University of Arizona Health Sciences’ Monica Kraft and Marti Lindsey honored with AZBio Awards

Mara Aspinall, managing director of BlueStone Venture Partners, Dr. Monica Kraft and Joan Koerber-Walker, AZBio president and CEO, as Dr. Kraft is presented with Arizona Biosciences Researcher of the Year honors for 2019TUCSON, Ariz. – Two University of Arizona Health Sciences faculty members are among the bioindustry leaders from across Arizona who were honored recently for their commitment to life science innovation by the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio).

Monica Kraft, MD (pictured center at right), of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, was recognized as the 2019 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year, and Marti Lindsey, PhD, of the UA College of Pharmacy was honored as the 2019 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year at the AZBio Awards & Life Science Fiesta held at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“Dr. Kraft and Dr. Lindsey are both outstanding representatives of the University of Arizona Health Sciences’ commitment to improve health across the state through excellence in research and education,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, University of Arizona senior vice president for health sciences.

“Dr. Kraft is among the most prominent asthma researchers in the country. The innovative precision therapies she is developing – particularly a novel peptidomimetic approach for the treatment of asthma, COPD and other inflammatory lung diseases – have the potential to help hundreds of thousands of Arizonans, and millions of Americans, who have asthma.

“Dr. Lindsey has mentored hundreds of students in hands-on research through the KEYS High School Student Internship program she developed, launching many of them into careers as physicians, pharmacists and researchers. In addition, in her travels to promote environmental health science literacy, she has built long-lasting relationships in underserved and tribal communities throughout the state and the Southwest.”

Photo album from the Discovering New Drugs in Arizona Summit & 2019 AZBio Awards CeremonyEXTRA INFO: Discovering New Drugs in Arizona Summit & 2019 AZBio Awards

It was a tour de force for the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy’s Drug Discovery Center and UA Cancer Center at their “Discovering New Medicines in Arizona Summit,” hosted at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix’s Health Sciences Education Building on Oct. 2. The summit was part of the Arizona Bioscience Week festivities and was held immediately prior to the AZBio Awards Ceremony at the Phoenix Convention Center later that day.

At the ceremony held by the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio), Monica Kraft, MD, chair of the UA Department of Medicine, and Marti Lindsey, PhD, of the UA College of Pharmacy, were awarded as the 2019 Researcher of the Year and Educator of the Year, respectively.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Kraft presented at the summit on an “Overview of Research and Drug Discovery in Lung Disease at the University of Arizona.” Several other UA faculty members presented including the following from the UA Department of Medicine: Julie Bauman, MD (Hematology & Oncology, chief); Jennifer Carew, PhD (Translational & Regenerative Medicine); Lawrence Mandarino, PhD (Endocrinology, chief); and Louise Hecker, PhD (Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine).

■ See a photo album from both events at this link (or click on the image above left).
■ For video of the tribute to Dr. Kraft at the AZBio Awards Ceremony, click here.

Monica Kraft, MD: 2019 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

The Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year award honors the life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes, as measured by publications and/or professional acknowledgement of their work in either an academic or commercial setting.

Dr. Kraft was honored for her work on precision medicine therapies to treat severe asthma, a disease that affects more than 615,000 Arizonans and their families and whose economic cost nationally is more than $80 million a year. An internationally renowned physician-scientist, she is professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and The Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson; deputy director of the UA Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center; a member of the UA BIO5 Institute; and a physician with Banner – University Medicine.

Dr. Kraft’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Lung Association for nearly 25 years. She currently is principal investigator on more than $10 million in research projects funded by NIH units, the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission and the American Lung Association, and is a co-investigator on multiple other federal grants related to asthma and pulmonary research. As an administrator, she oversees a department whose NIH funding since 2015 has almost quadrupled to nearly $41.2 million, raising its NIH Award Rankings from the Blue Ridge Institute from 56th to 31st in 2018. For more information about Dr. Kraft’s achievements, publications and honors, please visit (View a video interview with Dr. Kraft, shown at the awards ceremony, at

Marti Lindsey, PhD: 2019 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year

The Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year Award honors an educator who, as a member of the faculty or administration of an educational institution, demonstrated the greatest leadership, creativity and/or actions to inspire students and encourage them in the biosciences.

Dr. Lindsey was honored for her commitment to developing the next generation of inquiring minds and her work with people of all ages in communities across the Southwest region. She is community engagement director for the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and associate director of the Center for Toxicology at the UA College of Pharmacy and founder and co-director of the KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) High School Student Internship program at the UA BIO5 Institute.

Dr. Lindsey’s work spans more than 18 years at the UA. To recruit students to KEYS, she travels the state, forming relationships with teachers, schools and gifted high school students. Dr. Lindsey, who lived and worked on the Navajo Nation for six years, also is invested in Native American health and outreach and works tirelessly to build trusted relationships with tribal people and communities. For more information about Dr. Lindsey’s achievements, please visit (View a video interview with Dr. Lindsey, shown at the awards ceremony, at

For more information about the 2019 AZBio Awards, visit


About AZBio

For 16 years, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) has supported life science innovation and life science innovators in Arizona. A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, AZBio is the only statewide organization exclusively focused on Arizona’s bioscience industry. AZBio membership includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators, educators, health-care partners and leading business organizations. AZBio is the statewide affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and works in partnership with AdvaMed, MDMA, and PhRMA to advance innovation and to ensure that the value delivered from life-changing and life-saving innovation benefits people in Arizona and around the world. For more information visit and

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 900 faculty members and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram)

“DOM Chair Dr. Monica Kraft Announced as 2019 AZBio Researcher of the Year” | Posted Sept. 23, 2019
“Phoenix Arizona Drug Discovery Summit, Oct. 2, Includes Several from UA Department of Medicine” | Posted Sept. 16, 2019

Release Date: 
10/04/2019 - 10:00am
Original Story: