Tag Archives: Mara G. Aspinall

Aspinall

Leadership spotlight: Mara G. Aspinall

Mara G. Aspinall
President and CEO
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
ventana.roche.com

Aspinall founded the European Personalized Medicine Association and advised the Obama and Bush administrations on diagnostics and genomics.

Biggest challenge: “My college and postgrad majors were in business, yet I‘ve made my career in biotech where a strong science background is an distinct advantage. So, I had to go back and develop my foundational knowledge in the sciences while working, and I continue to sharpen it throughout my career.”

Surprising fact: “People are often surprised to learn that I’m an avid sports fan.  I will attend any live sporting event – from baseball to rodeo – any chance I get.”

medical.research

TGen, Ventana announce research collaboration

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group, today announced a collaborative research agreement to discover and develop diagnostic markers for treating cancer.

The two Arizona-based institutions will leverage each other’s expertise in discovery and diagnostic product development, bringing innovative cancer diagnostic tests to patients.

The first project under the umbrella research agreement will focus on diagnostic, prognostic and drug biomarkers for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. This year, an estimated 45,000 people will be diagnosed and more than 38,000 patients will die from the disease. Worldwide, more than 213,000 are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and the numbers are growing. Fewer than 1 in 4 pancreatic cancer patients survive more than a year, and fewer than 6 percent survive more than five years – the worst survival rate of any cancer.

This dismal picture of pancreatic cancer is mainly due to the lack of tools for early detection and the ineffectiveness of current therapeutics. This is why new diagnostic markers and more efficacious therapies are desperately needed.

“TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research, where investigators discover the genetic components of disease,” says Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., President and Research Director of TGen. “Our goal is to rapidly translate basic research findings into actionable targets. Partnering with Ventana we hope will accelerate our goal to deliver meaningful discoveries to cancer patients today.”

“When a patient is faced with cancer, getting an accurate diagnosis quickly is the most important part of their treatment,” says Ventana President and CEO Mara G. Aspinall. “As the global leader in tissue-based cancer diagnostics, our strength is moving research into the clinic in order to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer. We are thrilled to be able to pursue this with a partner right in our Arizona backyard.”