ASU announces new research initiative


July 14, 2008

George Poste appointed to lead effort

Arizona State University President Michael Crow has announced a major new initiative that will revolutionize academic research through the innovative convergence of science, engineering, social sciences and computing. The effort will build on intellectual principles of success pioneered by ASU’s Biodesign Institute.

The director of the Biodesign Institute, Dr. George Poste, has been appointed to head the new effort. In just five years since its founding, the Biodesign Institute, under Poste’s leadership, has generated $199 million in research funding, disclosed 212 inventions and filed 46 patents. In this new role, Poste will serve as a meta-planning catalyst, working with deans and other leaders across the university to identify opportunities where the fusion of diverse capabilities can produce a transformative impact on society.

“Dr. Poste’s extensive experience and broad-based scientific acumen has enabled the Biodesign Institute to align large, interdisciplinary teams against critical societal challenges, producing substantial progress on new approaches to personalized medicine, alternative energy, improved diagnostic devices and new vaccine technologies. I have asked him to help me expand this successful model to other university research programs,” said Crow.

The new effort will be called the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, with Poste serving as Chief Scientist. Poste will retain his role with the Biodesign Institute while an international search for a successor is sought. To ensure adequate support and enable him to establish the initial framework for the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Neal Woodbury, PhD, is being appointed Deputy Director for the Biodesign Institute. Woodbury will also retain his current position as the director of the Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology in the Biodesign Institute.

The immediate goals of this new integration effort are to increase research competitiveness in three of the most exciting emerging fields of science: synthetic biology; sensor technologies; and health care informatics. “ASU has many distinctive capabilities in these areas. Alignment of these strengths represents a tremendous opportunity for ASU to demonstrate world class leadership,” said Poste.

“The complex problems facing our world today in health care, environmental sustainability, pandemic disease and national security, among others, require large cross-functional teams with bold ambitions,” said Crow. “ASU has made impressive progress toward being a top-tier research university. Launching this new endeavor will enhance our competitiveness and economic development in Arizona.” Download Full Image

Sharon Keeler

associate director, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-727-5618