Arizona Biosciences News

Nov 18, 2008

Bio leaders snag top awards at Governor's Celebration of Innovation

Two Arizona bioscience leaders, Daniel Von Hoff, physician-in-chief of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and Jeff Morhet, president and CEO of InNexus Biotechnology Inc., were honored Nov. 13 with top awards at the Governor's Celebration of Innovation, an annual event calling attention to pacesetters in the state's high-technology industries.

Tags: arizona technology council, awards, innexus, td2, tgen
Nov 17, 2008

Science Foundation Arizona awards C-Path $9 million

How important might the Critical Path Institute be to the growth of Arizona's bioscience sector? Important enough that C-Path has earned the largest investment to date from Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz): $9 million.

Tags: c-path, drug development, drug safety, europe, sfaz
Nov 05, 2008

Roche CEO describes future plans for Ventana Medical Systems

Nine months after completing its acquisition of Oro Valley’s Ventana Medical Systems Inc., the Swiss pharmaceuticals and diagnostics giant Roche Holding AG has provided the clearest signals yet that it intends not only to keep Ventana in southern Arizona, but in fact to expand the firm’s presence there.

Tags: diagnostics, roche, ventana
Oct 31, 2008

Biodesign researcher receives Gates grant to develop HIV vaccine

Stephen Johnston, of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, has some unorthodox ideas about how we might prevent disease. One of his innovative proposals, aimed at finding a back-door method to combat HIV, has been rewarded with a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Tags: asu, biodesign institute, gates foundation, hiv
Oct 29, 2008

Chandler-Gilbert CC expands Valley's bio education options

Among all the bad news in the latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there was at least one bright spot: the health-care sector continued to show job growth. That's one of the key reasons that Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) launched its Biomedical Research Technology program this fall.

Tags: applied science, chandler-gilbert community college, degree, healthcare, jobs
Oct 23, 2008

UA-developed protocol dramatically improves cardiac-arrest survival rate

A three-pronged protocol developed at the University of Arizona's Sarver Heart Center nearly triples the survival rate among heart-attack victims, according to findings from a study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Implemented widely, Cardiocerebral Resuscitation might save thousands of lives each year.

Tags: american heart association, heart attack, jama, sarver heart center
Oct 20, 2008

NACET assumes leadership of NAU's technology-transfer activities

In less than a month, the Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies (NACET) will officially open its just-completed 10,000 square-foot facility in Flagstaff. Already, the high-tech business incubator is moving ahead with multiple initiatives to help fledgling science- and technology-based companies in northern Arizona. One of NACET's most-important new roles is to operate Northern Arizona University's technology-transfer program, NAU Ventures.

Tags: azte, incubator, nacet, nau
Oct 17, 2008

Arizona Cancer Center receives coveted SPORE grant for lymphoma research

The Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona has received, in partnership with two other institutions, a coveted grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to accelerate the translation of laboratory research on lymphoma into improved care for patients. The grant, part of the NCI's Specialized Program of Research Excellence program, is only the fifth for lymphoma research to be awarded nationwide.

Tags: awards arizona cancer center, cancer, lymphoma, nci, spore grant, ua
Oct 17, 2008

Biomedical informatics expert Shortliffe selected to head national group

Edward Shortliffe, a biomedical informatics expert who served as founding dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University, has been named the next head of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Tags: amia, biomedical informatics, healthcare, ua college of medicine-phoenix
Oct 15, 2008

NIH awards UA $44 million contract to study children's health

The University of Arizona has won a six-year, $44 million contract to join the National Children's Study, which UA asthma researcher Fernando Martinez predicts could be "one of the most important scientific enterprises ever started regarding children's health."

Tags: asthma, children, children's study, respiratory, ua
Sep 29, 2008

AZBio honors Arizona bio leaders

Some of the brightest stars, greatest inspirations, and most reliable champions in Arizona's bioscience enterprise were honored Sept. 18 at the annual awards dinner of the Arizona BioIndustry Association. More than 400 people attended the event in Tempe, which featured a keynote address by James C. Greenwood, president & CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation's largest bioscience trade association.

