Mara G. Aspinall, Diagnostic Industry Leader, Named Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year

The Arizona Bioindustry Association has named Mara G. Aspinall as the 2016 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year in recognition of her leadership locally, nationally, and internationally in the field of biomedical diagnostics and for her roles as an active leader in Arizona’s life science community.

AZBio Awards 2016 BookEnd_Aspinall_web

“Great leaders are able to bring people together to pursue a common goal and help them to achieve it,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO, of the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio). “Biomedical diagnostics are some of the least understood and most undervalued resources we have in our healthcare tool kit. Mara Aspinall is on a mission to change that.   Most importantly, she does more than just talk about it.  She is taking action and making a positive impact.”

A biotech industry executive and healthcare pioneer, Aspinall is President and CEO of HealthCatalysts, an investment firm dedicated to the growth of new healthcare companies.

Aspinall is Executive Chairman of GenePeeks, a computational genomics company creating a paradigm shift in genetic testing and personalized medicine.  GenePeeks’ proprietary technology can identify the risk of passing on disease to progeny pre-conception through data mining the maternal and paternal genomes.

She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), Abcam plc (AIM:ABC), Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona, Castle Biosciences and the Arizona Bioindustry Association.

Aspinall is the former President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems division of Roche, worldwide leader in development and commercialization of tissue-based cancer diagnostics.  She previously spent 12 years as President of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, the leading genetic disease testing and treatment companies.   The hallmark of her leadership is building powerful teams to create unique value.

Passionate about educating the healthcare community on the importance of diagnostics and personalized medicine, Aspinall co-founded the International School of Biomedical Diagnostics at Arizona State University.  The first school in the world dedicated entirely to Diagnostics as an independent discipline, the School just welcomed its third class of Master Degree students.  Aspinall also lectures on diagnostics at the University of Arizona Medical School, Phoenix.

“Diagnostics are the glue that should hold the healthcare system together,” stated Mara Aspinall.  “Patients have nothing without an accurate and timely diagnosis.  One hundred years ago medicine had few effective therapies but focused on diagnosis. Today we have more advanced therapies but don’t focus enough on the specific diagnosis. Change is just beginning.”

Understanding the critical role access to capital plays in the innovation process, Aspinall co-founded and chairs the Arizona Biosciences Board, a CEO group focused on improving opportunities for innovation based technology companies in the state.  Committed to Arizona businesses, she is also an active board member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Sun Corridor.

In recognition of her leadership locally, nationally, and internationally in the field of biomedical diagnostics and for her roles as an active leader in Arizona’s life science community, Mara G. Aspinall is the Arizona Bioindustry Association’s 2016 Jon W. McGarity  Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year.

A ceremony honoring Mara Aspinall will take place at the AZBio Awards on September 21, 2016 at the Phoenix Convention Center. 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 the bioscience industry.

Past recipients of the Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year Award include:  Lynn Hudson, Jack B. Jewett  (Flinn Foundation),  Linda Hunt (Dignity Health),  Harry George (Solstice Capital),  Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D. (International Genomics Consortium),  Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D. (NantHealth),  Martin L. Shultz (Pinnacle West Capital Corp.),  Michael Cusanovich, Ph.D., (University of Arizona),  Jonathan Thatcher (Exeter Life Sciences),  John W. Murphy (Flinn Foundation),  and George Poste (Arizona State University).


For registration and more information, go to

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.


Posted in AZBio News.