Tag Archives: university of arizona

bioscience

Bioindustry honors Innovators at AZBio Awards

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that more than 350 leaders from across the State of Arizona will be gathering at the Phoenix Convention Center on October 10, 2013 to celebrate AZBio’s 10thanniversary as Arizona’s statewide bioindustry association and to recognize the leaders, innovators and companies that are making Arizona one of the fastest growing bioscience states in the nation.

“Over the last decade, Arizona’s bioindustry has delivered an aggregate job growth of 45% (2002-2011) and an increase in the number of healthcare and bioscience firms by 31%,” shared AZBio President and CEO Joan Koerber-Walker. “This is the result of executives, innovators, researchers, educators, and elected leaders working together to embrace possibilities and collaboratively create a fast growing industry that is creating high wage jobs and addressing some of our greatest challenges: improving health and creating new industries that leverage our natural resources and our steadily increasing collection of internationally recognized talent.”

In addition to honoring the hundreds of organizations that have worked together over the last 10 years to create and drive life science innovation in Arizona, the AZBio Awards recognize specific thought leaders and industry leaders for their contributions. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and gain insights from:

  • Thomas M. Grogan, M.D., Founder of Ventana and SVP Medical Affairs at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group and recipient of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement honoree.
  • Linda Hunt, President and CEO of Dignity Health Arizona, the 2013 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year.
  • Amanda Grimes of the Mesa Biotechnology Academy in the Mesa Public Schools, recipient of the Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year Award for inspiring students to explore careers in the biosciences.
  • Orphan drug pioneer Leslie Boyer, M.D., founding director of the VIPER Institute at The University of Arizona. With her team of international collaborators developed the FDA approved anti-venom for the scorpion’s sting.
  • John W. Lewis, Mayor of the Town of Gilbert, Arizona recipient of the AZBio Public Service Award for his leadership in attracting and supporting the development of world class research, manufacturing and clinical services in Gilbert.
  • The team from Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year – W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Arizona’s largest life science employer. The Gore Medical Products Division has provided creative therapeutic solutions to complex medical problems for more than 35 years. During that time, more than 35 million innovative Gore Medical Devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives worldwide Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide ranging from polymer processing to medical devices.
  • Dr. Robert Bowser, AZBio Fast Lane Award winner for pioneering new diagnostics for ALS and traumatic brain injury at Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Dr. Garrett Smith, co-founder of Nasseo, Inc., the Fast Lane Award winning company that has developed the FDA approved TiArray™ Dental Implant.
  • Jeff Martin, CEO of Fast Lane Award winner Yulex Corporation and the team that delivers Yulex’s Guayule BioRubber Emulsions and BioRubber Solids that have medical, consumer, and industrial applications to grow an increasingly diverse market community with ultra-pure, high-performance products.
  • And executives from Algae Biosciences, Ventana, Pfizer, Genentech, EY, Northern Arizona University/TGen North, Regenesis Biomedical, Ulthera, VWR, and NACET.

The 8th Annual AZBio Awards will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to the Gala Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the VWR Company Showcase and Student Discovery Showcase sponsored by NAU will highlight the work of Arizona’s current and future life science leaders from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. so that attendees can see the work being done across the industry and interact with the leaders and future leaders who are driving bioindustry innovation. The event is open to the public and tickets are available for purchase at AZBioAwards.com.

“Almost 100,000 Arizonans are embracing possibilities every day across Arizona’s healthcare and life science sector. Through their efforts, we are making life better here at home and around the world by discovering, developing, and delivering life science innovations,” added Koerber-Walker. “AZBio is honored to have the opportunity to work with them and to bring so many of our leaders together in one place on one day so our community can meet them and learn about them too.”

medical.research

UA Seeking People for Breast Cancer-Vegetable Study

University of Arizona Cancer Center researchers are seeking participants in Maricopa County for a study designed to determine if a compound found in broccoli can enhance the health-promoting effects of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen in women at risk of developing breast cancer or those previously treated for early-stage breast cancer.

Since receiving a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2011, UACC researcher Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, and her team have recruited 106 women who are taking Tamoxifen for the DIME study. Enrollment will continue both in Tucson and Phoenix, through the early part of 2014 with a goal of 170 participants.

Tamoxifen is an accepted treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Thomson, a professor of Health Promotion Sciences in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, notes that data from diet studies of people who have a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables – cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and broccoli – suggest that intake may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast, colorectal, bladder and possibly prostate.

“We have previously shown that women taking Tamoxifen who eat more vegetables may decrease cancer recurrence risk. This study will test the potential health-promoting effects using one isolated bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables, diindolylmethane (DIM), and compare it to a placebo intervention in favorably changing hormone levels and breast characteristics like breast density,” Dr. Thomson says.

Alison Stopeck, MD, a co-investigator in the study and the director of the Clinical Breast Cancer Program at the UA Cancer Center, sees this research as a unique opportunity to determine the potential of non-invasive imaging to be a reliable biomarker for breast cancer risk. Women in the study will complete periodic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures for measuring breast characteristics.

