Monthly Archives: September 2010

Downtown Phoenix Lab Lands Key Role in Cancer-Gene Mapping

[Source: Ken Alltucker, The Arizona Republic]

A Phoenix medical-research group has landed two multimillion-dollar contracts that give it a key role in an ambitious U.S. project aimed at solving the genetic riddle of common forms of cancer.

In a development that underscores Arizona’s leading role in medical research, the International Genomics Consortium was awarded nearly $59 million to collect, process and store tumor samples for the federal Cancer Genome Atlas project.

The contracts also are a reflection of Arizona’s efforts to generate high-paying research jobs in the biosciences, local industry experts say.

“The key is that they selected Arizona for a leadership role for the second phase of this project,” said Dr. Robert Penny, IGC’s chief executive officer.

IGC said it has signed a five-year, $21.4 million contract to secure cancer-tumor samples for the Atlas project. It also has received a preliminary five-year, $37.5 million contract extension to continue its role as a tissue bank for the federal project.

The Atlas project aims to map the genetic clues of cancer that may yield new ways to treat or prevent diseases that kill more than a half-million Americans each year.

IGC’s contracts will help support the downtown laboratory’s staff of 45 scientists, lab technicians, project managers and office workers and add up to 10 more positions. Just as important as the local jobs, Penny said, is the potential for creating Arizona-based spin-off companies as researchers seek to develop new drugs and tests based on Atlas-generated information.

The non-profit IGC has been part of Atlas since the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute research project launched in 2006. IGC has served as the “biospecimen core resource,” where tumor samples are stored and clinical data collected and shared with other scientists who analyze molecular information from the tumor samples.

The scope of Atlas has been compared to the Human Genome Project, a 13-year project that mapped the genes in human DNA and was completed in 2003. Scientists have used the Human Genome Project to understand diseases and develop new drugs.

The Atlas project started as a three-year pilot focused on brain, lung and ovarian cancers. The second phase of the project, funded with $275 million in federal stimulus dollars, will be expanded to 20 types of cancer.

Scientists involved in cancer research say the federal research project is vital to track all the genetic malfunctions that can trigger cancer.

“We must understand the cancer genome and we must understand it for all the common tumors,” said Dr. David Alberts, director of the University of Arizona’s Arizona Cancer Center. “If we don’t approach it in a global way, we will miss opportunities.”

Penny said the Phoenix lab will expand its ties with Arizona hospitals. IGC already secures tumor samples from Scottsdale Healthcare and has held preliminary talks to forge similar arrangements with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Health and University Medical Center in Tucson. IGC also will gather tissue samples from as many as 14 out-of-state hospitals and train workers at participating hospitals about its tissue-collection protocols.

Samples are sent to IGC’s downtown Phoenix lab, processed and stored in liquid-nitrogen containers.

IGC sends the tumor and corresponding clinical information about the patients to research centers where the genetic information is sequenced and characterized. The genetic information eventually will be made public and available to all scientists.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital of Columbus, Ohio, also was named as a contractor for the tissue bank part of the project, with an initial contract worth $5.5 million. It is likely that other groups will be involved in collecting tissue samples.

More than a dozen universities and research labs will handle different aspects of the Atlas project, such as genetic sequencing and data analysis.

Metro Phoenix bioscience experts say the Atlas project brings recognition to local efforts to add research jobs and make medical breakthroughs in Arizona.

“To land federal research grants of this scope is illustrative of the national role that Arizona organizations are playing in the biosciences,” said Jack Jewett, president and chief executive officer of Flinn Foundation, which has invested in and promoted the biosciences in Arizona.

IGC Chairman Richard Mallery launched IGC nearly a decade ago after his wife died of cancer. The downtown lab was an initial anchor of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which also includes the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and other public and private-research groups.

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CenPhoCamp returns to downtown Phoenix on October 9

CenPhoCamp is back again to help greater downtown Phoenix business owners, their customers and residents succeed in the new economy. The afternoon conference will feature 12 35-minute sessions designed to teach small business owners and the like how to better use the resources they may not know they have access to.

The volunteer-run workshop is comprised of local practitioners willing to show others exactly how to do what is they do. Kirk Yuhnke of ABC15 will be presenting on how to make your business story worth, Gary Campbell will present on how working with universities can help your bottom line, and pundit-turned-marketer Kevin Spidel will show how branding is the new customer loyalty program. These three, along with nine other hand-picked presenters, highlight the afternoon workshop to be held at the Cronkite building on the ASU downtown Phoenix campus.

Food is being provided by the attendees themselves, as conference organizers hope to create a community learning forum, rather than a lecture environment. The social media style even allows everyone to get back exactly what they put in.

Following the conference will be an after-party at “The District” located in the downtown Sheraton with hosted appetizers and drink specials from 5:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.

