TGen Associate Professor is Keynote Speaker April 29 at AZ Bio Expo in Phoenix

Dr. Matt Huentelman discusses innovative Alzheimer’s research through engaging online social media test called MindCrowd

Dr. Matt Huentelman, an Associate Professor of Neurogenomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), is the keynote speaker at the 2015 AZBio Expo.

Billed as “Arizona’s premier bioscience event,” this year’s Expo, sponsored by the Arizona BioIndustry Association, will present “Focus on Clinical Trials,” an all-day event, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 29 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. Third St.

At the luncheon keynote address scheduled at noon, Dr. Huentelman will discuss how TGen’s MindCrowd program is a prime example of using online crowdsourcing to recruit voluntary individuals for scientific studies and clinical research.

At http://www.MindCrowd.org, participants take a simple and fun 10-minute test that measures their reaction time and word-association memory. More than 53,000 people have taken the test, already making it one of the largest such scientific studies of its kind. The goal is to have 1 million participants, thereby examining a highly statistically significant population.

“The concept is that, through the use of the Internet, we can reach out and recruit voluntary individuals — as well as collect data — which we then can use to expand on those individuals whose data we study in the lab and in the clinic,” said Dr. Huentelman, who is Division Head of TGen’s Neurobehavioral Research Unit. “MindCrowd likely will enable us to vastly improve the applicability of our data.”

At TGen, Dr. Huentelman oversees research programs focused on sensory disorders, including hearing and vision loss, and on aging and age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the genetics of learning and memory, highlighted by the MindCrowd project.

Dr. Huentelman also is co-director of TGen’s Dorrance Center for Rare Childhood Disorders, which uses genomic sequencing — spelling out the billions of pieces of genetic information in each individual’s DNA — to investigate uncommon, and often previously undiagnosed, neurologic problems among children.

Also featured at the 2015 AZBio Expo are talks by: Dr. Mark Slater, Vice President for Research at HonorHealth in Scottsdale; and Dr. Glen Weiss, Director of Clinical Research at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear, Ariz.

Dr. Huentelman and Dr. Weiss were both selected in 2013 by the Phoenix Business Journal for its annual “40 Under 40” awards, which recognize 40 local up-and-coming professionals under 40 years old.

“Arizona’s bioscience industry is at the forefront of efforts to solve some of medicine’s most pressing challenges,” said Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of the Arizona BioIndustry Association. “This year’s speakers and panelists at the AZBio Expo are all leaders in their fields and will provide new insights for the business leaders, elected officials, clinicians, patients, and researchers who are coming together to learn more about this critical mile marker along the road from discovery to development to delivery.”

For more information about the Expo, visit: http://www.azbio.org.

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5th Annual Cycle for the Cure Offers More Ways to Support TGen Cancer Research

Kinesis, yoga and fitness classes will join stationary cycling May 2-3 at Village Health Clubs— Register before all slots run out!

Participants in the 5th annual Cycle for the Cure — supporting cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) — have more than cycling to choose from this year.

Kinesis resistance exercise, yoga and fitness classes will join stationary cycling, or spinning, as part of Cycle for the Cure’s record-breaking efforts to support TGen.

For spinning enthusiasts, three exhilarating 2-hour indoor cycling sessions are set for May 3, with one already sold out:

•    8-10 a.m. — Gainey Village Health Club & Spa, 7477 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale.
•    10 a.m.-noon — DC Ranch Village Health Club & Spa, 18501 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale.
•    3-5 p.m. — Camelback Village Racquet & Health Club, 4444 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. SOLD OUT.

Besides spinning, the Camelback Village location also will offer two Kinesis classes and a Yoga class on May 3.

On May 2, the Gainey Village club will offer a variety of fitness classes as part of their “Village for a Cure” alternative for spinning classes.

The Village Health Clubs welcome non-members to participate. Bikes can be reserved with a $200 tax-deductible donation. For details and to register, please go towww.tgenfoundation.org/cycle.

“This year, our Cycle for the Cure event provides even more fun ways to support TGen’s amazing cancer research,” said event Co-Chair Vicki Vaughn. “We are so energized and proud of the dedicated support we continue to receive from our friends and families.”

More than 200 men and women are expected to participate, aiming to raise a record $175,000 for TGen cancer research. Last year, Cycle for the Cure raised a record $154,000, exceeding last year’s goal by more than 20 percent.

A Post-Ride Party, with food, drinks and music by Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s Band, is planned for 5 p.m. May 3 at Camelback Village. The party is free for riders; $20 donation for guests.

“Spinning participants should look forward to a fast-paced two hours of upbeat music and positive energy, led by some of the best instructors in the business,” said Robyn DeBell, the event’s other Co-Chair. “Please join us to help fund TGen’s cancer fighting research.”

Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen President and Research Director, will be among TGen’s renowned scientists participating in Cycle for the Cure.

Using genomic sequencing, TGen helps doctors match the appropriate therapy to each patient’s DNA profile, producing the greatest patient benefit.

“Year after year, these dedicated volunteers find new ways to energize Cycle for the Cure, raising awareness and essential funding for TGen’s research,” said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff. “Cycle for the Cure helps deliver hope and answers for patients and their families. The dollars raised stay right here in Arizona, where TGen can really make a difference.”