Tags: awards, azbio, bio leaders, provista life sciences, ua
Sep 25, 2008

Health Research Alliance meeting draws attention to Arizona researchers

The Health Research Alliance, a nonprofit group representing private foundations and voluntary health agencies committed to health research, held its annual advisory-committee meeting in Phoenix on Sept. 3-4. As the meeting's host, the Flinn Foundation arranged for reports and informational presentations to the group from some of Arizona's leading practitioners of health research.

Tags: health, hra, research
Sep 23, 2008

Three Arizona researchers win EUREKA grants

The National Institutes of Health has awarded four-year grants worth $1.2 million each to three Arizona researchers as part of the new EUREKA program, designed to identify and support investigations so innovative that they send science leaping forward--or in an entirely new direction.

Tags: asu, biodesign institute, cancer, eureka, grant, nanomachines, nanophotonics, nanotechnology, neurological, nih, proteins
Sep 23, 2008

UA, Canon sign agreement for joint digital photography, medical imaging research

The optical-sciences expertise at the University of Arizona has attracted the attention--and the dollars--of one of the world's best-known imaging brands, Canon USA Inc. Canon and UA have agreed to establish a collaborative research-and-development operation in digital photography and medical imaging, which will be funded by an initial $3 million research grant from Canon.

Tags: canon, development, optical, research, science and technology park, ua
Sep 22, 2008

SFAz Graduate Research Fellows program grows to nation's largest

As a struggling economy presents new challenges for university budgets, and researchers wonder how federal funding for their investigations will change under the next Congress, one group of young scientists has to be feeling fortunate. They are the 100 graduate students recruited to Arizona universities as the second cohort of Science Foundation Arizona Graduate Research Fellows. The program is the nation's largest of its kind.

Tags: fellowship, graduate, research, sfaz, universities
Sep 09, 2008

Banner acquisition of Sun Health brings changes in research leadership

Banner Health scooped up one of the crown jewels of Arizona's medical-research community last week as part of its acquisition of the Sun Health system. Along with naming new executives for Sun Health's two West Valley hospitals, Banner announced new administrative leadership at Sun Health Research Institute, widely known for its research on Alzheimer's disease and other age-related ailments.

Tags: acquisition, alzheimer's., banner health, shri, sun health
Aug 27, 2008

New UA health-affairs VP takes aim at administrative challenges

Over eight years as dean of the University of Missouri-Columbia's College of Medicine, William Crist more than doubled both the size of his school's faculty and its budget. He will be charged with accomplishing a similar task--plus many others--when he assumes the new position of vice president for health affairs at the University of Arizona on Oct. 31.

Tags: arizona cancer center, cancer, health, phoenix biomedical campus, ua college of medicine-phoenix
Aug 25, 2008

Independent, innovative as always, Gore makes a move to grow

W. L. Gore & Associates, which operates in an astonishing variety of industries, is a major force in the biosciences in Arizona. Flagstaff's largest private employer, thanks to its medical-devices facilities there, Gore has single-handedly made the city an industry hub. Now this exceptional company, which already has 20 percent of its workforce in Arizona, is doubling down to establish a new medical-devices campus in Phoenix.

Tags: flagstaff, medical devices, medical products
Jul 23, 2008

Governor announces formation of new STEM Education Center

Gov. Janet Napolitano has announced that her office, with an array of public and private partners, is forming a new organization to strengthen STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in Arizona. Better STEM education is widely recognized as fundamental to establishing a globally competitive bioscience sector.

Tags: education, helios, p-20 council, sfaz, tgen
Jul 18, 2008

ASU appoints Biodesign director to lead new research effort

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.

Tags: asu, biodesign institute, casi
Jul 17, 2008

'Fund of funds' launched to build venture capital

The Arizona Economic Resource Organization (AERO), a nonprofit group created last year to coordinate the state's economic-development efforts, has received $325,000 to launch a "fund of funds" to commercialize high-technology innovations. The initiative's planners believe it could elicit $200 million in new venture-capital funding for Arizona-based entrepreneurs.

