ASU's Charles Arntzen named Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

September 12, 2014

Charles J. Arntzen, the founding director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has been named the 2014 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year. The award is given annually to the life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes.

“Charlie was instrumental in helping create an experimental drug called ZMapp that was recently used to treat U.S. aid workers infected with Ebola this summer,” said Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. “His work has put Arizona on the map in new ways as people all over the world are fascinated by the idea that it is possible to produce medicine inside a plant.” Charles Arntzen Download Full Image

“Charlie’s work represents some of the best and brightest of Biodesign,” said Raymond DuBois, executive director of the Biodesign Institute. “By erasing traditional boundaries between the sciences, we are able to deliver unexpected solutions.”

Arntzen's primary research interests are in plant molecular biology and protein engineering, as well as the utilization of plant biotechnology for enhancement of food quality and value, and for overcoming health and agricultural constraints in the developing world. He has been recognized as a pioneer in the development of plant-based vaccines for human disease prevention, with special emphasis on needs of poor countries, and for disease prevention in animal agriculture. His work developed the technology by which human proteins (such as Zmapp) can be expressed in and harvested from plants.

Arntzen is the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair and Regents’ Professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences. He serves on the board of directors of Advanced BioNutrition, and is on the advisory board of the Burrill and Company’s Agbio Capital Fund and the Nutraceuticals Fund.

Prior to coming to ASU in 2000, Arntzen was president and CEO of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research. He also served on President George W. Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and the National Nanotechnology Oversight Board.

Arntzen will be honored at the AZBio Awards Gala on Sept. 17 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators, innovators and companies. Each year, AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across Arizona illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of the state’s bioscience industry.

Past winners of the Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year Award include: Leslie Boyer (The University of Arizona), Paul Keim (Northern Arizona University and TGen-North), Jessica Langbaum (Banner Alzheimer’s Research Institute), Milton Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu (Arizona State University), Bruce Rittmann (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University), Rod Wing (Arizona Genomics Institute at the University of Arizona) and Roy Curtiss, III (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University).

Julie Kurth

Manager, marketing and communications, Biodesign Institute


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month events at ASU

September 15, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans who come from from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Events across all four ASU campuses include salsa dancing, food tastings, cultural performances and the anticipated screening of "Underwater Dreams." The film documents the true story of how a group of young Hispanic students from Carl Hayden Community High School, located in an underrepresented, economically challenged part of Phoenix, learned to build an underwater robot, and then defeated teams from universities across the country, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a national competition 2004. Hispanic heritage month at ASU graphic Download Full Image

More than 20 student organizations will kick off the celebration at a resource and information fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 15, at the Memorial Union North Stage, Tempe campus. With entertainment provided by Univision Radio, the event will include information about upcoming events, voter registration and free paletas (ice cream bars) for the first 700 people.

All events are free and open to the public.

The following are the university-wide signature events during Hispanic Heritage Month:

"Underwater Dreams" documentary and panel
6-8 p.m., Sept. 26, MU Arizona Ballroom, Tempe campus
Brought to you by Fulton Schools of Engineering; Graduate Professional Student Association; Society of Hispanic Engineers; Latinos in Engineering and Science; and the NASA Space Robotics Club.

Noche de Celebración
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sept. 15, Verde Dining Pavilion, West campus

Closing Reception – Salsa – Salsa Fiesta
6-7 p.m., Oct. 15, Sun Devil Fitness Complex, West campus

La Fiesta
6-9 p.m., Sept. 15, Civic Space Park, Downtown Phoenix campus

Media Perceptions of Latinos
noon-2 p.m., Sept. 17, Century Hall Multipurpose Room, Polytechnic campus

Screening of film, “Underwater Dreams”
6-8 p.m., Sept. 24, University Center Building, La Sala B & C, West campus

Latin Night
8-11 p.m., Sept. 26, MU North Stage, Tempe campus

Calle 16 Mural Project Painting
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sept. 30, Sands Courtyard, West campus

Fiesta de la Noche
6-8 p.m., Sept. 30, Century Hall Courtyard, Polytechnic campus

Cafe Y Pan
1-3 p.m., Oct. 1, Student Union, Polytechnic campus

Tempe Tardead
noon-6 p.m., Oct. 5, Tempe Community Complex (3500 S. Rural Rd., Tempe)

Living in Higher Ed – Latinos at ASU, Learning, Growing, Sharing
noon-1 p.m., Oct. 7, Memorial Union, Gold Room. 207, Tempe campus
Brought to you by the Chicano/Latino Faculty Staff Association, El Concilio & The Chicano/a Research Collection
ASU Libraries

Salsa Night
6-9 p.m., Oct. 7, Student Union Ballroom, Polytechnic campus

Meet the Greeks
6:30-9 p.m., Oct. 8, MU Arizona Ballroom, Tempe campus

Latin@s: Past, Present, and Future
6-8 p.m., Oct. 9, Cronkite First Amendment Forum, Second Floor, Downtown Phoenix campus

Lambda Theta Phi Taco Sale Fundraiser
6-10 p.m., Oct. 18, MU Arizona Ballroom, Tempe campus

For more information about upcoming events and Hispanic Heritage Month at ASU, visit