Dr Lisa M Rimsza Named Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

The 2023 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year, Dr. Lisa M. Rimsza,  is seen as a world leader in lymphoma biology.  She is also an expert in clinical hematopathology as well as a life-long educator and  mentor.

Lisa Rimsza, M.D. (Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic.)

Lisa M. Rimsza, M.D,  is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Getz Family Research Professorship, and Consultant – Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona   

“Dr. Rimsza is a world leader in lymphoma biology,” stated Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBIO) “She is also a life-long educator, who has mentored many colleagues, residents, fellows, and medical students.  We are pleased to honor her at the 2023 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year.”

Arizona’s life science community will gather on September 27, 2023 at the Phoenix Convention Center to honor Dr. Rimsza at the AZBio Awards

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s germ-fighting network. The lymphatic system includes the lymph nodes (lymph glands), spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow. Lymphoma can affect all those areas as well as other organs throughout the body. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most frequent type of lymphoma in the US, displays a varied prognosis and response to therapy. In this particular type of lymphoma, cell of origin has significant prognostic implications and a dependable reproducible assay with broad application is essential for best possible patient care.

Dr. Rimsza has an extensive track record of translational research that directly addresses the unmet needs of patients with cancer, using an individualized therapy approach. She has shared her work in more than 200 peer reviewed publications. Her published work and ongoing projects exemplify Dr. Rimsza’s expertise and consistent focus in tissue based translational research from discovery to assay development for use in clinical trials or commercialization for use in clinical practice. As a Clinician-Investigator, she has used her expertise as a diagnostic hematopathologist to identify important gaps in the management of patients with  lymphoma.

Dr. Rimsza has maintained an NIH-funded laboratory for 25 years. The focus of her lab includes basic tumor genomics, functional studies, biobanking, support of clinical trials, and assay development including bringing assays through patenting to laboratory developed tests to licensing to FDA registrational studies. She also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, which oversees much of the privately funded lymphoma research in the US.

In collaboration with the Leukemia Molecular Profiling Project (LLMPP), Dr. Rimsza identified a gene signature for accurate molecular sub-typing of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). She then used this signature to develop a clinical assay, called the “Lymph2Cx”, which was patented by the National Cancer Institute. In 2016, she started offering this clinical assay for Mayo Clinic patients through the Molecular Diagnostics Arizona Laboratory (MDAZL). A commercial license was issued for this invention. Dr. Rimsza has helped commercialize the Lymph2Cx with the technology platform developer (Nanostring, Seattle, WA) as a companion diagnostic and as a stand-alone in vitro diagnostic kit. This example, along with 6 other patent licenses, illustrates Dr. Rimsza’s ability to perform impactful research that moves effectively from bedside to bench and back to bedside, affecting the treatment of many patients.

Dr. Rimsza has also made other significant advances in this field of research, which form a pipeline of products to address the management of patients with lymphoma.

A life-long educator, Dr. Rimsza has mentored many colleagues, residents, fellows, and medical students. Leading by example, she is inspiring our next generation of bioscience researchers and clinicians.

About The Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBio)

For 20 years, the Arizona Bioindustry Association has supported life science innovation and life science innovators in Arizona. A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, AZBio is the only statewide organization exclusively focused on Arizona’s bioscience and medical technology industry. AZBio membership includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators, educators, healthcare partners, and leading business organizations. AZBio and its members work to advance health innovation and to ensure that the value delivered by our community’s life-changing and lifesaving innovations benefits people in Arizona and around the world. For more information on AZBio, visit www.AZBio.org. 

For more information on the AZBio Awards, visit www.AZBioAwards.com.

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

Posted in AZBio News.