Tags: cedc, tech transfer, venture capital
Jul 01, 2008

UA president announces restructuring of health-sciences areas

University of Arizona president Robert Shelton announced July 1 a significant restructuring of UA's health-sciences units, including creation of a new position, the vice president for health affairs. The new vice president will oversee several health-related colleges and manage relations with university-affiliated hospitals and a university physicians group. Dr. Shelton also announced that the current College of Medicine dean, Keith Joiner, will step down to return to the faculty.

Tags: college of medicine, health affairs, restructuring, ua
Jul 01, 2008

Governor signs budget preserving bioscience priorities

State bioscience interests achieved an escape worthy of Houdini in the Arizona Legislature's just-completed budget process. On June 27, the Legislature passed a $9.9 billion budget for fiscal year 2009, erasing a projected shortfall of $2 billion and leaving intact three of the funding priorities dearest to bioscience advocates.

Tags: bioscience, budget, sfaz, tax
Jun 30, 2008

Arizona sends largest delegation yet to top bioindustry convention

Earlier this month, Arizona sent its largest delegation yet to the BIO 2008 International Convention, and the state enjoyed a position of greater prominence than ever before at what has become the premiere annual event for the bioscience industry.

Tags: azbio, bio, biozona
Jun 26, 2008

UA virologist wins prestigious Pew Scholars prize

Felicia Goodrum, a University of Arizona virologist and a member of the BIO5 Institute, has been named one of 20 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. The $240,000 award, one of the nation's highest honors for early- to mid-career researchers, will support Dr. Goodrum's study of the human cytomegalovirus, which more than half the world's population carries latently.

Tags: bio5 institute, cytomegalovirus, pew scholars
Jun 25, 2008

National study cites Arizona's bio industry growth, strengths

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Battelle released a biennial study of U.S. bioscience industry trends at the 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego on June 18. Arizona, the study reports, saw bioscience jobs jump 21.5 percent from 2001 to 2006. And in 2006, Arizona's bioscience workers earned wages 35 percent higher than their counterparts in the state's overall private sector.

Tags: battelle, bio, biosciences
Jun 23, 2008

InNexus receives patent-protection for cancer antibody technology

Drug developer InNexus Biotechnology Inc., which modifies laboratory-produced antibodies to make them more effective cancer-fighters, has announced that several patents related to its Dynamic Cross Linking (DXL) technology will soon be issued. The latest patent approval for the firm's technology platform--other patents have been issued previously--gives InNexus a firmer stake in the promising field of cancer immunotherapy.

Tags: cancer, drug development, innexus, monoclonal
Jun 18, 2008

Flagstaff firm inks deal with Australia for rodent-control test

SenesTech Inc., a small Flagstaff biotech company, has some very big goals. Here's one: revolutionize how researchers study menopause. Here's another: completely overhaul one of the most common procedures in veterinary medicine. And here's one more: Boost the production of rice enough to feed half a billion people. The company took a big step toward realizing that third goal Tuesday, announcing an agreement with the government of Australia to test a new rodent-control product in the Indonesian province of West Java.

Tags: australia, flagstaff, incubator, nacet, nau, rice, senestech
Jun 17, 2008

German firm purchases TGen spinoff for $6.3 million

SYGNIS Pharma AG, a German drug developer, has snapped up Amnestix, a two-year-old spinoff of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), in a $6.3-million cash and stock deal that illustrates the commercial and therapeutic promise of advanced genomic research. Amnestix emerged from a line of research by TGen neurogenomics experts Dietrich Stephan and Matthew Huentelman.

Tags: amnestix, drug development, genomics, sygnis, tgen
Jun 16, 2008

C-Path consortium shepherds first-ever FDA/EMEA collaboration

In an unprecedented process facilitated by the Tucson-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path), a consortium representing 17 pharmaceutical firms has torn down a major barrier to faster, safer, and cheaper drug development. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have approved new methods, developed by C-Path's Predictive Safety Testing Consortium, for discerning the potential kidney toxicity of drug candidates.

Tags: biomarkers, c-path, drug safety, drug testing, emea, fda, kidney