Dr. Hecker a Finalist for Award at 2019 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Expo

Banner image for 16th Annual Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards & ExpoLouise Hecker, PhD, an associate professor with the University of Arizona Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, UA BIO5 Institute member and research investigator with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, has been named a finalist for the 16th Annual Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards.

Louise Hecker, PhDThe Arizona Technology Council (AZTC), in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, honors technology leaders and innovators from across the state with the yearly awards and expo event, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, 4-8:30 p.m., at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St. (directions) — West Building, 3rd Floor.

This year marks the 16th year of this prestigious, black-tie event that attracts more than 850 attendees for a night of networking, dining and entertainment.

For 2019, the event consists of a strolling dinner and Tech Showcase followed by a theatre-style awards program. Companies featured at the Tech Showcase includes award finalists, sponsors and AZTC partners.

Agenda Logos for Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Commerce Authority, sponsors of Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards & Expo

  • 4:00 – 6:00 PM   Tech Showcase  |  Networking  |  Strolling Dinner
  • 6:00 – 8:00 PM   Award Presentations
  • 8:00 – 8:30 PM   Networking + Tech Showcase


Among awards to be presented are the following: Academia Award, Innovator of the Year: Large Company Award, Innovator of the Year: Small Company, Innovator of the Year: Startup Company, Transformational Leadership Award, Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year Award and the 2019 AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Academia Award

Dr. Hecker, whose lab has developed highly selective Nox4 small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of fibrotic disorders, was nominated for the Academia Award and is among four finalists for the honor. The other finalists include:

  • UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science – Tucson
  • UA Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) | Chris Walker, PI – Tucson
  • UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

Joining the UA College of Medicine – Tucson faculty in 2014, Dr. Hecker has won about $6 million in federal funding for her research on innovative therapies to treat fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) over the past three years. That includes a $4.4 million U.S. Department of Defense grant and awards from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute on Aging, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

In April, Dr. Hecker was presented by UA President Robert C. Robbins with the “Inventor of the Year” at the Sixth Annual I-Squared Awards & Expo, hosted by Tech Launch Arizona — the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from research.

Dr. Hecker also was a contestant in February’s Shark Tank competition during Research Day 2019, hosted as the inaugural event by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson at the new Health Sciences Innovation Building.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Among nominees for the Lifetime Achievement Award are:

  • James C. Wyant, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences, U of A
  • Deanna Wise, Chief Information Officer for Banner Health
  • Barbara Barrett, Owner, Triple Creek Ranch
  • Jeffrey Trent, PhD, FACMG, TGen President & Research Director

► To vote for one of them, click here.

► To learn more about nominees for other awards, see this link.

“Dr. Louise Hecker Named ‘Inventor of the Year’ at Tech Launch Arizona’s I-Squared Awards” | Posted April 3, 2019
“Cure for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Target of UA Research Team with $4.4M DoD Grant” | Posted Sept. 6, 2018
“UA Researchers to Evaluate New Therapeutic Platform in Targeted Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis” | Posted May 31, 2017

Release Date: 
09/17/2019 - 10:00am