Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan

A message from Panch

Learn about recent awards, our success in patent rankings and newly appointed National Academy of Inventors Senior Members. 

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

As we begin a new semester, I’d like to share some useful resources, upcoming events and news with you.

First of all, congratulations are in order. Drs. Jennifer Barrila, Yuji Zhao and Sefaattin Tongay were awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in July. These awards are the highest honor the U.S. government grants to young scientists and engineers at the outset of their individual research careers. In addition, Drs. Terry Alford, Devens Gust and Andreas Spanias were recently named Senior Members by the National Academy of Inventors. They are among the 54 academic inventors named to the Spring 2019 class of NAI Senior Members, recognized for their efforts to cultivate an innovative mindset and mentor the next generation of inventors.

If you didn’t hear the news earlier this summer, ASU moved into the top 10 for universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. We’re now ranked No. 10 — a jump from No. 17 — by the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This accomplishment is a testament to the culture of innovative entrepreneurship and problem-solving driven by our faculty, students and researchers.

In award news, the Biodesign Institute was awarded a major grant by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The project aims to build a field-deployable point-of-care device to rapidly determine if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. The project will be led by Biodesign Executive Director Joshua LaBaer and co-principal investigator Vel Murugan, and is a reflection of ASU’s ability to forge partnerships capable of solving grand challenges on a global scale.


Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan
Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise
Chief Research and Innovation Officer

Global Futures special seminar

Energy efficiency is traditionally viewed as a pile of separate technologies to be added in order of increasing cost. Yet designing buildings, vehicles and factories instead as whole systems can save far more energy at several-fold lower cost. Exploring the idea of "integrative design," ASU Global Futures is hosting a special seminar featuring Amory Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The seminar, titled Integrative Design for Radical Energy Efficiency will examine examples of integrative design from a variety of sectors that show how its implementation can create savings.

Date: Thursday, April 25
Time: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Location: Biodesign Institute, Room B105

Tools and training
ASU partners with Planet for access to Earth imaging data

Students, faculty and researchers at Arizona State University will soon have access to an unprecedented stream of daily high-resolution images covering Earth’s entire landmass and coral reefs. ASU has partnered with Planet, a San Francisco-based Earth-imaging company as their first institutional data partner for higher education. Planet operates the largest constellation of satellites in orbit today and this partnership will allow students, faculty and researchers to take advantage of their Dove and RapidEye 3–5 meter data. 

Tanya Harrison, director of research at ASU NewSpace, sees the potential for this data to be used throughout many disciplines. Research will benefit from this daily global coverage of Earth, but arts and media could also use this data for applications such as localized or immersive storytelling due to the frequency at which the images are updated. The opportunities to make use of this data across different disciplines will inspire innovation and research to better understand our world. 

“The full research potential for this has not been unlocked. I expect the temporal resolution of Planet’s data in particular will be useful to a lot of different researchers at ASU,” says Harrison. 

The data will soon be accessible by anyone with an ASU affiliation through ASU’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science’s Planet Incubator website. This partnership opens up a world of opportunity from a whole new perspective. 

Help us celebrate this new partnership and learn more about how you can benefit by joining us for a kick-off event on Friday, April 26, where you can hear directly from those who are already accessing the growing catalog of imagery from the company’s satellite constellation for their research programs at ASU. 

Event details
Friday, April 26, 2019
Time: 2:15 p.m.: Refreshments and networking, 2:30-4 p.m.: Presentations and demonstrations
Location: ASU's Marston Exploration Theater, ISTB4, 781 E Terrace Road

Tools and training
April/May TECTalks

ASU Core Research Facilities continues TECTalks, a series of lectures and workshops hosted by ASU faculty and guests surrounding science and technology topics.

Microscopy using 3 Photon and 3rd Harmonics

Dr. Kieu and Ben Cromey will describe the basics of multi-photon microscope systems including the benefits of label free imaging using second and third harmonics. This event is catered.

A complimentary, appointment only, hands on demo of the 3P microscope system will be hosted by the Keck Bioimaging Facility (in LSC L2-80) and will run the entire month of April.

Date: Tuesday, Apr. 2
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: LSC232

Pathway Analysis and Protein Protein Interaction Networks

Pathway analysis has become the first choice for gaining insight into the underlying biology of differentially expressed genes and proteins. Come learn web-based gene annotation, gene ID conversion, pathway enrichment, and protein-protein interaction networks.

Date: Monday, Apr. 15
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: ISTB4 240

Principles of Plasma Processing

This talk will review the various thin film plasma processing techniques that exist within the NanoFab. These techniques include Reactive Ion Etch, Inductively Coupled Plasma Etch, Deep Silicon Etch, plasma sputtering, and Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition. The discussion will also include an introductory look into plasma discharge concepts, discharge configurations, and tool design considerations.

Date: Monday, May 13
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: ISTB4 240

Tools and training
March 2019 TECTalks

ASU Core Research Facilities continues TECTalks, a series of lectures and workshops hosted by ASU faculty and guests surrounding science and technology topics.

Development and Applications of Advanced Mass Spectrometry in Metabolomics

Metabolism impacts or is impacted by virtually every cellular process, and altered metabolism is one of the hallmarks for many diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, etc. In this presentation, Dr. Haiwei Gu, assistant professor in the College of Health Solutions will introduce the metabolomics field that has emerged as an extremely promising approach for providing detailed and multilayered information about complex biological processes and systems.

Date: Monday, Mar. 11
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: ISTB4 240

Python for Graphing and Automation

Python is powerful for graphing and automation. Learn how to use Python to generate and customize sophisticated graphs for genomic data and automate the process.

Date: Monday, Mar. 18
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: Biodesign Institute AL1-10/14

Tools and training
February 2019 TECTalks

ASU Core Research Facilities continues TECTalks, a series of lectures and workshops hosted by ASU faculty and guests surrounding science and technology topics.

High Performance Computing on ASU’s Agave Cluster

This talk will cover the Agave cluster configuration, batch and interactive access, and available software packages. A sample of applications run on the system will demonstrate the variety of computational research Agave supports.

Date: Monday, Feb. 11
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: MU 242

Fundamentals of Biostatistics: Hypothesis Testing, Errors, P-values, and Power

In this seminar, fundamental concepts in biostatistics will be discussed: How are hypothesis tests formed within the framework of an experimental design? How is uncertainty (such as error) treated? How are decisions made within hypothesis testing frameworks? How can we present our results as novel scientific findings?

Date: Monday, Feb. 18
Time: 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Biodesign Institute AL1-1014

Check back for March 2019 TECTalks.

Tools and training