ASU dominates the AZBio awards

September 23, 2016

The energy in the room was high when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey addressed the hundreds that gathered Wednesday night to celebrate this year’s best leaders and scientists in Arizona’s Bioscience Industry. Among the winners were three Arizona State University innovators, recognized for their tenacity and innovation in advancing bioscience.

George Poste, an ASU Regents' Professor recognized for a lifetime of leadership, and disruption in life sciences, noted in his acceptance speech that the Bioscience community should be proud of their accomplishments, but always continue looking forward. Stephen Albert Johnston AZBio Awards Stephen Albert Johnston, a scientist and inventor was recognized as the 2016 AZBio Researcher of the Year. Download Full Image

“The best part of being a researcher is that we live in the future,” said Poste, winner of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement. From the front of the room his strong, rumbling voice urged the Bioscience community to recognize the forthcoming grand challenges of their time, like cancer, an affliction that claims the lives of 600,000 people every year, and find solutions.

ASU inventor Stephen Albert Johnston received the AZBio Researcher of the Year award for doing just that. In the past 10 years, Johnston has developed a cancer vaccine that will soon be tested to see if it can prevent healthy dogs from getting cancer. He was also recognized for inventing a diagnostic technology, called immunosignaturing, that can be used to monitor lifelong health or diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s and Valley Fever.

Mara G Aspinall, a biotech industry executive and co-founder of the ASU International School of Biomedical Diagnostics, received the Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the year award for her local and international leadership in biomedical diagnostics.

Other award recipients included: Bioscience Company of the Year, GlobalMed, a small business based in Scottsdale, Arizona that delivers global telemedicine. Public Service Award Honoree, United States Congresswoman Krysten Sinema. Bioscience Educator of the year, Marni Landry, a life science teacher at Paradise Valley high School.

AZBio is an organization that brings together Arizona’s leaders in commercial business, health, education, policy and science to build relationships that foster increasing energy and opportunity to find those solutions. 

Ally Carr

Assistant science writer, Biodesign Institute


Arizona PBS, Arizona Republic to host McCain-Kirkpatrick debate

September 23, 2016

Arizona PBS and The Arizona Republic are hosting a live televised debate next month between Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in what will most likely be the only debate between the two candidates.  

The hourlong debate will air on Arizona PBS at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 10. The candidates will discuss foreign, domestic and regional issues. The moderators will be Ted Simons, host of “Arizona Horizon” on Arizona PBS, and Arizona Republic political reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez. Debate Arizona PBS and The Arizona Republic are hosting a live televised debate next month between Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain and Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. Photo by Alejandra Armstrong, Cronkite News Download Full Image

Questions for the candidates will be chosen by the moderators and editors of sponsoring organizations, as well as suggested by the public through social media, which will be led by Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, and The Arizona Republic.

“We are excited the two candidates turned to two of the state’s most-trusted media outlets to host this important debate,” said Christopher Callahan, Arizona PBS CEO dean and dean of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “We hope this debate will help inform voters across the state on a critically important election.”

Cronkite News will provide post-debate coverage at Cronkite News is the award-winning student-produced news operation at the Cronkite School.

“At The Arizona Republic, our mission is to educate and empower,” said Nicole Carroll, editor of The Arizona Republic/ “We’re proud to help foster thoughtful discussion – at the debate and in our community. And we’re proud to partner with Arizona PBS.”

According to a recent poll released by The Arizona Republic, and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Cronkite News, 48.8 percent of Arizonans described their view of McCain as either “very favorable” or “favorable,” plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Kirkpatrick was at 36 percent in favorability in the same poll.  

The debate will air live on Arizona PBS (channel 8.1) and streamed on, Cronkite News on Facebook and Facebook/azcentral.

McCain, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, is seeking his sixth term as senator. He was first elected to Congress in 1982 from Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2008.

Kirkpatrick currently represents Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which includes much of the state outside of Phoenix and Tucson. She has represented the district since 2013. She also held the same seat from 2009-2011. She previously served as a member in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2005-2007.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication