Discovering New Medicines in Arizona Summit

October 2, 2019 | 7:30 - 3:00 p.m. 
Phoenix Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building
475 N. 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

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Presented by the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery and the University of Arizona Cancer Center

The Discovering New Medicines in Arizona Summit will highlight key areas of research in discovering effective drug candidates in prevalent diseases in Arizona while establishing collaborations that enable success in these key areas. The one-day summit, held prior to the 2019 AZBio Awards in Phoenix, will feature these presentations along with lunch and networking opportunities.

Download the Agenda

Morning Plenary Sessions | 8:15 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

  • Diseases of Aging in Neurosciences by Roberta Brinton, PhD
  • Drug Development in Cancer Prevention and Treatment: E Pluribus Unum by Julie Bauman, MD, MPH
  • Pain: Chronic Treatments to Replace Opioids by Todd Vanderah, PhD
  • Overview of Research and Drug Discovery for Lung Disease by Monica Kraft, MD
  • Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome by Lawrence Mandarino, PhD

Confirmed Speakers

Julie Bauman, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of Hematology & Oncology; Deputy Director, University of Arizona Cancer Center; Co-Leader, Therapeutic Development Program
Scott Boitano, PhD, Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Roberta Brinton, PhD, Director, Center for Innovation in Brain Science
Jennifer Carew, PhD, Co-Director, Hematologic Malignancy Disease Team, UA Cancer Center
Rui Chang, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Louise Hecker, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
May Khanna, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Monica Kraft, MD, Professor and Chair, College of Medicine - Tucson
Julie Ledford, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Larry Mandarino, PhD, Director, UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Timothy Marlowe, PhD, Director, Molecular Analysis Core, College of Medicine - Phoenix
Laurent Martin, Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Medicine - Tucson
Kathleen Rodgers, PhD, Associate Director, Translational Neuroscience, Center for Innovations in Brain Science, Professor, Pharmacology
John Streicher, phD, Assistant Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Todd Vanderah, PhD, Professor, College of Medicine - Tucson
Michael Worobey, PhD, Department Head, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Confirmed Panel Members

Ms. Aspinall is a healthcare industry leader and pioneer committed to active civic involvement. She is Co-Founder and Managing Director of BlueStone Venture Partners, a venture fund investing in life sciences technology companies in the US Southwest. She is also CEO of the Health Catalysts Group, a consulting firm dedicated to the growth of health information technology and diagnostics firms, publishing the popular Health Catalysts Diagnostics Year in Review. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Abcam plc (ABC), Allscripts (MDRX), Orasure (OSUR),Castle Biosciences (CSTL) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona. Prior to founding BlueStone, Ms. Aspinall had extensive experience in the risk-based capital industry. She has served as advisor on life sciences transactions for large venture capital and private equity firms. At BCBS Arizona, Ms. Aspinall chaired the Board of their strategic corporate venture fund, Trinnovate Ventures. As President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, a billion-dollar division of The Roche Group, (now Roche Tissue Diagnostics) Ms. Aspinall led her world-class team to new financial success, more than two dozen major instrument and assay launches as well as global leadership in companion diagnostics. Previously, she served as President of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. Genzyme Genetics grew into the country’s leading diagnostic testing company and was sold to LabCorp for $1 billion. A leader in educating payers and policymakers on personalized medicine, she served on the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Council on Genetics, Health & Society (SACGHS) in the Obama and Bush administrations. With a passion for education about the importance of diagnostics in healthcare, Ms. Aspinall co-founded the School of Biomedical Diagnostics at Arizona State University, the first and only program dedicated to Diagnostics as an independent discipline. ASU awarded their first Master degrees in Diagnostics in 2015 and has 120 students matriculating this year. Ms. Aspinall was named Arizona Biosciences Leader of the Year by the Arizona Biotechnology Association and one of “100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences” by PharmaVOICE magazine. She started her business career at the strategic consulting firm Bain & Company. Ms. Aspinall holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.

Mr. Sember is the Managing Director of UAVenture Capital. He also is the CEO of a portfolio company, Regulonix, a spin out of the U of Arizona dedicated to developing non-opioid drugs for the relief of chronic pain. Mr. Sember has over 40 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He is an accomplished executive, entrepreneur, leader and mentor. Sember has been the COO or CEO of 6 diverse companies ranging from drug discovery tools providers to therapeutically focused biotechnology companies to medical devices. Sember has also been active as a consultant to numerous companies, as well as active in industry organizations and community affairs. Most recently he served as a mentor to companies formed from inventions discovered at the University of Arizona. The foundation of Sember’s career was established at Marion Laboratories (later Marion Merrell Dow.) Sember performed in a wide range of functions from sales to clinical research and later to R&D program management. Following Marion Merrell Dow, Sember was Executive VP of Corporate Business Development for Élan Corporation, responsible for strategic collaborations and mergers and acquisitions. Sember has extensive public and private board experience and has an established track record in capital raises for both established and startup companies. Sember earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Rockhurst University.

Dr. Yu comes from a multidisciplinary scientific background and is actively involved in evaluating investment opportunities for Pappas Capital. Prior to joining Pappas, she worked as an analyst at M. Ventures, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, in Darmstadt, Germany. During her time at M. Ventures, Cookie performed market analysis in a wide range of life science and therapeutic areas for venture opportunities in alignment with global corporate strategies. She also served on the financial team and received training in venture fund controlling. Before joining venture investment, Cookie was a researcher at Stony Brook University, where she developed platform technologies in cardiac optogenetics and single cell analysis. In 2016, Cookie was selected as a recipient of the Program for Excellence in Science Award from AAAS. During her time at Stony Brook, Cookie also worked with the New York State Center for Biotechnology on assessing the commercial potential of discovery-stage programs and formulating their development and financing strategies. She supplemented her life science technical expertise with financial understanding by passing the CFA Level I exam. When she is not scouting new technologies, Cookie enjoys foraging wild mushrooms in the forests, traveling, and Latin dancing. Cookie holds a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University.

Program Timeline

Breakfast and Registration
7:30 – 8:00 a.m: Continental Breakfast

Morning Session:
8:00– 8:15 a.m: Welcome & Introduction
8:15 – 11:00 a.m:  Plenary Session
11:00 – 11:20 a.m: Overview of Capabilities

11:20-12:00 p.m. 

Afternoon Breakout Sessions - Choose one session:
12:00-1:00 p.m.

  • Session 1:  Diseases of Aging in Neurosciences
  • Session 2:  Cancer Research
  • Session 3:  Airway Diseases
  • Session 4:  Pain

External Panel, Closing Remarks and Networking:
1:10 – 2:00 p.m: External Panel Session
2:00 – 3:00 p.m: Closing remarks and networking