About CenPhoCamp:

CenPhoCamp is an “unconference” designed to bring together businesses, business leaders, customers, teachers and other interested people and entities who connect to downtown Phoenix for sessions of sharing and collaborating on how to build a greater downtown community culture and enterprise.

Originally organized by Tyler Hurst, a downtown resident writer and consultant, this year he partnered up with Si Robins, a downtown editor and writer for many local Phoenix publications as well as a host of green focused web sites like 1-800-Recycling to create a more streamlined version of the event.

The event, speakers, and attendees share a passion for promoting downtown business, culture, and success for that segment of the Phoenix market and population. The ultimate goal is to build a better downtown.


WHERE: Cronkite School, 2nd Floor, 555 N Central Ave Phoenix, 85004 (map)

WHEN: October 9, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.



Tyler Hurst


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Lady Gaga is returning to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Photo Credit: Zandland on Picasa

Lady Gaga may not like Arizona’s hard-line immigration law but the pop star will be back in Phoenix in March. Lady Gaga will be at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix on March 26.

The singer, aka Stefani Germanotta, sold out a concert at the same venue this summer and bad mouthed Senate Bill 1070. Tickets to the March concert go on sale Saturday. The Phoenix date is part of a 2011 tour by the pop singer whose music is part Madonna, part David Bowie with hints of Queen and Blondie.

A few bands including Maroon 5 have boycotted Arizona over the law but others are still coming despite their ‘artistic’ opposition

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Mini-Medical School in downtown Phoenix resumes

The fall session of the UA’s College of Medicine-Phoenix’ Mini-Medical School has been planned on four consecutive Wednesdays beginning October 6.
Lectures for this session include International Health-care & Ethics, Anatomy of the Brain, Vaccines, and Alzheimer’s Research.

All lectures are held from 6-8 p.m. at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, 550 E. Van Buren Street in the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium.

RSVP if you are planning to attend.

Immigration Conference at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus on September 30

Grupo Salinas and Azteca America through its non-profit arm Fundacion Azteca America are pleased to present, in conjunction with Arizona State University’s School of Transborder Studies, a groundbreaking conference on immigration entitled “State of Latinos: Truth in Immigration,” to be held in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism’s First Amendment Forum in downtown Phoenix on September 30.

The conference will include an overview of the US-Mexico trans-border world, an examination of the development of US-Mexico immigration laws and an outlook into legalization, regularization and the future of immigration. The event will also include a media panel, coordinated by the Cronkite School, to examine coverage of SB1070 from different perspectives through radio, TV, newspapers and the Internet.

Participants include: Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon; Thomas Saenz, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); Daniel R. Ortega Jr., National Council of La Raza (NCLR); Dr. Carlos Velez-Ibanez, School of Transborder Studies, ASU; Evelyn Cruz, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, ASU; Francisco Lara Valencia, School of Transborder Studies, ASU; Armando Guzman, Azteca America Maritza; Lizeth Gallego Felix, Prensa Hispana; Maria Barquin, Radio La Campesina;  Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic; Angel Rodriguez,

“We are pleased to engage the issues of immigration from an informed point of view that will help the greater public to attain a better understanding of the complexities of the subject,” said Dr. Carlos Velez-Ibanez, Director of the School of Transborder Studies.

“Our national debate on immigration policy and on the enforcement of immigration laws needs an infusion of greater factual accuracy and a commitment to carefully informed deliberation,” said Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). “Conferences like this one will help to reduce the amount of policymaking that is based on political posturing and pandering to fear and intolerance.”

“State of Latinos: Truth in Immigration” is a one of several initiatives supported by Fundacion Azteca America to foment dialog regarding comprehensive immigration reform.

A poster and schedule can be found HERE (pdf)

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Festival of the Arts celebrates re-opening of downtown Phoenix’s Herberger Theater

The Herberger Festival of the Arts celebrates the grand re-opening of the Herberger Theater Center featuring performances, food, art, live music, film festival shorts by the Phoenix Film Foundation, children’s activity area and more.

Saturday, October 2, 2010
10am – 6pm
Herberger Theater Center – indoors and out!

Click here for an invitation (.pdf).

FREE admission for kids 12 and under & $5.00 ages 13 and up. Tickets must be purchased at the gate the day of the festival.

The Performance Schedule can be found here.

A list Festival of the Arts Participants is here.


Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe in downtown Phoenix. The festival entrance is located off of 3rd Street between Van Buren & Monroe.  Monroe Street will be closed for the festival.

FREE parking at Arizona Center parking garage courtesy of Arizona Center!
Located at 5th Street & Fillmore.

For information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Laurene Austin, 602-254-7399 x105 or email.

