On a sunny, blustery Sunday afternoon in downtown Phoenix, 46 attendees of the seventh annual conference of the International Economic Development Council toured the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. The “Arizona Bio Boom” tour reached its conference-goer capacity before any other conference event, and left many people on a waiting list. In all, individuals from 21 states, Puerto Rico, and Sweden participated.
Ted Shortliffe, Dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, in partnership with Arizona State University, welcomed the group in the College’s auditorium. Dr. Shortliffe described the array of state-of-the-art features incorporated into the renovation of the century-old building, and sketched out the unique concept of close collaboration between two universities, which are soon to be bolstered further by the contributions of Northern Arizona University.
Phil Malan, Associate Dean of the UA College of Medicine in Tucson extended his greetings to the conference attendees via videoconference. “We are about to celebrate 40 years of teaching medicine here in Tucson,” Dr. Malan said. He noted that third- and fourth-year students from Tucson have been doing rotations in the Phoenix area for 15 years. The UA’s quality educational experience, he said, “is now being taken to the state’s largest city to help address the shortage of physicians in Arizona.”
Donna Stevens, representing the City of Phoenix’s Downtown Development Office, summarized the city’s numerous building projects occurring downtown, and Jim McPherson, Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs at the Flinn Foundation, provided an overview of Arizona’s bioscience initiatives statewide. [PowerPoint presentation on Arizona’s bioscience initiatives is available here.]
The assembled conference attendees then broke into groups of three to take tours of the College of Medicine, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and the newly-opened Arizona Biomedical Collaborative Building 1, a joint facility of ASU and UA. Attendees then returned to the conference hotel in north Phoenix, on the way driving past the soon-to-open Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, another unique collaborative component of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.
Representatives from ASU, UA, the BIO5 Institute at UA, the Biodesign Institute at ASU, the City of Phoenix, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, the Flinn Foundation, and TGen all provided volunteers and collateral materials to support the event.
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