Cantwell wins Transformational Leadership Award

Cantwell wins Transformational Leadership Award

By Paul TumarkinTech Launch Arizona
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Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell
Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell
Ruslan Rafikov
Ruslan Rafikov

Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation, was presented with the MSS Transformational Leadership Award at the 2020 Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards. The honors, celebrated during a virtual event on Nov. 4, recognize Arizona's top business, technology and education leaders. The annual awards are presented by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Cantwell leads the University's research and discovery work, and supports efforts to move inventions and technologies to the marketplace. She has expanded the University's research enterprise to include "impact," ­ integrating the mission of knowledge creation with the responsibility to make a tangible difference in the world.

Ruslan Rafikov, associate professor of medicine with the College of Medicine – Tucson, was selected as Innovator of the Year in the academia category. Rafikov focuses his research on metabolic reprogramming, stress-induced signaling and developing new drug candidates and diagnostic tools for pulmonary diseases. He has been with the University since 2015.

Several other University-affilated people and companies also were honored:

AccountabilIT  Lifetime Achievement Award: Fletcher J. McCusker, UAVenture Capital

Fletcher J. McCusker is co-founder of UAVenture Capital Fund LLC, which helps finance University of Arizona-connected enterprises. McCusker serves on multiple University boards and was a 2011 Alumni of the Year Award recipient.

Innovator of the Year  (small company): Lunewave Inc.

Lunewave has developed a high-performance, high-value radar sensor systems for autonomous vehicle applications. The technology was  invented in the College of Engineering.

Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Gregg Scoresby, CampusLogic

ScholarshipUniverse, developed at the University of Arizona, is part of CampusLogic's portfolio of products. The University has licensed the web-based platform, which helps match students with available scholarships.

Judges Award: Avery Therapeutics Inc.

University of Arizona startup Avery Therapeutics is a company dedicated to advancing tissue-engineered therapeutics to treat diseases and injuries to human muscle. Avery's lead product, MyCardia, is a tissue-engineered heart graft developed to treat heart failure and is currently in the preclinical development phase. The company was launched to commercialize technology invented at the College of Medicine – Tucson by Jordan Lancaster, assistant research scientist at the Sarver Heart Center, and Steven Goldman, research scientist at the Sarver Heart Center and BIO5 Institute member.

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