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Phoenix Jobs Corps is Hosting a Job Fair in Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

The Phoenix Jobs Corps Center will host an employment fair Sept. 30 in downtown Phoenix.

Twenty-five employers will be at the job fair including Bank of AmericaSafeway MarketsFrito-LayUS AirwaysState Farm InsuranceU-Haul International, Manpower and state departments of Economic Security and Environmental Quality.

The expo starts at 9 a.m. and takes places 518 S. 3rd Street (map).

The Jobs Corps helps younger workers find jobs, but this career event is open to the general public.

The tough labor situation in the Valley has resulted in large crowds at jobs fairs. In addition, employers have been seeing huge numbers of applications and resumes put in for available positions.

For more info:

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Downtown Phoenix’s Urban Wine Walk is Saturday


Downtown’s popular wine, dine, and ride event is back.

Experience our urban core’s burgeoning wine scene by hopping on the METRO light rail for the second Urban Wine Walk, happening this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8-16The Urban Wine Walk is a FREE event that encourages adventurous participants to try new or familiar restaurants located along the METRO light rail in Downtown Phoenix, the Camelback Corridor and Tempe. Each restaurant will offer three wine samples and a snack all at can’t-beat-it pricing reserved exclusively for Urban Wine Walkers.

Market_TastingWEBTo take part in the Urban Wine Walk, simply print out the official map and wine listand jump on the light rail (NOTE: participating restaurants are located between the Mill Avenue and Central/Camelback stations) between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. And when you visit great restaurants like Kincaid’s1130 The RestaurantICON Lounge, Steve’s Greenhouse Grill and Phoenix Public Market, not to mention new addition Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar, just let your server know you’re on the Urban Wine Walk to take full advantage of exclusive wine and food deals.

Other participating restaurants include Caffe Boa, Ghost Lounge, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Maizie’s Cafe and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant.

The weather is supposed to be optimal for Wine Walking (sunny skies, 100 percent chance of fun) so bring some friends Downtown. See you on Saturday!

This event kicks off [Downtown Phoenix Partnerships] 20 Years of Progress celebration going on Sept. 25 thru Nov. 16. Please visit [their] 20 Years of Progress site for full details.

** Participants will need to purchase a METRO day pass

*** Must be 21

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It’s Tiki Time in Mid Town Phoenix

[Via: ABC 15]

Surf rock, tropical libations, and tiki treasures….oooo Mai! Yes, Mai Tais and Hawaiian shirts sway together once again this weekend for the Zogs Tiki Lounge Party 4 at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix.

Take a step back in time when The Ventures, Blue Hawaii, and colorful rum cocktails filled America with Polynesian posh. The Valley will once again experience this island adventure with the powerful yet calming motions from The Hawai’i and Pacific Islander Club Dancers and surf rock twang fu provided by the reverb sounds of local fez wearing menehunes Surfside IV, rockabilly/surf sounds of California natives The Hula Girls, and the instrumental sounds of Valley faves The Blue Moons will be cranking out shore melodies.

Live DJs, the sweet sounds of live tiki carving, swell island BBQ, and local low brow art will be on display to purchase. Tiki art and crafts byTom Copper and Nicholas White will also be showcased.

It has been a long hot summer and it is time kick off your shoes, sip on an umbrella cocktail and soak up some cool waves of tropical bliss without leaving the desert.


Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 6:00 PM – close

The Rhythm Room
1019 E Indian School Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Admission: $8

Here is some video coverage of last years event:

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Conveyor-belt sushi is coming to Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Howard Seftel,]

Attention, downtown Phoenix: Are you ready for a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant?

Ready or not, here it comes, in the form of Sushi Revolution, which will be occupying the spot next to Fair Trade Café on First Avenue at Roosevelt Street around Thanksgiving.

Faster, more casual and less expensive than traditional sushi restaurants, conveyor-belt sushi is very popular in Japan. You sit at the counter and watch the never-ending offerings glide past. Nab whatever you like. Plates are color-coded, to indicate price. At the end of the meal, a staffer adds up your plates and totals your bill. (The Valley’s first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, Sushi Eye, opened in Chandler in 2007.)

Chef/owner Antonio Chavira, 28, thinks downtown’s business folks and students will appreciate the format at lunch, while everyone will go for it at dinner or after a downtown event. He plans to stay open until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Although he will offer traditional sushi, Chavira, who calls himself an Anglo-Hispanic, promises “lots of fusion influences.” You’ll see a chile relleno roll, a duck confit and fig roll and a Maine lobster roll.

Prices, he says, will range from $1.50 to $4.

Sushi Revolution is downtown Phoenix’s second sushi restaurant. Moira Sushi, at 215 E. McKinley St., opened about 18 months ago.


Sushi Revolution
1024 N. First Ave., Phoenix. (under construction).

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