Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton is the Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in the cause and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  Her findings have re-shaped how the field understands the disease and unlocked the potential for new and innovative therapies to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s. Dr. Brinton will be honored by Arizona’s life science and healthcare community at the AZBio Awards on September 28, 2022 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD

Delivering cures for one of this century’s greatest health challenges: Alzheimer’s disease

It was the summer of ’77, and young Robbie Brinton was getting ready for freshman year at the University of Arizona.  It was the start of an academic and research career that would include a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology, a Master’s degree in neuropsychology, and a Doctorate in psychobiology and neuropharmacology all awarded from the University of Arizona.  The newly minted Dr. Brinton went east for post-doctoral research at Rockefeller University in New York and then headed west to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles where she rose through the ranks to full Professor.  In 2016, Robbie returned to her alma mater to serve as Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science, and Professor of Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Psychology and Neurology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

In 2021, Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, was inducted as a Regents Professor, a title awarded to full Professors who have made transformative and distinguished accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, research, and creative work.

In 2022, she is being honored as the Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year.

Dr. Brinton is an internationally recognized expert in the cause and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  Her findings have re-shaped how the field understands the disease and unlocked the potential for new and innovative therapies to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.

More than 20 years ago, Dr. Brinton had two fundamental insights that have, after years of research, yielded major breakthroughs in understanding the etiology of Alzheimer’s and therapeutics to prevent, delay and treat the disease.  Her insights, which predated the advent of precision medicine, formed the basis for programs of research that are critical to personalized therapeutic care for Alzheimer’s disease.  

Her research has advanced prevention and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in three critical areas:

Discovery of mechanisms that increase risk of Alzheimer’s in women who represent two thirds of people with the disease and sex differences in the mechanisms leading to Alzheimer’s disease in men and women.

Translation of her discoveries into innovative strategies to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. 

Clinical trials that include PhytoSERM to sustain brain health in women[i] and the ReGEN Brain trial of allopregnanolone to regenerate the Alzheimer’s brain for both men and women.[ii]

Dr. Brinton is the founding Director of The Center for Innovation in Brain Science (CIBS) at the University of Arizona. CIBS is a hybrid ecosystem that leverages the best of innovative university research with the mission focus and management of a biotech. CIBS mission is dedicated to innovations in brain science of the future for those who need a cure today. CIBS research and therapeutic development are focused on age related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS. Over the past five years, CIBS has generated over $100 million in Federal research investment, 8 patents and launched 7 start-ups.

Her commitment to translational science and Arizona biotechnology inspired Dr. Brinton to found the biotech start-up NeuTherapeutics. Enabled by University of Arizona’s Tech Launch Arizona, NeuTherapeutics, was launched to ensure that the first regenerative medicine for Alzheimer’s disease reaches those who need a cure today.

Dr. Brinton serves on the National Institutes of Health scientific boards and panels, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) Board of Governors. She has over 250 scientific publications, over a 1000 media multiple patents. Her honors include the 2022 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year, Alzheimer’s Drug Discover Foundation Scientist of the Year, the Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, and the 2010 U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal, which is the highest civilian honor possible, for her work to advance STEM education for underserved students.

[i] clinical trials.gov NCT01723917

[ii] clinical trials.gov NCT02221622; NCT04838301

About AZBio

For the last 19 years, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) 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 industry. AZBio membership includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators, educators, healthcare partners and leading business organizations. AZBio is the statewide affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and works in partnership with AdvaMed, MDMA and PhRMA to advance innovation and to ensure that the value delivered from life-changing and life-saving innovation benefits people in Arizona and around the world. To learn more, please visit www.azbio.org.

For AZBio Awards information, please visit www.AZBioAwards.com.

Posted in AZBio News.