| #180DayPlan I met with University of Arizona Cancer CenterDirector Dr. David Alberts last week for a tour of their facility on Campbell north of Prince. The building has been transformed from its Tucson General Hospital days into a beautiful facility for cancer care and research.The center, which has 3 clinical care locations in Tucson, is one of just 40 centers in the country to receive the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. In fact, it was the first center nationally to receive that designation.
In addition to the enormous health benefits of having this center in Tucson, it has brought millions of dollars in research funding to our community. From 2008 to 2009 alone, the total was over $75 million.
The center has also spun off 16 companies, including Ventana Medical Systems. In 2008, Ventana was acquired by Roche for approximately $3.4 billion. Ventana remains in the Greater Tucson Area and employs over 1,000 people locally.
Tucson is a Science City. The University and this center are two of the main reasons for that. I look forward to working with Dr. Alberts and the University to help as a city, where we can, with the continued success of this center and with the process of technology transfer. Our local economy benefits when breakthrough discoveries made in Tucson turn into breakout companies that stay in Tucson.
Retaining existing employers and supporting technology transfer/entrepreneurship are part of the Mayor’s 180 Day Work Plan.