College of Medicine – Tucson Research Retreat | Research Day 2019

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 7:00am

Research Day 2019

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February 13, 2019
7AM - 5PM
Health Sciences Innovation Building, Forum on the Main Level

The College of Medicine – Tucson will host a daylong event for basic scientists and clinicians to spur interdisciplinary collaboration.

The event will feature keynotes from experts, data blitzes, demonstrations, and a shark tank competition.


If you would like to attend Research Day 2019, please take a moment to register by clicking on the button below.


Contact Ross Dubois at with any questions.

Flyer for this event:  research-day-flyer-5.5x8.5.v3g-latest.pdf

Schedule of the Day

7:00 AM | Early Bird Data Blitz Session
8:00 AM | Breakfast
9:00 AM | Opening Remarks
9:10 AM | TED-Style Keynote
     Esther M. Sternberg, MD
     "Measuring Health, Wellbeing and Performance Non-invasively: From molecules to the environment"

9:40 AM | Strategic Pillar Data Blitzes (concurrent sessions)
          Data Blitz 1
          Data Blitz 2
11:15 AM | TED-Style Keynote
     Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD
     "Innovations in Brain Science of the Future for Those Who Need a Cure Today"

11:40 PM | Lunch
1:00 PM | Strategic Pillar Data Blitzes (concurrent sessions)
          Data Blitz Session 3
          Data Blitz Session 4
          Data Blitz Session 5
2:25 PM | TED-Style Keynote
     Nirav C. Merchant, PhD
     "Working alongside Thinking Machines"

3:05 PM | Shark Tank Competition:
     Come see Drs. Louise Hecker, Michael Kuhns, Marvin Slepian, Eugene Chang, Nathaniel Hart, and Monica Kraft/Julie Ledford give their pitches for their research projects. UA President Robert Robbins, MD, and UAHS Senior Vice President Michael Dake, MD, are among judges. Winning team earns $10,000 prize. 
4:30 PM | Demonstrations and Networking Session with Beverage Service

Live Streaming

The Research Day EVENT will be streamed live online hereVideo play icon - red

An archived version of the EVENT will also be available shortly after the event concludes.

Please note: In some locations (e.g., places of business) you may not be able to obtain the live feed due to firewall or security restrictions. Please check this same site in advance for information about internet connection requirements.

[NOTE: Scroll to bottom for Parking, Maps and Disabled Access]

Keynote Presenters

Esther M. Sternberg, MDEsther M. Sternberg, MD
"Measuring health, wellbeing and performance non-invasively: from molecules to the environment"

Internationally recognized pioneer in brain-immune interactions, sweat biomarker detection, and design and health, Dr. Sternberg is Research Director, UA Center for Integrative Medicine, Founding Director of the UA Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, and Research Professor of Medicine, UA Colleges of Medicine and Psychology. She leads multi-disciplinary, multi-organization teams to develop and apply non-invasive devices to measure health, wellbeing and performance from molecules to the environment. Working with the Air Force Research Labs she is developing devices for measuring biomarkers in sweat, and with the US General Services Administration and IARPA, measuring the impact of the built office environment on occupant health. Her recently published landmark paper with the GSA using wearable devices to measure the impact of office design on activity and stress responses, has received world-wide media attention. As Senior Scientist and Section Chief at the National Institutes of Health (1986-2012), she led multi-Institute, multi-Agency teams, including with NIH – FDA – CDC to solve the 1989 L-Tryptophan Eosinophilia Myalgia epidemic. She has authored >220 scholarly articles, 2 popular books, and edited 8 technical books. She has received the highest NIH, HHS, and FDA awards, was recognized by the National Library of Medicine as one of 300 women who “Changed the Face of Medicine,” received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin for her work, and served as member (2013-2018) and Chair (2018) of NLM’s Board of Regents. She received her M.D. from McGill University, and trained in rheumatology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada.

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhDRoberta Diaz Brinton, PhD
"Innovations in brain science of the future for those who need a cure today"

Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton leads the University of Arizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science. She is an internationally recognized expert in Alzheimer’s, sex differences in the disease and is developing the first regenerative therapeutic for Alzheimer’s. Her insights into the transition states of the aging brain that lead to age-related neurodegenerative disease reveal therapeutic opportunities to prevent, delay and treat neurodegenerative disease. In the Center for Innovation in Brain Science, Brinton brings her expertise in age-related neurodegenerative disease to the investigation of three other neurodegenerative disease of aging, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS.

Brinton earned her Ph.D. as an NIH Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona and went on to Rockefeller University as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.  Subsequently, Brinton joined the University of Southern California faculty where she was Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering and Neurology. Currently, Brinton is Professor of Pharmacology, Neuroscience and Neurology in the College of Medicine, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy Professor of Psychology in the College of Science, member of the McKnight Brain Institute and Director of the UAHS Center for Innovation in Brain Science. She serves on the National Institute of Aging Scientific Advisory Board, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation Board of Governors and serves on National Institute of Health review panels. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and philanthropic organizations.

Nirav C. Merchant, PhDNirav C. Merchant, PhD
"Working alongside thinking machines"

Nirav Merchant is the Co-PI for NSF CyVerse a national scale Cyberinfrastructure for life sciences and NSF Jetstream the first user-friendly, scalable cloud environment for NSF XSEDE. Over the last two decades his research has been directed towards developing scalable computational platforms for supporting open science and open innovation, with emphasis on improving research productivity for geographically distributed interdisciplinary teams. His interests include data science literacy, large-scale data management platforms, data delivery technologies, managed sensor and mobile platforms for health interventions, workforce development, and project based learning. He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial engineering from the University of Pune, India, and graduate degree in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona (1994).

Three views of HSIB building at UA College of Medicine – TucsonParking

The Highland Garage, located on Helen St. just west of Cherry Ave., is the closest to the Health Sciences Innovation Building. 

For available limited disability-accessible parking, please contact Ross Dubois at

Map and Directions

► Interactive campus parking map
► Directions to Health Sciences Innovation Building


The majority of the forum is open seating, except for areas marked off.

Floor plan of breakout sessions will be released closer to the event.

Event Location: 

Health Sciences Innovation Building
University of Arizona Health Sciences Campus
1616 E. Drachman St.
Tucson, AZ 85719

Contact Info: 

CONTACT: Ross Dubois | (520) 626-9037 |