Study participants will be asked to take the supplement or placebo for 18 months and complete periodic clinical evaluation visits. The supplement is a patented, absorption enhancing formulation of diindolylmethane known as BioResponse DIM® (also known under the tradenames Indolplex® or BR-Dim®) supplied by BioResponse, LLC, of  Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the DIME study in Maricopa County, call Dianne Parish, RN, at 602-264-4461 for Central Phoenix or Patti Blair, RN, at 480-461-3772 for Mesa. More information is also available at azcc.arizona.edu/node/3628.

The DIME Study is supported by grant number CA149417 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

disaster

UA Receives $600,000 CDC Grant

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is the sole awardee of a three-year $600,000 cooperative agreement to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help communities prepare for public health emergencies and mass casualty events.  The research is a collaborative effort between federal, state, tribal, and local partners.

Emergencies can happen at any time for any reason. Being prepared can mean the difference between a quick, easy recovery or a slow and difficult one.  Since 2005, MWPERLC has trained more than 4,500 public health professionals throughout the U.S. in emergency preparedness.

The grant will be administered by lead researcher Jeff Burgess, MD, MPH, professor and director of the Community, Environment and Policy Division at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health and Brenda Granillo, MS, MEP, project director of the MWPERLC.

“We have seen time and time again the devastation our communities face in the aftermath of disasters; whether it is caused by natural events such as the flooding in Colorado, wildfires and hurricanes, terrorism like the Boston Marathon bombings, or unthinkable acts like the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.  The recovery process can be slow, tedious and often overwhelming,” said Granillo.

The team will work to reduce injury related morbidity and mortality in public health emergencies by improving community preparedness and response activities though sharing lessons learned, identifying and documenting best practices, and fostering national collaboration to strengthen community resiliency.

“The support necessary to rebuild our communities requires fostering relationships and partnerships at all levels of government. This grant will provide the Center with the opportunity to advance and expand our existing work on building community resiliency,” said Granillo.

The first year will focus on identifying key issues in planning for and responding to disasters by gathering input from national and federal partners followed by engagement of the community, public health, emergency management and health systems leadership to document lessons learned using robust qualitative methods. Ralph Renger, PhD, a former faculty member of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health who now works for the University of North Dakota, will lead the evaluation performance and measurement plan.

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has an eight year history of successfully developing, implementing and evaluating sustainable and collaborative preparedness activities at the state, local and tribal level.  Since 2005, the center has trained more than 4,500 public health professional throughout the U.S. in emergency preparedness.

Michael Crow (current)

TREO Luncheon features university presidents

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) will feature state university presidents, Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, of the University of Arizona and Dr. Michael M. Crow, of Arizona State University, at its 8th Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, September 25th at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson.

Strong economies are defined by well-paying jobs, held by individuals possessing knowledge and skills that are in demand. Post-secondary education most often provides these skill sets. While US citizens have traditionally been among the best-educated in the world, the nation now ranks 12th in the number of 25- to 34-year olds with college degrees. Businesses often cite the difficulty of finding qualified workers as a barrier to growth. Talent is always the number one factor in site selection decisions.

What is being done in the Sun Corridor to address talent development? Join TREO for a higher education update and a frank discussion on educating the next generation for jobs of today and the future.

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Where: Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Luncheon and Presentation
Registration: http://conta.cc/12e195U

 

ABrook Headshot (3)

Fisher & Phillips Adds Labor Law Attorney

The law firm of Fisher & Phillips announced that Alanna R. Brook has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as a labor and employment law staff attorney.  An Arizona native, Alanna graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a degree in Russian Language. Prior to attending law school, Alanna served as Officer in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged at the rank of captain.

Alanna received her Juris Doctor from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.  While in law school, Alanna served as a staff writer for the Arizona Law Review and was a founding member and Executive Editor of the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. She also interned with the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.  Alanna earned a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy from the University of Arizona’s program of the same name.

Pavneet Uppal, managing partner stated, “We are pleased to have Alanna as part of the Fisher & Phillips team. She truly exhibits what our firm looks for in an associate. Her academic and military career and dedication to the community is very impressive and we look forward to seeing her flourish at our firm.”

Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, Alanna held the position of Associate with Fennemore Craig. Additionally, Alanna served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Virginia C. Kelly in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division II and practiced as a commercial litigation associate in a Southwest Regional law firm’s Phoenix office prior to practicing with Fisher & Phillips.

In her free time, Alanna serves as a volunteer adoption counselor with the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. She is also a regular participant in charitable events throughout Phoenix with such organizations as the Aunt Rita’s Foundation No Aids Walk, The National MS Society and Arizona Chapter’s Cooks and Chords Event.

ABrook Headshot (3)

Fisher & Phillips Adds Labor Law Attorney

The law firm of Fisher & Phillips announced that Alanna R. Brook has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as a labor and employment law staff attorney.  An Arizona native, Alanna graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a degree in Russian Language. Prior to attending law school, Alanna served as Officer in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged at the rank of captain.

Alanna received her Juris Doctor from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.  While in law school, Alanna served as a staff writer for the Arizona Law Review and was a founding member and Executive Editor of the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. She also interned with the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.  Alanna earned a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy from the University of Arizona’s program of the same name.

Pavneet Uppal, managing partner stated, “We are pleased to have Alanna as part of the Fisher & Phillips team. She truly exhibits what our firm looks for in an associate. Her academic and military career and dedication to the community is very impressive and we look forward to seeing her flourish at our firm.”

Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, Alanna held the position of Associate with Fennemore Craig. Additionally, Alanna served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Virginia C. Kelly in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division II and practiced as a commercial litigation associate in a Southwest Regional law firm’s Phoenix office prior to practicing with Fisher & Phillips.

In her free time, Alanna serves as a volunteer adoption counselor with the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. She is also a regular participant in charitable events throughout Phoenix with such organizations as the Aunt Rita’s Foundation No Aids Walk, The National MS Society and Arizona Chapter’s Cooks and Chords Event.

native.american

UA Part of $6M research of American Indian Health

Public health researchers at the University of Arizona, along with researchers at two other higher education institutions in the state, have earned a $6 million grant to investigate health issues in American Indian communities.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities awarded the five-year grant to a statewide team of researchers from the UA, Northern Arizona University and Diné College to establish the Center for American Indian Resilience, also known as CAIR.

The collaborative team will study why some American Indian communities facing high rates of chronic disease and poverty seem to thrive despite adversity.

“The basic practice of public health is about understanding ways to support healthy behaviors, and we know programs that are culturally relevant are more effective,” said Nicolette Teufel-Shone, professor of health promotion sciences at the UA’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“We will take a look at existing health behaviors and programs that target the prevention of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to determine what is working and why,” Teufel-Shone said.

Teufel-Shone and Priscilla Sanderson, assistant professor of health sciences and applied indigenous studies at NAU, have been named CAIR’s co-directors. Diné College faculty on the project are Mark Bauer and Donald Robinson, both of the department of science education.
The UA public health college received $2 million of the CAIR grant, which includes collaborations with tribal communities and research projects.

“CAIR research will deepen our scientific knowledge of existing positive health outcomes in tribal communities, and then we will translate this knowledge to practice through public health education and policy,” said Sanderson, a member of the Navajo Nation.

Also under the grant, the UA public health college will collaborate with NAU and Diné College to support Diné College’s ongoing summer program to teach undergraduate students to consider and incorporate community strengths in their work as emerging public health professionals. The program combines classroom learning with hands-on experience through an internship in tribal communities.

The research project, directed by the UA, also involves a partnership with the Tucson Indian Center to interview elders about their concept of resilience and their perceptions of key factors that contribute to success in life.

Through this initiative, members of the Southwestern American Indian community will record video diaries to share their experiences of well-being.

“The goal of the video diaries project is to use existing information about which factors contribute to Native American resilience and spread this knowledge to other Native American communities,” Teufel-Shone said. “This way, researchers can learn lessons of how resilience is already effective in these communities, share experiences and allow community members to create new paths based on other people’s stories.”

Other UA College of Public Health participants include John Ehiri, director and professor; Division of Health Promotion Sciences; Agnes Attakai, director, Health Disparities Outreach and Prevention Education; Kerstin Reinschmidt, assistant professor, Health Promotion Sciences; and Rebecca Drummond, program director for Family Wellness.

NAU faculty and staff contributing to CAIR include Olivia Trujillo, professor of applied indigenous studies; Robert Trotter, Regents’ professor and chair of anthropology; Chad Hamill, assistant professor of music; Roger Bounds, associate professor and chair of health sciences; Lisa Hardy, assistant professor of anthropology; R. Cruz Begay, professor of health sciences; and Kelly Laurila, coordinator in anthropology. Paul Dutton, director of NAU’s Interdisciplinary Health Policy Institute, will facilitate the executive advisory board.

Diné College faculty on the project are Mark Bauer, PhD and Donald Robinson, PhD of the Department of Science Education.

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA’s Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA's Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

Carlson_Kris_KDCAR_4x5

Carlson helps Polsinelli Expand Cybersecurity Capabilities

Polsinelli has added attorney Kris Carlson to the firm, where he will focus on cybersecurity matters for corporate clients and law firms.

Carlson, formerly with Special Forces, has extensive operational knowledge of cybersecurity that will bring value to the firm’s clients. Carlson counsels corporate clients on compliance matters arising from the duty to protect electronic data and assists companies in establishing proper security protocols, including effective data breach responses at both the federal and state levels. He also works with law firms to assist them in protecting their client data in compliance with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

“Kris brings to the firm a unique combination of practical cybersecurity experience coupled with the legal knowledge to guide companies through the complexities of protecting themselves from electronic data theft and it’s far reaching implications,” said Life Science & Technology Division Chair Patrick Woolley. “We are excited to have him join our team and strengthen our cybersecurity law capabilities, an area that very few firms in the country offer.”

Carlson will assist in identifying weaknesses in current e-data security and develop processes/protocols to help clients protect against theft of data and guard against hacking. He will also work with companies and law firms to make certain they have protocols in place for responding to government regulations in the event of a breach, assist board of director members with information security compliance issues particular to public companies and help attorneys ensure that they are satisfying their ethical obligations to safeguard client information.

“Businesses, healthcare organizations, utility companies, banks and law firms need to be proactively protecting their confidential information,” stated Carlson. “It’s my goal to understand the clients’ needs, and working with my colleagues, strive to ensure systems are in place to protect their confidential information.”

A graduate of the University of Arizona in Near Eastern Studies, Carlson earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law where he was the recipient of the CALI Award in National Security Litigation. He was the founder and supervising attorney of the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law, a clinic that was created to provide pro bono legal services in the Veterans Treatment Courts of the City of Tucson and Pima County.

Carlson currently serves as a subject matter expert on veterans’ legal issues for the Army OneSource Legal Resource Center. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law where he taught issues in national security law such as computer security, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and government response to public health emergencies.

Sun Health

UA hosts Rural Health Conference Aug. 20-21

The Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, will hold the 40th Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference Aug. 20 and 21 at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center, in Prescott.

Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, will deliver the Andrew W. Nichols Rural and Border Health Policy Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. Wakefield will discuss the Federally Facilitated Health Insurance Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act.

“We are delighted and honored to have Dr. Wakefield join our annual meeting,” said Dr. Dan Derksen, the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair and newly appointed director of the Center for Rural Health at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. “Between Medicaid restoration and expansion, and the implementation of the Marketplaces in Arizona, the state could see more than half of its uninsured covered by ACA provisions by 2015.”

The Rural Health Conference attracts a statewide audience of health care providers, academic, county and community health professionals, administrators, policy makers, and state and local leaders. This year’s gathering is notable for the 40th anniversary milestone and the focus on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Arizona.

For registration information, admission, directions to the conference and the agenda, please visit www.crh.arizona.edu or contact Center for Rural Health: Rebecca Ruiz, raruiz@email.arizona.edu, (520) 626-2243.

The Center for Rural Health at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health was named 2013 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the United States by the National Rural Health Association. Home to the Arizona State Office of Rural Health, the CRH partners with other state agencies and organizations to improve the health and wellness of rural underserved populations through service, research and education.

Ann Weaver Hart

Ann Weaver Hart – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Ann Weaver Hart – President, University of Arizona

Hart, the 21st president of the University of Arizona, came to Tucson from Temple University, where she served as president from July 2006 until she assumed the presidency of the UA in July 2012. Her research focuses on leadership succession and development, work redesign and organizational behavior in educational organizations, and academic freedom.

Surprising fact: “I knit complex, multicolored sweaters, blankets, Christmas stockings, etc. It takes up all the space in your brain when you have to concentrate, so you can’t worry about problems while you do it.”

Biggest challenge: “Creating space for an active personal and professional life as a woman, scholar and university administrator with four children and eight grandchildren. It remains a challenge in life.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Tucson street car construction

Tucson Market Update: Building for the Future

Just as Arizona State University construction projects are springing up around the Valley, the same can be said for the University of Arizona down the interstate in Tucson.
And just as ASU’s building bonanza is touching all parts of the Valley, UA’s growth is being felt all over Tucson.
• Old Main on the UA campus is undergoing a $13.5M facelift by Sundt Construction.
• The North End Zone at Arizona Stadium is getting a $72M renovation; Mortenson Construction is the GC.
• The Junction at Iron Horse will be a $10M, 232-bed off-campus student housing complex near the UA campus. Adolfson & Peterson Construction is the GC.
• A $196M, 4-mile modern streetcar line connecting the UA campus to the 4th Avenue commercial district, downtown and the redevelopment area west of downtown is under construction.
“The strengths of being a university town is the integration with the University of Arizona,” says Pam Sutherland, economic development director with the Downtown Tucson Partnership. “A modern street car line will link UA to downtown and change the entire dynamic. UA has classes downtown. And UA has student housing downtown. This really is the right relationship we need to have with the people from UA. Developers know that, and they know what future development looks like.”
Because of UA, Tucson also is becoming a hotbed for bioscience and biotech. Speaking before the Arizona Association for Economic Development, UA President Ann Weaver Hart touched on the disciplines that she says will ensure a successful partnership between higher education and the economic development community in Arizona.
“Knowledge-based graduates are poised to make an incredible impact on the well being of our state,” she says. “At UA, we’re rethinking our role in higher education and integrating with what you (economic developers) do.”
She stressed the importance of engaging knowledge throughout the curriculum, including such UA colleges as architecture and planning, arid land studies and the school of mining.
UA’s crown jewel is the 65-acre Bioscience Park in central Tucson. Its eastern boundary sits along Kino Parkway, one of the major north/south transportation corridors in Tucson. The Bio Park is 2 1/2 miles from the main campus, 4 miles from Tucson International Airport and 3 miles from Downtown Tucson. It’s within a 5-mile radius of 40 biotech companies, including three major research hospitals.
Designed as an urban park, it eventually will accommodate more than 3 MSF of development, from single-story to six-story buildings.
“I am a committed believer in the economy,” Hart says. “Of the higher education institutions in the state, and we have three great universities, we are just cracking the surface of the relationship of the (higher education) system and economic development. We can be great partners with you to create that wonderful future.”
Higher education, she says, is adding $8.3B to the economy of this state — just in direct economic impact.

