Heather Bimonte-Nelson, PhD of Arizona State University is the 2018 Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year

CHANDLER, Ariz — (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that Arizona State University Department of Psychology Professor Heather Bimonte-Nelson, PhD has been named the Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year. Dr. Bimonte-Nelson will be honored by Arizona’s bioscience and business communities for the diverse and innovative ways that she has inspired students of all ages at the 2018 AZBio Awards on October 3, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Heather Bimonte-Nelson had an idea 9 years ago to bring Neuroscience to 3rd graders who might not ever encounter advanced psychology. From that brainchild, the ASU Brain Fair for Children was born.

Her message to the students, “Knowledge is power. You can do anything in the world that you set your mind to! If you work hard in school, you can come to Arizona State University, you can go to college, you can be a scientist!”

Over the last decade, this program has offered over 7,000 third through fifth graders an understanding about the wonders of the brain, science, and the advantages of pursuing college. The Brain Fair for Children, run through the ASU Department of Psychology, with efforts from faculty, staff, and students have also brought more than 2,000 children to ASU, most from Title I schools in the Valley. Their goal: to show students that education gives them the power to decide their futures.

Heather Bimonte-Nelson, PhD is a professor in the behavioral neuroscience program in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, the Co-Director of the Research Education Component of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center, and an active member of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. Her most prized role as a scientist is mentor and teacher; she has mentored over a dozen doctoral students and over 100 high school and undergraduate students in her laboratory. Bimonte-Nelson’s goal in mentoring students is to help them find their science passion, to learn that the truth in nature drives exemplary scientific discovery, and to attain the knowledge that it is more important to be honest, use your voice, and be brave, than it is to be perfect.

For more than two decades, Bimonte-Nelson has conducted preclinical evaluations of multiple domains of cognitive function as related to aging, with a special focus on transitional and surgical menopause, and exogenous and endogenous hormone exposures across the lifespan. She has published more than 70 peer reviewed manuscripts evaluating hormone effects on the brain and behavior from early development until old age, with her earlier work showing that female brain organization is actively feminized by estrogens, and that estrogen exposures across the lifespan impact the female phenotype. The overarching goal of her research is to optimize the health of women into old age, encompassing discovery of menopause and hormone therapy lifetime trajectories to attain this mission. Moreover, she recently edited a book on the behavioral neuroscience of learning and memory.

“The ability to question, to explore, to discover and to apply it in a way that makes life better are the hallmarks of great researchers,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO of AZBio. “The ability to inspire others to join in the journey and ensure that future generations will continue to do so are the hallmarks of a great educator.  Heather Bimonte-Nelson excels in both of these areas.  Don’t take my word for it.  Ask her students.”

“Dr. Bimonte-Nelson is a true inspiration to all of the students’ lives she touches, from second-graders learning about brain cells for the first time to doctoral students completing the final steps of their dissertation. Her outreach efforts in the community as well as service to students at the university level are truly exceptional.”  — Stephanie Koebele

“Dr. Bimonte-Nelson whole-heartedly believes that every student has the potential to do great things in science with hard work and dedication. She is beloved by all of her students who find her energy and tenacity contagious.”   — Laura Mahady

“Dr. Bimonte-Nelson exemplifies what it means to “inspire students and encourage them in the biosciences” and she does it with great grace, leadership, and creativity” — Isabel Strouse

“Dr. Bimonte-Nelson inspired me to pursue neuroscience as an academic career. She played a very active role in shaping my future in Bioscience, and she continues to be a phenomenal role model for young women and young scientists.” — Gail Stonebarger

 “Dr. Bimonte-Nelson has become an inspiring role model to me – both in how to conduct great bioscience, as well as in how to educate students about our science within and outside a classroom setting.” — Alesia Prakapenka

“I honestly cannot think of a more inspiring educator and will do my best in my future in academia to emulate her, both as a professor and a research mentor.”  — Victoria Woner

For her commitment to developing the next generation of inquiring minds, Heather Bimonte-Nelson, PhD of Arizona State University is the 2018 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year.

A key component of Arizona Bioscience Week, The AZBio Awards & Life Science Fiesta brings together Arizona’s life science and leadership community with visitors from around the country to celebrate life-science innovation and innovators.  The  AZBio Awards takes place on the evening of October 3, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Highlights of the evening will include honoring Dr. Daniel D.  Von Hoff with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement and a celebration of the achievements of leading researchers, educators, and innovator companies.  The Life Science Fiesta following the award ceremony features a Student Discovery Zone that showcases the work of fifty students from Arizona high schools, community colleges, and universities along with exhibits featuring Arizona companies and patient advocacy organizations. The AZBio Awards & Life Science Fiesta are presented by AZBio and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The White Hat Life Science Investor Conference (White Hat 2018) brings together the next generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers from across the Rocky Mountain & Southwest Region with investors locally, nationally, and internationally.  Held at the Phoenix Convention Center on October 4, 2018, White Hat 2018 is a collaboration between the bioscience industry associations across the region. The conference showcases investment opportunities for investment into privately-held companies in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, and health information technology. Thirty-two companies have been competitively selected by a committee of experienced life science investors to present at White Hat 2018. Companies that presented at White Hat in 2014 and 2016 have gone on to receive almost $200 million in investment from private investors and corporate investors.

For more information on Arizona Bioscience Week, visit www.AZBio.org/AZBW2018.   

For more information on the 2018 AZBio Awards, visit www.AZBioAwards.com

For more information about White Hat 2018, visit www.WhiteHatInvestors.com.

About AZBio

For 15 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.   

For more information visit www.AZBio.org and www.AZBio.TV

AZBio Media Contact: 

Joan Koerber-Walker, Arizona Bioindustry Association

jkw@azbio.org  480-332-9636

Images available upon request.

Posted in AZBio News.