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ASU appoints Biodesign director to lead new research effort

Compiled from media sources

Summary:

George Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, will be leaving his current position, ASU has announced, to lead an even broader effort in interdisciplinary scientific research. As chief scientist for ASU's new Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Dr. Poste will steer research projects in such fields as synthetic biology, sensor technologies, and healthcare informatics.

Full Story:

George PosteGeorge Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, will be leaving his current position, ASU has announced, to lead an even broader effort in interdisciplinary scientific research. As chief scientist for ASU's new Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI), Dr. Poste will steer research projects in such fields as synthetic biology, sensor technologies, and healthcare informatics.

"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 ASU president Michael 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."

"ASU has many distinctive capabilities in these areas. Alignment of these strengths represents a tremendous opportunity for ASU to demonstrate world-class leadership," Dr. Poste said.

In his new role, Dr. Poste will have a small staff and an initial budget above $1 million to apply towards focusing the efforts of deans and other administrative and research leaders at ASU on promising targets for research in the realm of complex adaptive systems. According to a background document released by Dr. Crow, examples of such systems include global ecosystems, the Internet, epidemics, and financial markets.

Strategically, ASU hopes that the university-wide reach of CASI will allow it to achieve and maintain leadership among universities in addressing global-scale problems. Contributions will come from researchers in "science, medicine, engineering, and computing, plus valuable inputs from the humanities, social sciences, law, and business," the document stated.

"The deal I had with George was to take five years and get Biodesign established as an internationally prominent institute, and we achieved that," Dr. Crow said in the Arizona Republic. "Now, I want him to develop the broader scientific trajectory for ASU."

Dr. Poste will remain in his current role at Biodesign until his successor is hired. To help sustain Biodesign's operations as Dr. Poste begins devoting energy to launching CASI, Neal Woodbury is being appointed Biodesign's deputy director. Dr. Woodbury will also retain his current position as director of Biodesign's Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology.

Since Dr. Poste's arrival in 2003, Biodesign has generated nearly $200 million in research funding, disclosed more than 200 inventions, and filed 46 patents.


For more information:

"Biodesign Institute director to move into research post," Arizona Republic, 07/17/2008.

ASU news release, 07/14/2008