Multi-family

The multi-family market that’s blazing in the Valley also is quite active in Tucson. Leading the charge is HSL Properties with its luxury Encantada developments. HSL just completed the 272-unit Encantada Dove Mountain. HSL’s 288-unit luxury complex Encantada at Steam Pump, recently broke ground.
“We are continuing to look for opportunities both here and in Phoenix,” says Omer Mireles, executive vice president at HSL. “This is a select submarket we’re in, and there’s quite a bit of supply coming on line — this also includes student housing.”
Mireles attributes Tucson’s multi-family spike to what occurred during the recession. Or actually, what didn’t occur during the recession, and that was the construction of new units.
“During the recession there was pent up demand in Phoenix,” Mireles says. “Here in Tucson, even before the downturn, there was very little new construction. There is an opportunity to build now to serve a demand that will be there for some time. “
As is the case in the Valley, Tucson is delivering high-end apartments to a highly mobile, younger demographic. However, Mireles cautions that the notion of the “birth of the renter nation” may be just that — a notion.
“Consumers are still deeply engrained in buying their own home,” he says.
As far as the housing market in Tucson, Mireles says the Old Pueblo didn’t see the amount of problems that affected the Valley during the housing crisis.
“Demand has been incredible out here in certain submarkets, but pretty soft in others,” Mireles says. “The northwest market (where most of HSL developments reside) is very strong.”

Brokerage report

• Office
“In the past we reported signs of life in the Tucson office market. Now, with some certainty, we can say that we have a pretty strong pulse and other vital signs are improving. Based on the current level of market activity, this has been verified by all of the PICOR office agents and we’re hearing the same from the other active Tucson brokers. By no means does this indicate a complete recovery, but it does indicate that we’re on the right path.
“After hovering around 12% vacancy for that last several quarters, we expect that we’ll start to see a slow reduction in available space.  In order for this to happen, Tucson will need to see more job creation, and we seem to be poised for that.  Based on some of the new office space requirements from existing businesses, as well as inquiries from businesses looking to locate in the Tucson market, we are optimistic that we’ll start to see some of these needed jobs.
“In addition to more jobs, we’ll also need to see the national, state and local economies continue their path to health, along with some more certainty and better understanding of what to expect from the implementation of the new health care regulations.  The far reaching effect of these two areas will absolutely determine how much and how quickly our local office market continues to improve.” — Thomas J. Nieman, SIOR, Principal, PICOR

• Multi-family
“The multi-family market fundamentals continue to slowly improve in Tucson with absorption and rental rates slowly increasing and vacancy declining. According to Apartment Insights / REAL DATA, citywide vacancy stood at 9.44% and average rent at $631 per unit for the first quarter 2013. Both are improvements from Q4 2012. The Class A sector of the market is much stronger than class C properties with citywide vacancy for A properties averaging 7.7% while C property vacancy remains at approximately 13.3%.  Downtown and University area submarkets remain the strongest markets and are benefiting from the Tucson Modern Streetcar and the revitalization of the downtown area.
“New apartment construction, both student housing and standard market rate, has returned after a few very soft years. Deliveries for 2012 totaled 1,062 units, of which 206 units were student housing. Currently there are 1,648 units either under construction or recently completed. Expected unit completions in 2013 total approximately 1,180 with 555 being student housing.  The student housing market at the University of Arizona is going through big changes with over 1,000 units and over 3,000 beds being delivered between 2012 and 2014. The new student properties offer a level of quality, access and amenities not seen previously at the University of Arizona.” — Bob Kaplan, Principal, PICOR

• Industrial
“The trajectory of the Tucson industrial market is clearly an improving one. After two quarters of strong absorption (Q4 2012 and Q1 2013), 150,000 and 166,000 square feet (sf) respectively occupancy of industrial space as improved from 88% to 89%. Q2 2013 should be very strong with absorption in the range of 400,000 sf. The consolidation trend Tucson saw for the past several years is clearly over, and positive absorption has taken hold.
“A balanced market between what is available and occupancy demand will occur at an occupancy level of 92%. Although a vacancy rate of 8% seems relatively high, the Tucson market contains many older less functional spaces that do not compete well for tenants. At this point in the market, we expect to see rents increase. At the current pace, we expect this to happen in the next 12 to 18 months.
“Once rents increase, tenants often become interested in buying, and in time, building and land values should improve as well. We may even see developers, who have been dormant in the market for several years, contemplating new projects.”
— Rob Glaser, SIOR CCIM, Principal, PICOR.

Diane Costantino - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Diane Costantino – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane CostantinoManaging partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Costantino has been managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers since June 2004. She helps her clients with acquisition structuring, global expansion and other complex tax matters. She also gives back to the community through her involvement in Boys and Girls Clubs and United Way. She also received the Spirit of Philanthropy Award for her work with the Arizona’s Children Association. She is a Graduate of the University of Arizona.

Surprising fact: “I love being outdoors, am an avid hiker and have hiked the Grand Canyon numerous times.”

