Jennifer Barton

Jennifer Barton, an accomplished Arizona leader in the biosciences, higher education, and public policy, has been named vice chair of the Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee.

The committee, administered by the Flinn Foundation, is the statewide leadership group responsible for overseeing Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the long-term strategic plan to guide the growth and development of the state’s bioscience sector.

Barton, who became a committee member in 2013, will be in a committee leadership position for the first time. Barton, a biomedical engineer, researcher, and inventor, is the director of the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute in Tucson.

The committee includes about 135 Arizonans from the public and private sector in science, health care, business, academia, and policy, as well as annual awardees of the Flinn Foundation’s translational research and entrepreneurship programs. The group is charged with creating a business environment and encouraging innovative partnerships that will lead to growth in the bioscience ecosystem.

Barton has held many positions at UArizona over the last 26 years—several simultaneously. In addition to BIO5 Institute director, she is the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering, professor of electrical and computer engineering, optical sciences, and biosystems engineering, and a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Barton is also working toward commercialization of a patented falloposcope, a miniature endoscopic device she invented that can capture high-resolution images of the fallopian tubes to detect early signs of ovarian cancer.    

In 2024, Barton is serving as president of SPIE, the 22,000-member international society for optics and photonics. She also served for four years on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Over the next 18 months, the steering committee’s guidance will be critical in the Flinn Foundation’s planned update to Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap—the first since 2014. The next version of the Roadmap is expected to be launched in 2025.  

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