ASU dominates the AZBio awards


Stephen Albert Johnston AZBio Awards

Stephen Albert Johnston, a scientist and inventor was recognized as the 2016 AZBio Researcher of the Year.

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The energy in the room was high when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey addressed the hundreds that gathered Wednesday night to celebrate this year’s best leaders and scientists in Arizona’s Bioscience Industry. Among the winners were three Arizona State University innovators, recognized for their tenacity and innovation in advancing bioscience.

George Poste, an ASU Regents' Professor recognized for a lifetime of leadership, and disruption in life sciences, noted in his acceptance speech that the Bioscience community should be proud of their accomplishments, but always continue looking forward.

“The best part of being a researcher is that we live in the future,” said Poste, winner of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement. From the front of the room his strong, rumbling voice urged the Bioscience community to recognize the forthcoming grand challenges of their time, like cancer, an affliction that claims the lives of 600,000 people every year, and find solutions.

ASU inventor Stephen Albert Johnston received the AZBio Researcher of the Year award for doing just that. In the past 10 years, Johnston has developed a cancer vaccine that will soon be tested to see if it can prevent healthy dogs from getting cancer. He was also recognized for inventing a diagnostic technology, called immunosignaturing, that can be used to monitor lifelong health or diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s and Valley Fever.

Mara G Aspinall, a biotech industry executive and co-founder of the ASU International School of Biomedical Diagnostics, received the Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the year award for her local and international leadership in biomedical diagnostics.

Other award recipients included: Bioscience Company of the Year, GlobalMed, a small business based in Scottsdale, Arizona that delivers global telemedicine. Public Service Award Honoree, United States Congresswoman Krysten Sinema. Bioscience Educator of the year, Marni Landry, a life science teacher at Paradise Valley high School.

AZBio is an organization that brings together Arizona’s leaders in commercial business, health, education, policy and science to build relationships that foster increasing energy and opportunity to find those solutions. 

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