College Hosts Biomarker Research Symposium

Marian Frank
Marian Frank
Attendees Learned How Biomarker Discovery and Screening is Impacting Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment in Health Care

On December 6, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix hosted a symposium for researchers, physicians, students, residents and members of the community to learn more about how biomarker discoveries can be applied to the treatment of diseases.

John D. Halamka, MD, MS
John D. Halamka, MD, MS
“Biomarkers: From Specimen to Clinical Impact” brought together leaders from multiple institutions to discuss the opportunities, capabilities, future trends and challenges of innovation in biomarker discovery. Attendees learned about the future of therapeutic and diagnostics development, digital medicine and machine learning using artificial intelligence as health delivery advances in the modern age.

The keynote speaker, John D. Halamka, MD, MS, presented “The Next Great Informatics Challenges in Health Care.” Dr. Halamka is the international health care innovation professor at Harvard Medical School and chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Health System.

Other speakers included:

  • Anna Barker, PhD, director of the National Biomarker Development Alliance, co-director of Complex Adaptive Systems and professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University.
  • Donald A. Berry, PhD, founder of Berry Consultants LLC and a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Michael Fallon, MD, FACP, executive director for Clinical Research and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD, director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program — a joint venture with Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Department of Child Health at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System — as well as an associate professor of Child Health at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Yves Lussier, MD, FACMI, associate vice president for Information Science and chief knowledge officer of the University of Arizona Health Sciences; founding director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics; and a professor of Medicine.
  • Timothy K. McDaniel PhD, senior vice president of Emerging Opportunities and professor of Integrated Cancer Genomics at Translational Genomics Research Institute and City of Hope.
  • Akinlolu Ojo, MD, MPH, PhD, MBA, associate vice president for Clinical Research and Global Health Initiatives at the University of Arizona Health Sciences and a professor of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
  • Eric M. Reiman, MD, CEO of Banner Research and a professor of Psychiatry at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Dr. Andreas Theodorou, chief education officer with Banner University Medical Group, as well as professor and vice chair of Clinical Affairs and Quality for the Department of Pediatrics at University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The event was free, thanks to sponsors Arizona Biomedical Research Center and the Flinn Foundation.

A poster session for abstracts that report processes or results related to biomarkers, specimen management, personalized medicine, big data analysis and informatics concluded the symposium.


Casey Sapio
Phone: 602-827-3630        

About the College

Founded in 2007, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. By cultivating collaborative research locally and globally, the college accelerates discovery in a number of critical areas — including cancer, stroke, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease. Championed as a student-centric campus, the college has graduated more than 800 physicians, all of whom received exceptional training from nine clinical partners and more than 2,700 diverse faculty members. As the anchor to the Phoenix Bioscience Core, which is projected to have an economic impact of $3.1 billion by 2025, the college prides itself on engaging with the community, fostering education, inclusion, access and advocacy.