Biggest challenge: “To succeed as the managing partner required seeking advice from accomplished leaders, prioritizing what I wanted to achieve, collaborating
with my partners and developing a winning strategy.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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LaBianca Elected to Arizona Investment Council Board

Margaret LaBianca, an attorney and shareholder with Polsinelli, has been elected to the Arizona Investment Council (AIC) Board of Directors. LaBianca brings to the board extensive experience in energy, natural resources, and environmental regulatory compliance, utilization of public lands, and strategic development.

“I am honored to be elected to the Arizona Investment Council. The work of the Council has a significant positive impact on Arizona. I look forward to working with the board to achieve its goals and further support the development of Arizona’s energy infrastructure,” said LaBianca.

LaBianca will serve a two-year term. “We are excited to have Margaret join the board. Her commitment and knowledge in the field of energy and natural resources will bring additional strength to the board as we work to carry out the objectives in our 2013 strategic plan” said Gary Yaquinto, president and CEO of the Arizona Investment Council.

LaBianca is the current Chair of the State Bar of Arizona Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and past Chair of the Maricopa County Bar Association Environmental Law Section. In 2012 she was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business and ranked by Chambers USA: American’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Environmental. She earned her B.A. from Simmons College, her M.A. from Columbia University, and her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law magna cum laude.

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Maloney-Langmade becomes leader of men

There are not many people in the world who can say they are a licensed plumber, have an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and are a mother to three daughters, ages 7, 11 and 12.

Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade can make those claims.

The president of W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling leads a vibrant plumbing contracting company in a male-dominated industry. Some of her company’s recent projects include the new Chicago Cubs spring training complex in Mesa, the Veteran’s Administration Southeast Healthcare Clinic in Gilbert, Phase IV of CityScape Phoenix, a major solar thermal project at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and the Sky Train Project at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Az Business magazine caught up with Maloney-Langmade — whose company won consecutive Best of the Best Awards for safety from SCF Arizona — for a Q&A.

How did you get into the plumbing business?
My father and mother started W.J. Maloney Plumbing in 1964.  I grew up in and around the business. My dad was always working in the field and my mother performed the bookkeeping. Upon returning from my honeymoon, I learned my mother’s secretary had left the company.  My mother asked me to come to the plumbing shop to help her out with payroll and I never left.

Are there any aspects of the industry that are made more difficult because you are a woman?
Growing up, I always heard and learned about construction but I was not in the field with my father.  Often times, I wish I had the mechanical, hands-on expertise and years of experience that my father had.  To carry on his tradition of quality workmanship, I have had to surround myself with key people who have the same mechanical skill that he possessed.

Are there any benefits to being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
My experience is that both men and women in construction go out of their way to be supportive, kind, courteous and helpful.  People want me to succeed.  They know construction is a tough road.  I am lucky to have received good advice and help.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Turning the company around during difficult times.  We were in a pattern of winning work and doing jobs, but were losing money. Meeting and listening to my key foremen who have been with the company for years, I was able to learn and understand changes that needed to happen. I was able to get the company moving in the right direction when I put together a solid leadership team.  We are now able to estimate, win and perform good work.  We have a great team in place now and the momentum continues to build and grow.

Health Insurance

AZ Isotopes bringing jobs to Goodyear

AZ Isotopes has selected the city of Goodyear as the site for a state-of-the-art facility which will improve the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases. By producing several  medical isotopes that are either not currently available or difficult to obtain in Arizona, the Goodyear facility will support health care by giving physicians and their patients the most modern tools for diagnoses and treatments as well as research towards  improving medical outcomes.

Construction and operation of the facility also will result in high-quality jobs.  Initially, about 50 technical and managerial professionals will be employed.  As demand for the isotopes and the research program expands, additional high-quality positions will be added.  Substantial growth can be expected as industry analysts estimate the projected market for medical isotopes at about $6 billion by the year 2018.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord is highly supportive.  She stated: “We are excited to bring this new high-tech life sciences enterprise to Goodyear, along with highly skilled professionals and high-paying jobs.  Goodyear has everything companies like AZ Isotopes need to operate and grow their businesses.  We are growing and ready to help accommodate companies like AZ Isotopes to provide jobs and expand our work base.”

The Goodyear-based Western Regional Center for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America is also supporting the city’s efforts to help ensure that the new research and production facility is located nearby. It stated: “Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) in Goodyear applauds the city’s economic development efforts in healthcare initiatives which lower the nation’s reliance on foreign products.”  Edgar D. Staren, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Western added, “We look forward to a readily available local isotope supply that could support our patient needs.”  Additionally, several major universities (including the University of Arizona) have already expressed interest in taking advantage of the facility’s research capabilities.

The Goodyear location will contain the full spectrum of operations necessary for providing the highest quality support for medical care and research.  Included will be manufacturing, engineering, administrative, sales and executive positions.  AZ Isotopes has assembled an internationally-renowned team of top scientists and physicians to begin site preparation and facility design and construction.

The site for the Goodyear plant is a 10-acre tract along Litchfield Road, north of Maricopa 85 and close to the Phoenix-Goodyear airport.  Because delivery time is critical to the users of medical isotopes, the facility’s proximity to the airport is very fortuitous. AZ Isotopes President and COO David Barshis stated, “Goodyear offers an ideal location for our planned operations, and local government has been extremely helpful in the process expected to provide a key competitive advantage over other isotope manufacturers.”

