AZBio Board of Directors
Mara G. Aspinall
Partner, Illumina Ventures
President and CEO, Health Catalysts Group
Mara Aspinall is a healthcare industry leader and pioneer with a commitment to civic involvement.
She is a Partner at Illumina Ventures, an independent, global healthcare venture capital firm focused on genomics and precision health investing including diagnostics and therapeutic products. Aspinall has deep roots in venture investing, having co-founded BlueStone Venture Partners in 2017. BlueStone has a strong portfolio of diagnostic, medical device, and digital health companies in the U.S. Southwest.
Throughout her career, Aspinall has spearheaded initiatives to educate payers and policymakers on genomics and personalized medicine. She publishes the popular Sensitive and Specific: The Testing Newsletter and the annual Diagnostics Year in Review. This commitment to expanding knowledge inspired Aspinall to create and co-found the Biomedical Diagnostics master’s degree program at Arizona State University, the only program dedicated exclusively to diagnostics, genetics, and genomics.
Previously, Aspinall was President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, a billion-dollar division of TheRoche Group, (now Roche Tissue Diagnostics), a worldwide leader in the development and commercialization of tissue-based cancer diagnostics, where she led more than two dozen major instrument and assay launches and helped position the company as a global leader in companion diagnostics. Aspinall spent 13 years at Genzyme Corporation, where she served as President of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. Aspinall transformed the business from a small, specialized player to one of the top five laboratories in the U.S. while setting the industry standard for quality testing. The business was sold to LabCorp for $1 billion in 2010. Aspinall also served as Founder and CEO of On-Q-ity, a start-up diagnostic company dedicated to circulating tumor cells.
During the pandemic, Aspinall emerged as a national authority on COVID testing, serving as the principal investigator at Arizona State University on grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, creating TestingCommons.com and EvidenceCommons.com – internationally recognized interactive databases on COVID diagnostics and related research and clinical applications.
Aspinall was named Arizona Biosciences Leader of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association and one of “100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences” by PharmaVOICE magazine. Aspinall has extensive board experience. She has served on multiple public and private company boards in leadership roles over the last ten years. She is currently Chair of the Board of OraSure (OSUR) and Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee of Castle Biosciences (CSTL). She also serves on the board of BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona.
She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BA in International Relations from Tufts University, and is certified in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegie Mellon/NACD.