Bioscience is big business at the UA. With research being conducted in more than a dozen life sciences-related departments, world-renowned colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, and Optical Sciences, and research centers such as BIO5, the UA is providing expert solutions to the grand challenges in biotechnology and human, animal and plant health.

Core Competencies:

  • Genomics
  • Proteomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Plant Sciences and Pathology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Bioscience research is also conducted in the Arizona Cancer Center, Arizona Respiratory Center, and Arizona Research Laboratories, among many other departments. UA research strengths include genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, biophysics, and medical imaging, with specialties in cancer, plant sciences and pathology, and biomedical engineering, to name a few. Most research endeavors are interdisciplinary; inquiry into bioinformatics problems, for example, involves faculty from the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Management Information Systems. In the College of Optical Sciences, advances in biomedical imaging, biophotonics, experimental ultrasound and neural imaging, tissue optics and ophthalmic instrumentation and analysis help us to better observe and understand the human body. The Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory (HOGL) serves the DNA testing needs of large-scale projects for both the academic community and the private sector. Over the last few years HOGL has expanded to meet the needs of National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project, as well as the DNA Shoah Project, a humanitarian effort to perform a forensic reconstruction of the victims of the Holocaust.

In the internationally-recognized BIO5 Institute, scientists from across campus converge to uncover innovations to treat disease, feed humanity and preserve livable environments. From unlocking the genomics of corn to examining ways to make flora and fauna more virus-resistant, BIO5 participants are committed to solving humanity's most complex biology-based problems. Together with the UA Office of Technology Transfer, BIO5 partners with industry to translate UA innovations into tangible human benefit. In fact, a number of biotechnology companies have been spun off UA research, including Ventana Medical Systems, Southern Arizona’s largest life sciences firm, which was purchased by Roche Laboratories for $3.1 billion in 2008.

In 2008, The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a University of Arizona–led team $50 million dollars to create the iPlant Collaborative, a global center and computer cyberinfrastructure within which scientists can answer plant biology's grand challenge questions that no single research entity in the world currently has the capacity to address. The project unites plant scientists, computer scientists and information scientists from around the world for the first time ever to provide answers to questions of global importance and advance all of these fields.