Health Sciences' Monica Kraft and Marti Lindsey Receive AZBio Awards

Health Sciences' Monica Kraft and Marti Lindsey Receive AZBio Awards

By University of Arizona Health Sciences
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Monica Kraft, chair of the Department of Medicine, holder of the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson, and deputy director of the Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center
Monica Kraft, chair of the Department of Medicine, holder of the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson, and deputy director of the Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center
Marti Lindsey, community engagement director of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, associate director of the Center for Toxicology, and founder and co-director of the Keep Engaging Youth in Science Research Internship Program
Marti Lindsey, community engagement director of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, associate director of the Center for Toxicology, and founder and co-director of the Keep Engaging Youth in Science Research Internship Program

Two University of Arizona Health Sciences faculty members are among the bioindustry leaders from across Arizona who were honored recently for their commitment to life science innovation by the Arizona Bioindustry Association.

Monica Kraft of the College of Medicine – Tucson was recognized as the 2019 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year, and Marti Lindsey of the College of Pharmacy was honored as the 2019 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year at the AZBio Awards & Life Science Fiesta, held at the Phoenix Convention Center on Oct. 2.

"Dr. Kraft and Dr. Lindsey are both outstanding representatives of the University of Arizona Health Sciences' commitment to improve health across the state through excellence in research and education," said Michael D. Dake, senior vice president for health sciences.

Dake added that Kraft is among the most prominent asthma researchers in the country, and that the therapies she's developing for treating asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other inflammatory lung diseases could help millions of Americans. Lindsey, through her work as founder and co-director of the Keep Engaging Youth in Science Research Internship Program, has helped launched the careers hundreds of students and built relationships in underserved and tribal communities in the Southwest, Dake said.

Monica Kraft: 2019 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

The Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year award honors the life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes, as measured by publications and/or professional acknowledgement of their work in an academic or commercial setting.

Kraft was honored for her work on precision medicine therapies to treat severe asthma, a disease that affects more than 615,000 Arizonans and their families and whose economic cost nationally is more than $80 million a year. An internationally renowned physician-scientist, she is chair of the Department of Medicine and the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson. She also is deputy director of the Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, a member of the BIO5 Institute, and a physician with Banner – University Medicine.

Kraft's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Lung Association for nearly 25 years. She currently is principal investigator on more than $10 million in research projects funded by NIH units, the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission and the American Lung Association. She also is a co-investigator on multiple other federal grants related to asthma and pulmonary research.

More information about Kraft's achievements, publications and honors is available on the AZBio website. The association also produced a video about Kraft and her work that was played during the ceremony.

Marti Lindsey: 2019 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year

The Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year Award honors an educator who, as a member of the faculty or administration of an educational institution, demonstrated the greatest leadership, creativity and/or actions to inspire students and encourage them in the biosciences.

Lindsey was honored for her commitment to developing the next generation of inquiring minds and her work with people of all ages in communities across the Southwest. She is community engagement director for the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, associate director of the Center for Toxicology at the College of Pharmacy, and founder and co-director of the Keep Engaging Youth in Science Research Internship Program, commonly known as KEYS, at the BIO5 Institute.

Lindsey's work at the University spans more than 18 years. To recruit students to KEYS, she travels the state, forming relationships with teachers, schools and gifted high school students. Lindsey, who lived and worked on the Navajo Nation for six years, also is invested in Native American health and outreach.

To learn more  about Lindsey's achievements, visit the AZBio website or watch this video, which was played during the ceremony.

A version of this article originally appeared on the University of Arizona Health Sciences website.

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