Featured Spotlights

Teaser image for Dr. O'Neill picked for national Health and Aging Policy Fellowship
Dr. Lisa O’Neill Picked Among a Dozen National Health and Aging Policy Fellows

University of Arizona Geriatrics faculty member Dr. Lisa O’Neill was named a 2019-20 Health and Aging Policy Fellow with Columbia University’s National Program Office and travels to Washington, DC, in September for orientation on the year-long program.


Commercialization Network Manager Eric Smith addresses a gathering of students for I-Corps, one of TLA's programs to prepare startup teams for success. (Photo: Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona)
284 Inventions Disclosed in FY19 Sets Record for UA, Says Tech Launch Arizona

University of Arizona employees disclosed 284 inventions in fiscal year 2019 – more than any other year in the university's history. The record-setting number is included in annual numbers just released by Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from research. Among the startups assisted by TLA this past year was Fibronox, which is working to treat fibrotic disorders with Nox4 small molecular inhibitors invented by Dr. Louise Hecker…


Teaser image for story on Banner Health's sponsorship of 5 murals by 4 local artists in Tucson
Banner Sponsors New Murals by Local Artists to Brighten Tucson Streets

The artwork of four local artists is being celebrated in five murals at locations around Tucson commissioned by Banner – University Medicine. “The city’s vibrant arts scene and colorful murals are part of what makes Tucson special,” said Dr. Chad Whelan, CEO of Banner Health’s academic division and an internist in the University of Arizona Department of Medicine. “We were looking for relaxing artwork that speaks to health, healing and togetherness”…


Drs. Linda Garland, Sam Kim and Daruka Mahadevan with blood vials
UA Startup to Commercialize Blood Test for Most Major Cancers

Researchers with the University of Arizona Cancer Center and UA College of Pharmacy have developed a new blood test that can detect most major cancers and have launched a startup, DesertDx, to bring the invention to doctors and their patients. Collaborators with company principals Dr. Mark Nelson, Dr. Bernard Futscher and Lukas Vrba include Drs. Linda Garland, Samuel Kim and Daruka Mahadevan, of the lung cancer research and phase 1 clinical trials teams…


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Detecting Dementia's Damaging Effects on the Brain Before the Point of No Return

By studying a rare form of dementia, researchers—led by assistant professor in the UA Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Dr. Aneta Kielar—might have found a way to detect neurodegeneration before brain cells are lost for good. Earlier detection could provide therapeutic drug treatments a chance to work…


Teaser image for story on Dr. Louise Hecker as TLA I-Squared Awards 'Inventor of the Year'
Dr. Louise Hecker Named ‘Inventor of the Year’ at Tech Launch Arizona’s I-Squared Awards

At its 6th Annual I-Squared (I²) Expo & Awards, Tech Launch Arizona recognized the greatest contributors to the local ecosystem of invention and commercialization from both inside and outside the University of Arizona. Dr. Louise Hecker, a respiratory researcher with the UA Department of Medicine whose BIO5 lab invented the first highly selective Nox4 small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of fibrotic disorders, including those affecting the lungs, was named the 2019 I-Squared Inventor of the Year…


Teaser image for story on Dr. Louise Hecker's company, Fibronox, licensing fibrotic disease therapy her lab developed from UA
Fibronox Licenses UA-Developed Small Molecule Inhibitor to Treat Life-Threatening Scarring

For many, time does not heal all wounds. That may be about to change. In the UA BIO5 Institute lab of Louise Hecker, PhD, researchers have developed the first highly selective Nox4 small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of fibrotic diseases. Her work has been funded by BIO5, the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The UA has licensed the technology to startup Fibronox to bring the invention to the public…


CB2 Director Dr. Yves Lussier with Wesley Chiu, a high school student from Tucson who participated in the Keys Internship program last summer.
Keys Internships Lead to Scientific Publication for High School Students

Summer internships in the UA Health Sciences Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics laboratory of Dr. Yves Lussier at the BIO5 Institute led to realization of a prestigious scientific goal for three local students. The students participated in the KEYS Research Internship program this past summer working with both Drs. Lussier and Haiquan Li and helping to validate findings of a study that analyzed "junk DNA," the area of the DNA that does not code for proteins, and disease comorbidities…


UA Collaboration Aims at Stopping Cancer with a Smartphone

Using an affordable, portable device that attaches to a smartphone, a University of Arizona researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and College of Optical Sciences, Dr. Dongkyun “DK” Kang and his collaborators in Boston and Uganda hope to save lives in rural Africa. With these confocal microscope attachments on a smartphone, they’re able to diagnose skin cancers and cervical cancers…


Teaser image for Dr. Jennifer Barton and a falloposcope
UA Researchers Make Next Move in Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

