HEALab coming to ASU’s West campus

September 25, 2018

Ideas will have a new place to grow and flourish starting this October at Arizona State University’s West campus.

One year after successfully launching a first-of-its-kind Health Entrepreneurship and Accelerator Lab for ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the HEALab is expanding. Rick Hall works with HEALab Student on her idea at the Downtown HEALab Rick Hall works with HEALab student Erin Washbon on her idea at the Downtown Phoenix campus HEALab on Sept. 6, 2017. A second HEALab is opening at the West campus next month. Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now Download Full Image

“The ASU West campus population is growing rapidly with bright students who have the potential to create sustainable solutions to health issues. There is a vacuum, however, of programming and support opportunities for students to launch their ideas,” said Rick Hall, director of health innovation programs and clinical professor at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Seeking to fill that need, Hall started a conversation with New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Professor and Associate Dean Lara Ferry and Ji Mi Choi from Entrepreneurship + Innovation at ASU. After their discussions, it was clear there was an opportunity for collaboration.

“We are always interested in creating new opportunities for students to explore their ideas while at the same time increasing their awareness of, and access to, the full slate of entrepreneurial resources offered at ASU," said Choi, associate vice president of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. "Partnering with Dr. Hall and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation to bring the HEALab model to West is an example of our partnership and collaboration with schools across ASU."

With the support of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation Dean Judith Karshmer and New College Dean Todd Sandrin, the HEALab at West was officially ready to launch.

“We want students from all colleges to come to our events and to utilize the Changemaker and HEALab spaces. While our focus is on health-related solutions, we hope to attract business and communications students and others to work alongside health and life science students,” Hall said.

For the 2018–19 school year, the HEALab at West will initiate all programming in the Changemaker Central space which is located in Devil’s Den at the Verde Dining Pavilion.

“We are so excited to be working with this fantastic team of people," Ferry said. "The interdisciplinary spirit of this initiative is part of the core mission of the New College. We know that when individuals come together from different backgrounds and perspectives, they solve problems more efficiently and more creatively, using more of the resources out there at their disposal. We can’t wait to see what our students do with this opportunity.” 

The first event will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10, featuring guest speaker Chris Asterino, the chief executive officer of RevMD. RSVP to HEALab@asu.edu. The event is open to everyone.

“Ideally, we will leverage our efforts in the HEALab at West to increase awareness of health innovation possibilities for students, faculty, staff and community members. In a time of significant disruptions related to health, we need innovation leaders who are empowered to navigate change,” Hall said.

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, College of Nursing and Health Innovation


The lure of new materials: ASU welcomes new physics faculty

Arunima Singh's research focuses on exploring synthesis and applications for nanomaterials

September 25, 2018

Arunima Singh joins ASU as one of the Department of Physics' newest associate professors. Born in a small farming village where superstition was very much the order of the day, Singh was inspired by her father to pursue a career in science. He taught her to approach things scientifically: to observe the world around her and gather evidence; to look for proofs. “Science is a school of thought,” he told her.

Singh obtained her undergraduate degree at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in India and then went to Cornell to pursue her doctorate in materials science and engineering. After Cornell, she was accepted as a postdoctoral associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg and later at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Singh’s research began in metallurgical and materials engineering, and it centers on accelerating materials discovery and using computer simulations to explore synthesis and applications for nanomaterials. Arunima Singh Download Full Image

Discovering new materials is an incredibly exciting prospect for Singh, and she has a constant eye for the possibilities in their use. Two-dimensional materials such as graphene — which was discovered in 2004 and is stronger than diamonds and yet remarkably flexible — creates incredible opportunities and implications for the field of technology. She referenced a prototype she has seen for a foldable cellphone, something considered a very “sci-fi” goal only a few decades back.

Indeed, because of her research and areas of interest, Singh often considers new technology with an eye for the materials that went into it. She pointed out her cellphone's lack of screen protector because of the tough Gorilla Glass 5 used for the screen — things like that spark her curiosity on how can we design materials using computations that perform even better. The tiniest of materials have incredible implications through technology and medicine.

Singh is excited to join ASU’s faculty and continue her research. “ASU seems like a very vibrant university where you can collaborate with other departments and researchers,” she said. This culture of innovation and communication, combined with the work other faculty are doing in the field of nanomaterials, made ASU a highly appealing destination for her.

“The school itself is leading the way in providing good quality of life, with an excellent reputation for having a good research program in physics,” she said.

When not building simulations to study nanomaterials and their possible uses, Singh enjoys the warm weather, badminton and outdoor activities available in Arizona.

Dominique Perkins

Events and Communications Coordinator, Department of Physics