Arizona BioIndustry Association ReConvergence: Life Science And IT Leaders Come Together To Make Life Better For Patients

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading experts from Arizona’s life science and information technology fields to explore how the convergence of life science and information technology are creating new healthcare innovations at the 2016 AZBio Expo on April 21, 2016 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix.

Creating new collaborative data sharing partnerships to find answers for patients with life threatening diseases, tailoring treatments and medicines to the unique genomic profile of a patient, and new tools that will allow researchers and physicians develop and deliver life-saving solutions; these are just a few of the topics that will be explored at the 2016 AZBio Expo. The Arizona Bioindustry Association has partnered with the Arizona Chapter of HIMSS to bring together the life science and information technology communities to discuss these and other topics.

David Higginson, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, will set the stage for the day’s discussions. At Phoenix Children’s, Higginson plays a key role in strategic policy development and oversees Human Resources, Information Technology, Process Optimization, and Materials Management. In addition, Higginson is responsible for executive oversight of the Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s. In February of 2016, Cancer MoonShot 2020 announced another milestone in its quest to alter the course of cancer care with the formation of the Pediatrics Consortium. With leadership at Phoenix Children’s Hospital helping to initiate this consortium, all founding partners will seek to apply the most comprehensive cancer molecular diagnostic testing available—integrating whole genomic and proteomic analysis—and leverage proven and promising combination immunotherapies and clinical trials through the QUILT (QUantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial) Program within the Cancer MoonShot 2020 mission.

From the White House to the Copper State, medical researchers and clinicians are collaborating to provide people the opportunity to benefit from these new innovations. Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, MPH, PhD, MBA, will share insights on the role of data and new innovations in driving patient-oriented research. Big Data is reshaping our approach to clinical research programs that focus on health outcomes, mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions and the development of new health-care technologies. Dr. Ojo is the associate vice president for clinical research and global health initiatives at the University of Arizona Health Sciences and a professor of medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson with a joint appointment as professor of health promotion sciences in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The White House announced in February of 2016 that the University of Arizona would pay an important role in the White House Precision Medicine Initiative. The University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) has committed to translating large-scale clinical and genomic data into actionable individual patient outcomes through the Centers for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics and Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

Translating innovative ideas into practical application requires corporate leaders and teams that are able to implement them. In the day’s closing keynote, Matthew E. Likens, President and CEO Ulthera Division, Merz Device Innovation Center, will share what he has learned in doing just that throughout a career spanning over twenty years. Mr. Likens experience includes domestic and international sales, marketing and general management roles. Prior to Ulthera, which was acquired by Merz in 2014 for $600 million, Mr. Likens has held executive positions at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, culminating in the positions of President of Baxter Biotech North America, then President of Baxter’s Renal Division in the U.S. In 2001, Mr. Likens joined GMP Companies, and was President of GMP Wireless Medicine, Inc.

In addition to the three keynote presenters highlighted above, the AZBio Expo will include a number of rapid fire presentation and industry panels.

Rapid Fire Presentations with Arizona IT and Life Science Innovators include:

  • Computational Genomics: Identifying Biomarkers for Precision Oncology, Li Liu, PhD, Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
  • Critical Path Institute - Data Collaboration with Global Impact, Debra Hanna, PhD - Executive Director, Critical Path to TB Regimens (CPTR), Critical Path Institute, and Richard Liwski – Program Director, Data Collaboration Center, Critical Path Institute
  • VR for largescale health imagery - Dirk K Beth, Arivis
  • Telemedicine, a Global View, Bill Lewis, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, GlobalMed
  • Innovative Applications of Analytics: Use in Veteran’s Health, Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Phoenix VA Health Care System
  • The mHealth Revolution- Kent Dicks, RAIN

Expert Panels will explore:

Talent: Developing our competitive advantage

Moderated by Mara Aspinall, Health Catalysts Panelists: Stacie Mallen, Vice President of Human Resources at Ulthera, Inc.; Brady Young, VP of HR for TGen, Adrienne Scheck, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurobiology at Barrow Neurological Institute; Tom Longstreth, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group

Reshaping the patient experience

Moderated by Jude LaCava, Co-founder, Dorothy Foundation; Panelists - Eric Greenman, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, iTel Companies; Marie Wesslehoft, President & Co-founder, MSDx; Neel Mehta, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, EpiFinder Inc.

Prediction and Prevention - Medicine in the Age of Information

Moderated by Chris Yoo, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Systems Imagination; Panelists - Ron Korn, MD PhD, Founder, Chairman and Chief Medical Officer, Imaging Endpoints; Scott Jenkins, PhD, Chairman & CEO, RealTime Oncology, Todd Huffman, CEO, 3Scan

For more information on the AZBio Expo, visit

About AZBio

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) brings together leading innovators in the fields of drugs, biologics, medical devices, diagnostics, and health IT with leaders in research, education, and clinical care. AZBio Members discover, develop, and deliver life-saving and life-changing innovations that make LIFE better. AZBio and its members are committed to making Arizona a top tier bioscience state. Learn more at


Arizona Bioindustry Association
Joan Koerber-Walker, 480-332-9636

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