Managing Director – BlueStone Venture Partners
By David Pittman
Mara Aspinall is a biotech industry executive and healthcare trailblazer who is passionate about educating the community on the importance of diagnostics, genomics and personalized medicine.
Aspinall is managing director of BlueStone Venture Partners and the former president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, now Roche Tissue Diagnostics, a global leader in development and commercialization of tissue-based cancer diagnostics. During her tenure, Aspinall helped increase market share and global growth.
She spent 12 years as president of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, where she helped set an industry standard for quality, while growing the firm at unprecedented rates. The business was sold to LabCorp for $1 billion.
“I love strategic and operational challenges and working with great people because it enables me to learn and improve,” Aspinall said. “I have the privilege and responsibility of working in an industry that is all about people’s health; and it’s not just about individual health, but also impacts community wellness and population health.”
She is proud to lead BlueStone in Tucson because “it gives us the chance to invest in the next generation of healthcare and life science technology companies. Three of our companies are based in Arizona.”
Aspinall co-founded the School of Biomedical Diagnostics at Arizona State University, the first school dedicated to diagnostics as an independent discipline. The school awarded its first master’s degrees in 2014 and has almost 100 students in the program this year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Aspinall emerged as a national expert on COVID testing and served as an advisor to The Rockefeller Foundation. She co-authored the foundation’s national reports on public health policy.
Aspinall is a board member of Abcam, Castle Biosciences, OraSure, Pyx Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona; and co-chairs the Arizona Biosciences Board, a CEO group that encourages venture capital for innovation-based technology companies. She also serves on the boards of Sun Corridor Inc. and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.
“Mara is a true force,” said SALC President and CEO Ted Maxwell. “Her expertise, commitment and engagement in any endeavor she takes on always results in improvement and impact. Whether it has been her business, education, community or scientific ventures, she has a track record of incredible success. Mara makes everyone around her better.”
Aspinall was named Arizona Biosciences Leader of the Year in 2016 and one of the “100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences” by PharmaVOICE magazine. She has an MBA from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University.