With an $863,000 grant from the U.S. Army, Dr. Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona BIO5 Institute director and professor of biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, electrical and computer engineering and optical sciences, continues her research on a disposable falloposcope to detect early-stage ovarian cancer. The device is an endoscope used to image fallopian tubes, where researchers now believe ovarian cancer originates…


A quilt of Dr. Omavi Bailey's experiences in traditional healing and sleep medicine
Graduating Sleep Fellow Holds Distinction of First NIH K12 Award for UA Health Sciences

Dr. Omavi Bailey, who graduates soon from the University of Arizona Sleep Medicine Fellowship, knows a lot about how a good night’s rest or lack thereof affects health and your mental state—particularly for men of African descent. His perspectives on the subject are as diverse as the life experiences from which he draws them, spanning Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. Hear him at Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds, Sept. 13, or the Sleep Medicine Lecture, Sept. 28…


Dr. Louise Hecker and her research team in lab at BIO5 Institute
Cure for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Target of UA Research Team with $4.4M DoD Grant

Dr. Louise Hecker leads the University of Arizona Health Sciences multidisciplinary research team that will develop and test pharmaceutical compounds for safety and efficacy in halting and potentially reversing this progressive lung disease of aging that has no cure—with most patients surviving only three years after diagnosis...


University of Arizona Drs. Esther Sternberg and Casey Lindberg publish paper on office space and your health
Is Your Office Affecting Your Health?

Workers in open office seating had less daytime stress and greater daytime activity levels compared to workers in private offices and cubicles, according to new research led by the University of Arizona Institute for Place, Wellbeing and Performance’s Drs. Esther Sternberg and Casey Lindberg. A paper on the topic was published in August in the journal, Occupational and Environmental Medicine...


Dr. Steve Goldman Appointed to C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at UA Sarver Heart Center Steve Goldman, MD, a highly productive heart research scientist and cardiology professor, was named to fill the Pfeiffer Chair.

Inactive (top) and active form (bottom) of the MAPK p38 enzyme
Enzyme's Movement May Be Key to New Cancer Drugs

Revealing all the steps required to activate an enzyme called a protein kinase may identify new ways to target cancer, according to new University of Arizona-led research. First and senior authors, Drs. Senthil K. Ganesan and Wolfgang Peti, a member of the BIO5 Institute and UA Cancer Center, show their work in an article in the May 1 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee with dual-view endoscopic probe
Tech Launch Arizona Assists GI Doc in Licensing Dual-View Endoscope Developed at UA

UA researchers Drs. Bhaskar Banerjee, a gastroenterologist, and Rongguang “Ron” Liang, in optical sciences, have invented a dual-view probe for medical endoscopy demonstrated to increase polyp detection rates 58 percent to 98 percent. Their startup, Omniscient, is working to bring the technology to the marketplace to aid patients who may suffer from colon cancer. Other uses are being explored…


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UA Cancer Researchers Push New Frontiers in Immunotherapy

Cancer patients' immune systems are receiving a boost from checkpoint inhibitors and other lab-made antibodies that train T cells to attack cancer. This expanded understanding of cancer, genetics and immunobiology could revolutionize treatment. Researchers at the UA Cancer Center and Division of Hematology and Oncology are at the forefront of this new frontier. See what Drs. Julie Bauman, Daruka Mahadevan, Clara Curiel and Hani Babiker have to say about it…


A child gets help with an asthma inhaler
Stopping Asthma in Childhood, Goal of $3.6M UA-Led International Consortium Funded by NIH

Dr. Stefano Guerra, a respiratory scientist at the UA Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, will lead an international effort—in partnership with investigative cohorts in Sweden and the UK—to target deficits of the protein CC16 as an indicator of likely persistence of asthma into adulthood. Results could lead to personalized therapies for chronic asthma and COPD patients. Read the Q&A…


Banner Debuts New North Campus Clinics Building ahead of Dec. 28 Opening

UA News takes a look at the upcoming grand opening of Banner – University Medical Center North, nestled between the UA Cancer Center’s Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic and Ronald McDonald House at 3838 N. Campbell Ave. See the video and a photo gallery from Dec. 11 public "Preview Event"… 


Alyssa Guido and Shannon Smith
UA Collaboration Focuses Attention on Emergency HIV At-Risk Patients to Prevent Infection

Five years ago, the UA Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases sought out a way to make HIV screening a routine part of emergency room culture. Today, with prevention drugs available for at-risk patients and antiretroviral drugs to control infection, that’s more important than ever. After initial concerns by physicians, patients now receive unprecedented access to timely treatment courtesy of the ER and Petersen HIV Clinics at Banner – UMC Tucson and South…


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