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

Verde Solutions: ASU’s first corporate Practice Lab™

Practice Labs™ at ASU are an exciting new concept, providing valuable hands-on experience for students and real solutions for industry partners. Our Practice Labs create co-located workgroups of ASU students, faculty and interns focused on developing real-time solutions to a company’s most pressing business problems. Verde Solutions, a full-service energy efficiency consulting firm, recently invested in creating ASU’s first corporate Practice Lab. Their investment will support three top student employees from various disciplines, supervised by Mark Naufel in the Luminosity Lab, working to produce a geographic information system-based analytical approach for renewable development site evaluation. 

Biodesign C opens in September
Biodesign C building at Arizona State University

Biodesign Institute C building will open officially on Monday, Sept. 17. The $120-million expansion of Biodesign represents the third building in the now 540,000 square-foot research complex. The expansion fuels ASU’s capacity for research growth.

In addition to housing what promises to be the largest basic research team focused on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, the five-story building also will include a crown jewel: the world’s first compact X-ray free electron laser. This device will let scientists peer deep into molecular structures at a fraction of the cost of a typical free electron laser.

Come see the new facility for yourself at our open house on Sept. 17 from noon–3 p.m.

Sangre Por Salud Biobank: A resource for health research

Are you pursuing research involving underserved populations?

The Sangre Por Salud Biobank was created to extend precision medicine research to the Latino population. The biobank is a unique collaboration between Mayo Clinic, Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix, Arizona State University and the Latino community in Arizona. Healthy, self-identified Latino patients from Mountain Park Health Center consented to a collection of blood, serum and DNA, and completed a thorough health-related questionnaire. In addition to biospecimen and survey data, deidentified electronic medical records may also be available to researchers.

What’s available?

  • Biospecimens and data from over 3,500 participants.
  • Samples including DNA, serum, plasma and white blood cells.
  • Data including past, present and future electronic health records; self-reported data, genetic data and more.

For more information on how to integrate this resource into your research program, contact Dr. Elena De Filippis, Sangre Por Salud principal investigator, or Giovanna Moreno Garzon, Sangre Por Salud program coordinator.

Tools and training