The heart of the facility is a unique, variable-energy medical cyclotron accelerator capable of producing medical diagnostic imaging and therapeutic isotopes which are not currently available, or have limited availability, from other commercial sources in the U.S.  This facility will join other local cyclotrons supporting various related types of medical treatments in the area. Locally, the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic has already announced plans to construct a facility to house a cyclotron designed specifically to be used for fixed-beam proton therapy at its new $130 million cancer center.  And the Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is currently replacing its smaller cyclotron with a new unit for production of isotopes that enable detailed brain imaging.

Jaclyn Foutz

Jaclyn Foutz Joins Andante Law Group

Andante Law Group of Daniel E. Garrison, PLLC announced that Jaclyn D. Foutz has joined the firm as an attorney.  Her practice is concentrated in commercial litigation, bankruptcy, reorganization and capital recovery.  She represents creditors in collection and enforcement matters, as well as in all facets of bankruptcy proceedings and advising clients on creditors’ rights.

Daniel E. Garrison, Managing Partner of Andante Law Group stated,  “We are pleased to have Ms. Foutz join our firm.  She is a very talented litigation and bankruptcy attorney who will compliment our firm’s corporate restructuring, business bankruptcy, loan workouts and enforcement, and commercial litigation practice.

Prior to joining the Andante Law Group, Ms. Foutz was with Ballard Spahr LLP in Phoenix.  She began her legal career clerking for Justice Andrew Hurwitz at the Arizona Supreme Court.  Before re-entering private law practice, Ms. Foutz founded and was General Counsel to the Human Tribe Project, a patient support and fundraising website.

She earned her BS from the University of Arizona in 2000 and her JD in 2005 from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  She is licensed in both state and federal courts in Arizona and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to ‘Shark Tank’

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

coffee beans

Phoenix Coffee Company going to 'Shark Tank'

Local entrepreneurs Connor Riley and Samantha Meis, the cofounders of MistoBox, are taking the plunge into the “tank” to pitch their business idea on ABC’s hit reality television series Shark Tank on Friday May 3rd at 7 p.m.

On the show Riley and Meis will be introduced to a panel of five wealthy millionaire and billionaire investors (“sharks”) where they will pitch MistoBox, a company aimed at revolutionizing the way people buy and discover coffee. Riley and Meis were selected among 36,000 applicants to pitch their innovative business idea in hopes of getting their venture funded.

“Getting to pitch to the investors on Shark Tank was a once in a lifetime experience. It was so exciting and terrifying all at the same time!” said Meis.

MistoBox, based out of Downtown Phoenix’s revitalized warehouse district, sends subscribers four exceptional coffees each month from artisan roasters across the country.  In order to narrow it down, each month a panel of MistoBox coffee experts taste more than 50 coffees submitted by different coffee roasters to decide which make the cut and are delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps. Subscribers can then brew each of the selected coffees and pick a favorite. When they find one they love, they can head back to MistoBox’s online shop to get up to two full bags of their favorite with free shipping.  It’s just enough coffee to tide subscribers over until their next MistoBox is delivered, and they discover their next favorite!

Local favorite Cartel Coffee, based out of Tempe, was featured just last month. “This was by far one of our most popular coffees featured ever, and it’s local which is great! We love supporting local companies,” said Meis.

You could say Riley, a Phoenix native, and Meis are two adventurers with an entrepreneurial spirit. The pair met while studying abroad in Spain where they fulfilled their need for adventure by running with the bulls together.

A year after returning back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, they were paired up in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management where they were given a class assignment to come up with an innovative business idea. They absolutely loved coffee and wanted to figure out a way to get delicious coffees – from the best roasters – into more people’s homes. MistoBox was born on their college graduation day in 2012 and began with funding from a successful Kickstarter project, an online platform for raising funds and gaining investors for a startup company. Since, the two have moved the company to Phoenix and are expanding their network of coffee-crazed subscribers every day!

“It is incredible the response we’re getting,” said Riley. “In the fast-paced lives we all live, it’s convenient and exciting for people to get these great coffees without having to take the extra time find them.”

Will the sharks “bite” on MistoBox? Tune in to ABC on Friday, May 3rd at 7 p.m. to find out.

Ann Weaver Hart

U of A President to Speak At AAED Luncheon

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart will be the speaker at the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED)’s May luncheon on Tuesday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Phoenix Country Club, located at 2901 N. Seventh St. in Phoenix.

Hart will discuss the university’s role in economic development throughout the state.
The cost of the luncheon is $40 for AAED members and guests and $50 for non-members and late registrants.  To register, visit http://aaedmay7th.eventbrite.com. For more information, call AAED at 602-240-AAED (2233) or visit www.aaed.com.  The registration deadline is Monday, April 29.  Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance.

AAED was originally founded in 1974 as the Arizona Association for Industrial Development (AAID).  The organization, which was dedicated to expanding the industrial and economic base of Arizona, changed to its current name in 1991 to better reflect its broader mission.

