Governor Doug Ducey will address Arizona’s Life Science Innovation Community at the Peak of Arizona Bioscience Week during the 11th Annual AZBio Awards.


Chandler, Arizona –September 6, 2016–The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will address the life science, education, and business leaders assembled to celebrate the 11th annual AZBio Awards on September 21, 2016 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Ducey has made it his mission to make Arizona the best state in the country to live, work, do business and get an education.  To achieve this goal, the Governor made growing the economy, creating and supporting 21st-century jobs, promoting educational excellence, protecting our communities and restoring fiscal responsibility – all without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans – his top priorities.

“Arizona’s bioscience and healthcare industries’ efforts to discover, develop, and deliver the life-saving and life changing innovations makes life better today and for future generations,” said Governor Ducey.  “These innovations support our economic health as well – providing the opportunity for high-wage, high quality careers.”

Arizona is home to one of the top emerging biotech sectors in the United States.  According to a 2016 report by TEConomy Partners and sponsored by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) , Arizona’s bioscience industry has grown in recent years and by 2014 state bioscience firms employed just over 24,000 in nearly 1,300 business establishments. The industry’s Direct-Effect Employment Multiplier is 5.2 and creates a Total Employment Impact in Arizona of over 124,000 people. State academic institutions accounted for nearly $400 million in bioscience-related R&D expenditures in 2014 and NIH funding to these and other non-academic institutions totaled $150.6 million in 2015. Arizona inventors have had 1,751 patents issued in bioscience-related classes since 2012, primarily in medical and surgical devices but also in drugs and pharmaceuticals, microbiology and genetics, and in biochemistry.

“Arizona has continued to rise in the national rankings since the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap was created in 2002,”stated AZBio president & CEO Joan Koerber-Walker.  “Significant public and private investments have resulted in a solid foundation that Arizona’s life science industry continues to build upon.  Today, thanks to the continued support and leadership of the Flinn Foundation and the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee , we have a roadmap that lays out the key strategies and actions that, when successfully completed, will impact our growth through the year 2025. The members of AZBio are committed to making Arizona a top-tier bioscience state and supporting the efforts of the life science innovators who will take us there. The 2016 AZBio Awards honorees are great examples individuals and companies who will take us towards this goal.”

The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators, innovators and companies. Each year, AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across the state of Arizona who are illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of its bioscience industry.   The 2016 honorees are:

2016 AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement: 

George Poste, DVM, DSc, PhD, FRC Path, FRS, Arizona State University

2016 Bioscience Company of the Year:


2016 Public Service Award Honoree:

United States Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema

2016 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

Stephen Albert Johnston, Center for Innovations in Medicine, Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

Michael A. Cusanovich Bioscience Educator of the Year

Marni Landry, Paradise Valley High School (CREST)

Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the Year:

Mara G. Aspinall

AZBio Fast Lane Award Honorees:

Beacon Biomedical, Inc.


Systems Imagination, Inc.

The AZBio Awards mark the high point of Arizona Bioscience Week and include an Innovation Showcase from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM in the North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center which is free and open to the public.  Ten innovative and award winning companies will offer short presentations on how their life science innovations are making life better for people in Arizona and around the world.

The program continues at 4:00 PM with the AZBio Awards opening reception which features the Student Discovery Zone and showcases the work of talented young researchers from Arizona’s high schools, community colleges, and universities.

Governor Ducey will address the attending leaders from across Arizona and around the country at the AZBio Awards Gala during the opening ceremonies which begin at 6:00 PM.  Following the Governor’s remarks, Dr. George Poste will be honored with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Dr. George Poste

Dr. George Poste is Chief Scientist, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI), Regents’ Professor and Del E. Webb Chair in Health Innovation at Arizona State University. He assumed this post in February 2009. This program links expertise across the university in research on synthetic biology, ubiquitous sensing and healthcare informatics for personalized medicine.

He founded the Biodesign Institute at ASU and served as Director for 2003 to 2009. In creating this Institute, Dr. Poste designed and built 400,000 sq. ft. of new facilities, achieved cumulative research funding of $300 million and recruited over 60 faculty, including three members of the National Academies of Science and Engineering.

Dr. Poste serves on the Board of Directors of Monsanto (since 2003), Exelixis (since 2004), Caris Life Sciences (since 2005), and the Scientific Advisory Board of Synthetic Genomics (since 2009).  From 1992 to 1999 he was Chief Science and Technology Officer and President, R&D of SmithKline Beecham (SB).  During his tenure at SB he was associated with the successful registration of 31 drug, vaccine and diagnostic products.  In 2004 he was named as ‘R&D Scientist of the Year’ by R&D Magazine, in 2006 he received the Einstein award from the Global Business Leadership Council and in 2009 received the Scrip Lifetime Achievement award voted by the leadership of the global pharmaceutical industry.

Michael Fitzpatrick headshot

Michael Fitzpatrick

In addition to insights offered by Governor Ducey and Dr. George Poste, the AZBio Awards will feature a special musical invocation by internationally renowned cellist Michael Fitzpatrick and video vignettes honoring each of the 2016 AZBio Award honorees.  The program will conclude at 8:30 PM.

Arizona Bioscience Week, September 18 – 24, 2016, was proclaimed by the Arizona Senate earlier this year.  The proclamation was read on the Senate floor by Health and Human Services Chairman, Senator Nancy Barto and signed by Senate President Andy Biggs. Arizona Bioscience Week (AzBW) includes educational workshops presented from SBIR Program Managers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), educational sessions for life science innovators and investors, the AZBio Awards, and the White Hat Life Science Investor Conference which will connect life science investors with exciting life science companies from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region.

“Arizona is the place where 21st Century companies are delivering products and services that make our economy strong.  In the case of our bioscience and healthcare industries, they also have the double-bottom line impact of making life better for the people of Arizona,” added Governor Ducey. “I look forward to joining the celebration at the 2016 AZBio Awards and working with our bioscience industry leaders to make Arizona the place where life science companies are born, grow, and deliver on the opportunities they create for people today and for future generations of Arizonans.”

“Working together as industry, government, and investors, we can make Arizona a top-tier bioscience state,” added Koerber-Walker. “We are honored to have Governor Ducey join us at the AZBio Awards and are committed to working with him to support his vision for Arizona.”


To learn more about the AZBio Awards, please visit

To view the full schedule of Arizona Bioscience Week Events, please visit

About AZBio

A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (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.

For more information visit  and www.AZBio.TV


Joan Koerber-Walker, Arizona Bioindustry Association   480-332-9636


Amanda Vega   (480) 275-9797



Photos available upon request.

Media passes are available.

Posted in AZBio News.