The University of Arizona

UA a Big Winner at AZBio Awards

By University Communications, October 25, 2012

Arizona BioIndustry Association award recipients include Rick Myers, chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents; Jennifer Barton, UA associate vice president for research and professor of biomedical engineering; Dr. David S. Alberts of the UA Cancer Center; and Dr. Raymond L. Woosley of the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics.

Several University of Arizona faculty members, companies with UA ties and the chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents have received awards from the Arizona BioIndustry Association, the state’s biotech trade association.

"Everyone at the University of Arizona should be proud of the tremendous success of our colleagues demonstrated by the many awards to UA faculty, staff and business spinoffs at the AZBio awards gala this week and by our Arizona Board of Regents chairman, Rick Myers,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “I was thrilled to represent us and to witness that success."

Myers received the Public Service Award. The award is presented to the person who is currently serving or has served in a publicly elected capacity and has demonstrated leadership that has contributed most significantly to the enhancement of the business climate for bioscience companies in the state.

Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Myers to an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents in January 2010. He currently serves as chair of the board, chair of the Regents’ Executive Committee and as an ex-officio member of all standing ABOR committees. 

Myers is a civic leader in Tucson and across the state. He is a member of the Tucson Airport Authority and co-chaired the Citizens Committee of the Regional Transportation Authority in 2006. He is a current member and past chairman of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council; he chaired the Tucson community-wide United Way campaign in 2001, and he is a past board member of Science Foundation Arizona. In addition, Myers co-developed and taught a graduate course on the management of technology at the UA. He was honored with the Greater Tucson Leadership “Community Leadership Award” in 2004.

Jennifer Barton, UA associate vice president for research and a professor of biomedical engineering, was named the Michael A. Cusanovich Bioscience Educator of the Year. The award honors the person who demonstrated the greatest leadership, creativity and/or actions to inspire students and encourage them in the biosciences.

Barton was nominated by students and colleagues, who cited her skill as an instructor, compassion and patience as a mentor and advisor, strategic leadership in creating a learning environment for students and participation in the bioscience industry.

“Dr. Barton was my Ph.D. advisor from 2005-10,” said Amy Winkler, a former doctoral student in the UA College of Optical Sciences. “In addition to being a fount of knowledge, expertise and impactful projects, she taught me how to approach problems neither of us knew the answers to – a prized and necessary skill in research.”

Dr. David S. Alberts of the UA Cancer Center and Dr. Raymond L. Woosley of the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics were honored with the Pioneer Award for achievements that shaped the state’s bioscience industry.

Throughout his career, Alberts has focused on translational cancer prevention and treatment research. The emphasis of his laboratory-based and clinical research has been on the chemoprevention and treatment of such pervasive and potentially deadly diseases as cancers of the breast, colon, ovary and skin.

He has been the UA Cancer Center’s director since 2005. Under Alberts’ leadership, the extensive research portfolio of the UA Cancer Center includes more than $60 million in annual research funding, including four large National Cancer Institute interdisciplinary programs, and two Special Programs of Research Excellence – one in gastrointestinal cancers and one in lymphoma. 

In 2001, Woosley became vice president for health sciences at the UA and dean of the UA College of Medicine. In January 2005, he assumed the position of president of The Critical Path Institute, known as C-Path. Since 1999, he has directed one of seven federally funded Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics. As a member of the UA Sarver Heart Center and BIO5 Institute, he conducts research on the prevention of adverse drug interactions.

C-Path was recognized with the Fast Lane Award, which honors the select few companies that have achieved outstanding milestones in the past 18 months. Significant progress can be measured by clinical results, regulatory approvals, certifications, collaborations, funding awards, product launches, job growth or product sales milestones.

C-Path’s mission is to improve human health and well-being by developing new technologies and methods to accelerate the development and review of medical products. It was established in 2005 with public and private philanthropic support from the UA, Science Foundation Arizona and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Arizona BioIndustry Association is comprised of member organizations in business, research, government and other professions involved in biosciences. AZBio supports the members of the Arizona bioscience community by providing access to the key resources, connections and information that support their ability to connect, collaborate, innovate and succeed, thus supporting the growth of a thriving economic ecosystem for Arizona’s bioscience industry.