The strategic vision of AAED is to be the leading advocate of responsible economic development for all of Arizona by leading the facilitation of public/private cooperation and fostering teamwork to address the growth and quality of life issues that face Arizona.  For more information on AAED, visit www.aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.

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Arizona Opera's New, $5.2M Center Opens on Central Avenue

 

Arizona Opera opened its new $5.2M, 28,000 SF Opera Center on Central Avenue in Phoenix.

The building project, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, included two phases. Phase 1 houses an intimate black box performance venue, rehearsal space, and orchestra loft and patron viewing gallery. General contractor was Brignall Construction; architect was Motley Design Group.

Phase 2 features administrative offices, box office, costume, wig and make-up shops, as well as educational and meeting facilities. Phase 2 made adaptive re-use of the previous Walsh Brothers building.

The Opera Center joins other cultural venues such as Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum and Phoenix Theatre in the “uptown” arts district, which is easily accessible via METRO Light Rail.

The Opera’s Opera Center, was built in partnership with the City of Phoenix, which provided $3.2M in city bond funds.

“We are thrilled to have found such a perfect location for our new home, near our sister arts organizations and directly on the light-rail route,” said Scott Altman, general director of Arizona Opera.

The first full opera production will be held in April 2014 in the black box theater, while rehearsals, master classes and workshops will be held in the theater as early as April.

Arizona Opera will continue to present main stage productions in Tucson Music Hall and Symphony Hall Phoenix.

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medical.research

BIO5-TGen collaboration targets Alzheimer’s disease

BIO5 Oro Valley today announced a collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to develop new therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

BIO5 Oro Valley co-Director and University of Arizona College of Pharmacy medicinal chemist Dr. Christopher Hulme’s collaborative effort with TGen Assistant Professor Dr. Travis Dunckley will focus on the development of novel, small molecule inhibitors of dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A). Upregulation of this kinase is implicated in promoting memory deficits associated with Down syndrome and neurodegenerative pathologies, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

“DYRK1A is a well-validated, recently discovered target, ready for translational efforts to deliver an oral medication to patients suffering from this insidious disease,” said Dr. Hulme. “Indeed, coupled with the advanced small molecules in-hand that target DYRK1A, further efforts are underway that will broaden our therapeutic presence in the Alzheimer’s arena to other Arizona-based biological discoveries.”

Statistics from the National Institutes of Health indicate that 5.1 million older Americans – or 1-in-8 – suffer from Alzheimer’s, which makes it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Estimated to effect 45 million people worldwide by 2020, dementia is currently a leading, major unmet medical need and a costly burden on public health. Seventy percent of these cases have been attributed to Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive functions.

“This collaborative partnership is a critical step in advancing discoveries of the role DYRK1A plays to developing therapeutics that could alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Dunckley.

Drs. Hulme and Dunckley will focus on providing a significant alternative to common approaches that focus on small molecules that inhibit the production of neurotoxic fragments of amyloid proteins and antibody immunization approaches targeting the build up of these fragments.

The joint effort will explore the decrease of DYRK1A activity in the brain with proprietary small-molecule inhibitors. This approach could lead to new therapeutic strategies to alleviate cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome.

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Liberty Property Trust to Develop Liberty Center at Rio Salado

 

Liberty Property Trust announced that it will develop a sustainable, mixed-use business park on 100 acres purchased from the City of Tempe last month.

The company is developing a site plan for the new park which will be known as Liberty Center at Rio Salado.

“After several years of continued success at our nearby Liberty Cotton Center , we sought opportunities that would allow us to continue to offer national and regional tenants opportunities to relocate to or expand,” said John DiVall, senior vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Arizona region.

“Liberty Center at Rio Salado is centrally located in the heart of Metro Phoenix and it will offer a terrific mix of office, flex and industrial space, and, we anticipate, hotel and retail locations.”

The Tempe City Council approved the purchase of the first 80 acres of land at Priest Road and Rio Salado Parkway in February. Liberty has the option to purchase 20 more acres at the location once development has begun.

“The City of Tempe offered its land for this project because we recognize that it is our role to encourage high-quality development and foster the growth of our local economy,”  Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. “We are proud to welcome Liberty Center at Rio Salado to Tempe and look forward to watching it thrive, provide jobs and add to our community.”

Liberty also plans to announce the development of its first speculative building on the site later this year. All buildings it develops at the park will be designed to meet LEED certification with a focus on energy efficiency.

The park will offer visibility from Arizona Route 143 and the Loop 202, within minutes of Sky Harbor International Airport. Liberty has launched a website featuring information about the park and the surrounding area: libertycenteraz.com.

“This is a prominent piece of real estate that will allow tenants many benefits, from its central location to the airport and major highways to access to a strong, well educated labor pool,” DiVall said. “We expect to grow here for many years to come.”

Liberty Property Trust owns and manages more than 2 MSF of space in Phoenix, Tempe, Goodyear and Tolleson.

Some of its holdings include Liberty Cotton Center, Liberty 303 Business Park, Liberty Tolleson Center, Liberty Sky Harbor Center, and the LEED Gold and Energy Star certified 8501 E. Raintree Dr. office building.