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ASU cancer expert Raymond DuBois to keynote AZBio Expo

Raymond DuBois
May 21, 2013

Internationally renowned cancer expert Raymond DuBois will give the lunchtime keynote address at the Arizona BioIndustry Association’s AZBio Expo, May 30, at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center, 2100 S. Priest Dr., Tempe. He will speak about emerging discoveries from ASU’s Biodesign Institute, the state’s largest research facility.

The presentation and the conference will support the Arizona bioindustry’s focus and efforts on bridging the gap between new discoveries and the development and delivery of innovative marketplace solutions. 

“In one day, the AZBio Expo provides a statewide update of what is happening in the bioscience industry,” says Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of AZBio. “We are delighted to welcome someone of Dr. DuBois’ stature to the Valley and look for his leadership in cancer research and translation to stimulate Arizona’s community of researchers, innovative companies and investors.”

Previously with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, physician-scientist DuBois came to the Valley in December 2012 to lead the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. In his own research, he examines the molecular mechanisms by which inflammatory mediators affect epithelial biology, the tumor microenvironment, carcinogenesis and development. 

The Biodesign Institute that DuBois leads is spearheading ASU’s innovative application of bio-inspired research that fuses previously separate scientific fields to serve as a model for 21st century academic research. Its entrepreneurial research culture attracts scientists uniquely capable of working across disciplines and in close cooperation with industry. 

In addition to his ASU responsibilities, DuBois’ appointment includes co-leadership of the Cancer Prevention Program at the Mayo Clinic, which has a hospital and clinic, and is developing a medical school campus in the Phoenix area. DuBois is also the Dalton Chair in ASU’s School of Health Solutions and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“We can achieve so much forward momentum by bringing the state’s bioscientists together,” says DuBois. “I am looking forward to learning more about Arizona’s scientific capabilities and entrepreneurial efforts.”

In the 1990s, DuBois and colleagues reported that colorectal tumors contained high levels of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). This enzyme is a key step in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2. The DuBois team was the first to show that colorectal cancers over-expressed COX-2 and their research defined a series of critical molecular pathways involved in COX-2 expression – namely, that blocking or inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme would cause colorectal tumors to shrink. This work led to clinical trials and the treatment of precancerous polyps with Celebrex, an arthritis drug that selectively inhibits COX-2.  

Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona’s 4th Congressional District will address conference-goers prior to the DuBois keynote address. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Conference tickets are available at