academic units.
Woodbury is director of and professor in the School of Molecular Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a Senior Sustainability Scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and a faculty member in both the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine and the Global Security Initiative at ASU.
Woodbury is also the co-founder of HealthTell with Professor Stephen Johnston. HealthTell is a company based on a diagnostic technology called immunosignaturing and involves fabrication of large numbers of peptides or related heteropolymers on silicon wafers. The resulting peptide arrays are the basis of a diagnostic platform that generates a comprehensive profile of circulating antibodies.
Another aspect of Woodbury’s work involves the collaborative study of photosynthetic systems, with the goal of understanding the role that protein dynamics plays in protein-mediated chemistry. His group works to translate some of the ideas that have come out of the study of photosynthesis and enzymology to create nanoscale devices based on DNA nanostructures and nanophotonic systems. This work has made it clear that mimicking biology's ability to organize catalysis at the nanoscale is a very powerful approach to directing both chemical and photochemical reactions in specific ways.