Arizona’s robust bioscience ecosystem on display at statewide events

April 5, 2019

By Matt Ellsworth

New York Times columnist and best-selling author Carl Zimmer gives the keynote speech during the Bioscience Roadmap Progress Report Update luncheon at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

The Flinn Foundation hosted its three annual Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Progress Report Update luncheons this week to dialogue about Arizona’s latest advancements in bioscience research and industry with leaders in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Phoenix.

The Latest Progress of the Biosciences in Arizona brochure highlights the state’s robust bioscience ecosystem, initiatives of the Roadmap Steering Committee in the areas of entrepreneurship, legislative relations, risk capital, and talent, and the major highlights from the past year.

Key 2018 milestones include the extension of the Technology and Research Initiative Fund to fund research and infrastructure at Arizona’s universities, a $60 million grant for the University of Arizona and Banner Health for the “All of Us” national study, the opening of Arizona State University’s third Biodesign Institute building, and the announcement of Creighton University opening a new medical school adjacent to Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

At the Phoenix event, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego talked about her longtime support of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus and the bioscience sector. And New York Times columnist and best-selling author Carl Zimmer gave a keynote talk about the genetic, environmental, and cultural contributions to heredity.

In Tucson, new associate vice president of Tech Parks Arizona Carol Stewart talked about her role overseeing the University of Arizona’s two tech parks. She was then joined by Paul August, chairman of Oro Valley Innovation Labs, and Brian Ellerman, leader of Arizona Forge, for a panel discussion of plans to increase incubation opportunities in southern Arizona.

In Flagstaff, attendees were updated on the bioscience initiatives at Northern Arizona University by university president Rita Cheng. Medical-device executive Jenny Hoffmann, venous pipeline leader at W.L. Gore, spoke about her firm’s longtime connection to Arizona and continued innovation. And TGen North director David Engelthaler shared his organization’s new partnership with the Critical Path Institute to monitor antimicrobial resistance in Arizona health-care settings.

Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap is a long-term strategic plan to guide the biosciences in Arizona through 2025 with goals to form an entrepreneurial hub, turn research into practice, develop bio-talent, promote Arizona’s convergence of research, health care, and commercialization, and enhance the state’s “collaborative gene” reputation.

The Flinn Foundation commissioned Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap in 2002 and reports performance data on a biennial basis. The next data report is scheduled to be released in April 2020.

Read more: The Latest Progress of the Biosciences in Arizona