2011 AZBio Awards Honorees Announced

The Arizona BioIndustry is Moving Forward Faster in 2011

The Arizona BioIndustry Association has selected finalists and honorees for its annual awards gala to be held at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass on Oct. 13.  Awards to be presented include: 2011 Michael A. Cusanovich  Educator of the Year, Fast Lane Company Awards, the Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year, the Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the Year Award, and the Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year Award.

AZBio Awards Dinner and EXPO 2011

Almost every article about economic recovery points to two key driving factors, innovation and jobs. Combining both in a way that is delivering measurable results is Arizona’s bioscience sector.  Thanks to a coordinated plan developed in
2002 and supported by leaders from Arizona’s healthcare industry, corporations,
government, and universities, Arizona is moving forward faster in economic
development, job creation and bioscience research.

From 2002 until today, jobs in Arizona’s bioscience industry have grown 32%, the number of bioscience and related firms including research, manufacturing, testing, medical labs, and healthcare delivery systems have grown 28% and research partnerships with the National Institutes for Heath have increased 65%.  Arizona bioscience organizations now generate $21 Billion in annual revenues and $765 Million in state and local taxes.

“These are measurable results from a community committed to working together to build a world-class research base, support commercialization efforts, and migrate the latest discoveries from the bench to the bedside in a manner that is both translational and transformational,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president and ceo of the Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio).  “Community
investments statewide include 7 new bioscience incubators and accelerators, 14
new research institutes, 16 new bioscience schools and educational programs and the attraction of investments from global leaders in healthcare and the
biosciences who have elected to locate or expand operations here and now call
Arizona home.   With each new addition, Arizona picks up more speed.”

On October 13 and 14, 2011, hundreds of the people credited for these great strides will gather at the 2011 AZBio Awards and Expo to celebrate the successes of their peers, share best practices and refuel their innovation engines for the coming year.  The event will be held at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona.

On Thursday, October 13th exemplary leaders in the field from education to research and from emerging companies to global giants will gather and be recognized for their contribution to Arizona’s progress. They will be joined by students from Arizona’s high schools, community colleges and universities at the evening’s Discovery Showcase where the students will share posters detailing their bioscience explorations and also treated to a special keynote presentation by David Kerr, Director, Corporate Strategy at IBM featuring IBM’s Watson during the 2011 AZBio Awards ceremony.

On Friday, October 14th, the community reconvenes for a full day exposition showcasing Arizona bioscience organizations and for educational sessions, panels and keynotes all designed to deliver that latest information on accessing capital, highlighting where the growth sectors are, and what resources are available to keep things growing.

“The AZBio Awards and Expo is more than an opportunity for our leaders to take a well-deserved bow for past success,” stated Glen Galster, co-founder of Algae Biosciences Incorporated and Chairman of the Board of AZBio.  “Friday’s AZBio
Expo is our opportunity to come together as a community to share what it takes
to accelerate new and existing bioscience companies here in Arizona so we all
can to move forward faster.”

The 2011 AZBio Honorees and Finalists are:

2011 Michael A.Cusanovich Educator of the Year:  The educator who, as a member of the faculty or administration of an educational institution, demonstrated the greatest leadership, creativity and/or actions to inspire students and encourage them in the biosciences.  Honoree: 

Nadja Anderson, Ph.D., Director of the BIOTECH Project, University of Arizona, BIO5

2011 Fast Lane Honorees:  Arizona Bioscience Companies and organizations in the healthcare and health information fields that though innovations  implemented in the last 18 months have yielded measurable results based on sales growth, job growth, or other commercial metrics and are moving their organizations and our state forward faster.   Fast Lane Honorees:

New in 2011, the AZBio Fast Lane Award recognizes Arizona bioscience companies and institutions who in the last 18 months did something different that is moving their organization forward faster.  Nominated by their peers, these organizations are leading examples of why the Arizona Bioscience Sector is the fastest growing business sector in the state.  To learn more about the AZBIO Fast Lane Awards, click here.

 2011 AZBio Awards Finalists:

2011 Award for Research Excellence:  The life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes, as measured by publications and/or professional acknowledgement of their work in either an academic or commercial setting.  Finalists: 

  • Cheryl Nickerson, Ph.D.,Professor, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, The BiodesignInstitute at Arizona State University
  • John Moffett, Ph.D., Director of Life Science, Regenesis Biomedical Inc
  • Jessica Langbaum, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Research Institute
  • Robert J. Penny, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, International Genomics Consortium

2011 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year Award:  The for-profit bioscience company whose Arizona-based operations did the most to transform the world during the last 12 months.  Finalists:

2011 Jon W. McGarity Leadership Award:  The person in Arizona who provided the most outstanding leadership that contributed significantly to development of the State’s bioindustry and/or recognition of the advancement of bioscience in Arizona.   Finalists: 

  • Dr. Joan Rankin Shapiro, Associate Dean for Research for the University of Arizona -College of Medicine
  • Nina Ossanna, Ph.D., Director, Business Development and Strategic Planning, BIO5 Institute, The University of Arizona
  • Robert J. Penny, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, International Genomics Consortium

2011 AZBio Public Service Award: The AZBio Award for Public Service honors current and  former electedofficials who through their efforts are helping to make Arizona a placewhere bioscience companies and institutions can flourish. Finalists:

  • Al White, City Council Member and 2012  Mayoral Candidate, City of Flagstaff
  • Greg Stanton, former Phoenix City Council Member and 2011 Mayoral Candidate, City of Phoenix
  • Satish Hiremath, DDS, Mayor. Town of Oro Valley, AZ

About AZBio

AZBio – 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.

Websites:  www.AZBio.org www.AZBioExpo.com

Media Contact:  Joan Koerber-Walker 480-332-9636 jkw@azbio.org

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