CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#AZBW--The Arizona Bioindustry Association will honor Marvin J. Slepian, MD, of

the University of Arizona with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime

Achievement at the 2017

AZBio Awards. Arizona life science and business leaders, as well as

guests from across the country, will be on hand to applaud Dr. Slepian

for a body of work that has made life better for people at home and

around the world.

The maxim, “If you need to get something done, ask a busy person,” often

has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Dr. Slepian is someone

Franklin would have recognized as a kindred spirit.

Dr. Slepian is a cardiologist, inventor, entrepreneur, educator,

innovator and more. At the UA, he serves as professor of medicine,

professor and associate department head of biomedical engineering,

professor of material sciences and engineering, professor of medical

imaging, McGuire Scholar in the UA Eller College of Management and

member of the UA Sarver Heart Center. Dr. Slepian also is the founder

and director of the newly created Arizona Center for Accelerated

Biomedical Innovation (ACABI) – a “creativity engine” focused on novel

solution development for unmet medical needs.

Building on a solid foundation

Dr. Slepian attended Princeton (AB biochemical sciences and science in

human affairs 1977) and received his medical degree from the University

of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1981 AOA). He completed his residency

in internal medicine at New York University–Bellevue Hospital in New

York, where he served as chief resident in medicine; his clinical and

research fellowships in cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of

Medicine in Baltimore; and his clinical and research fellowships in

interventional cardiology and a research fellowship in artificial organs

at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, Dr. Slepian

received post-doctoral training in chemical engineering and polymer

chemistry at Washington University and MIT.

From idea to patient

With a career that spans the spectrum from basic and translational

research to technology transfer, Dr. Slepian exemplifies how keen

clinical observation coupled with solid basic science knowledge and

exploration in the lab can successfully transition to commercial

products that make life better for patients. At the basic level, his

laboratory has focused on three main areas: 1. the role of cell-matrix

interactions in vascular disease, 2. the role of physical forces in

modulating vascular cell and platelet behavior and 3. the utility of

polymeric biomaterials to modulate cell-matrix interactions, as well as

serve as novel therapeutic structural, barrier or drug-delivery

materials. On the translational level, his lab has developed many novel

therapeutic solutions based on polymeric biomaterials that have found

their way into clinical use today, including drug-eluting stent

technologies, stent coatings, “polymer paving,” surgical anti-adhesive

barriers, synthetic tissue and vascular sealants, myocardial

revascularization and cell-delivery methods, and cardiovascular

prosthetic devices, including the total artificial heart.

Dr. Slepian has founded or co-founded several medical device companies,

including Focal (which went public in 1997 and was acquired by Genzyme

Biosurgery in 2001), EndoTex Interventional Systems Inc. (acquired by

Boston Scientific in 2007), Angiotrax, Hansen Medical (which went public

in 2006 and was acquired by Auris Surgical Robotics in 2016), Arsenal

Medical and its spinout company 480 BioMedical, and MC10, which takes

rigid high-performance electronics and reshapes them into human

compatible form factors that stretch, bend and twist to move with the

body. He has been involved with bringing many new devices through the

FDA regulatory process into clinical use, including most notably the

total artificial heart. Dr. Slepian was the founding president of

SynCardia Systems, Inc., and served in multiple roles, including chief

scientific officer, president and chairman for more than a decade.

Today, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is the only artificial heart

commercially available in the United States, European Union and Canada

for use as a bridge-to-donor heart transplantation.

Dr. Slepian has received multiple awards for his academic and

translational research and innovation activities, including election as

a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological

Engineering (AIMBE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and has

been a frequent visiting professor and lecturer in medicine

(cardiology), biomedical engineering and innovation, both nationally and

internationally. He is the author of numerous publications; holds

patents in the fields of vascular biology, thrombosis, polymeric

biomaterials, local drug delivery, medical device development and

artificial organs; is an active reviewer for multiple journals; and is a

consultant for academia, industry and governmental agencies. Most

recently, Dr. Slepian has served as president of the International

Society for Mechanical Circulatory Support (ISMCS), secretary/treasurer

of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) and as

annual meeting program chair of both of these societies for 2017.

For a lifetime of leadership, vision and commitment to making life

better in Arizona and around the world, Marvin J. Slepian, MD, is being

honored with the 2017 Arizona Bioscience Pioneer Award for Lifetime


Past recipients of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement

include: Dr. George Poste, DVM, PhD, FRC Path, FRS, of Arizona State

University; Gordon Steere for his legacy in developing the Medtronic

Tempe Campus; Roy Curtiss, III, PhD, of the Biodesign Institute at

Arizona State University; David S. Alberts, MD, director emeritus of the

University of Arizona Cancer Center; Raymond L. Woosley, MD, PhD,

chairman emeritus of the Critical Path Institute; and Thomas M. Grogan,

MD, founder of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.

A ceremony honoring Dr. Slepian will take place at the AZBio

Awards on Oct. 11 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators,

innovators and companies. Each year, AZBio honors bioindustry leaders

from across the state of Arizona who are illustrative of the depth,

breadth and expertise of its bioscience industry. The AZBio Awards

ceremony is held annually during Arizona

Bioscience Week. AZBW 2017 was proclaimed by the Arizona Senate

earlier this year. Multiple educational events focused on the value of

life science innovation will take place from Oct. 8-14, including the BMES

Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

is the world’s leading society of professionals devoted to developing

and using engineering and technology to advance human health and

well-being. Attendees at BMES 2017 in Phoenix are expected to include

nearly 4,000 professional scientists, engineers, researchers and

students from academia and industry who are leaders in biomedical


For registration and more information, go to

For more information on Arizona Bioscience Week, visit

About AZBio

A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, the Arizona

Bioindustry Association (AZBio) is the only statewide organization

exclusively focused on Arizona’s bioscience industry. AZBio membership

includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators,

educators, healthcare partners and leading business organizations. AZBio

is the statewide affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization

(BIO) and works in partnership with AdvaMed, MDMA and PhRMA to advance

innovation and to ensure that the value delivered from life-changing and

life-saving innovation benefits people in Arizona and around the world.

For more information visit

Photos available upon request.


Arizona Bioindustry Association

Joan Koerber-Walker, 480-332-9636



Bioindustry Association

Amanda Vega, 480-275-9797



of Arizona

Katie Maass, 520-626-4083