The passing of Proposition 301 allowed for a voter-approved tax to help generate advancements in higher education, including the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) that would allow universities to invest in STEM and research-based initiatives that benefit Arizonans. With TRIF support, the virtual and interdisciplinary-focused Institute for Biomedical Science and Biotechnology (IBSB) and precursor to what would become the BIO5 Institute launched at the University of Arizona under the leadership of Dr. Tom Baldwin, then professor and department head of biochemistry.


A rendering of the Keating building

  • Planning began for the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building - the physical home of IBSB/BIO5.

  • Targeted faculty, including Dr. Craig Aspinwall and Dr. Rod Wing, were hired with the goal of catalyzing collaborative thinking.

  • Strategic investments in cutting edge equipment, core support facilities, and bioinformatics capabilities were made.

  • Began actively collaborating with partners across the state to catalyze the success of the Flinn Foundation-commissioned Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, a long-term strategic plan with the goal of Arizona becoming a globally competitive and a national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.


A graphic of search for people

  • Transformational hires recruited to UArizona included Dr. Joyce Schroeder and Dr. Michael Worobey.

  • Strategic systems were established to better connect internal and external entities through expertise, equipment, services, and students.


  • IBSB rebranded to become the BIO5 Institute.
  • Dr. Laurence Hurley was named associate director.



The Thomas W. Keating Bioscience Research Building opened, becoming the physical home of the BIO5 Institute.

A researcher wearing a safety suit in a lab space

The Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) facility became the first and
still only space on campus to safely handle and store
human, animal, and plant infectious agents or toxins.

A researcher near equipment inside a lab space

A group of high school interns inside BIO5 Institute

  • BIO5’s KEYS Research Internship for Arizona high school students began with a cohort of nine interns.

  • The BIO5 Media Facility launched to provide consistently high-quality research materials at significant cost savings to a diverse customer base of university researchers, bioindustry, and educational institutions. Today, the Media Facility continues to help researchers improve efficiency, strengthen grant applications and fulfillment, and move to patents faster.


The iPlant Collaborative (now CyVerse) administered by BIO5 was awarded it’s initial $50M - the largest National Science Foundation grant in Arizona history at the time - to serve international plant science communities by providing powerful resources and scientific and technical support services to enable data-driven, collaborative research.

An aerial shot of Science City at The Tucson Festival of Books

BIO5 led its first “Science City” community event, originally a simple ‘Science Pavilion’ idea at the Tucson Festival of Books that has since grown into a cross-campus ‘city’ of science.


Dr. Martinez posing for a photo inside research lab



BIO5 Ambassadors club launched to support outreach, events, and tours.



Portrait photo of Dr. Roberta Brinton

  • Dr. Robbie Brinton, an international expert in aging and brain disease biology, prevention, and treatment, came to UArizona, joined BIO5, and was subsequently named director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science.

  • Startup, ProNeurogen, Inc., launched through our partnership with Tech Launch Arizona.

CyVerse logo

iPlant was rebranded as CyVerse to emphasize an expanded mission and cyberinfrastructure germane to all life sciences disciplines; by democratizing access to supercomputing capabilities, CyVerse provides a crucial resource to enable scientists to find solutions for the future.




Exterior shot of the BSRL building

The Bioscience Research Laboratory building opened as a companion space to the Keating building, allowing for an expansion of collaborative space, expertise, and resources.

A researcher working in a lab

The BIO5 Biomedical Device Prototyping Service (BDPS), a core service offering engineering design services and prototyping for scientific and medical devices, launched under the direction of Drs. Scott Derigne and Jennifer Barton.

A student presenting at WIS event

  • BIO5 Ambassadors transformed into an internship where students work with BIO5 staff on projects including digital marketing, event planning and execution, science communication, and more.

  • Startup, Avery Therapeutics, Inc., launched through our partnership with Tech Launch Arizona.


BIO5 members helped launch the University of Arizona-Banner Health All of Us research program which was awarded $60+M by the National Institutes of Health - the largest grant in Arizona history. People who join provide information about their health, habits and environment. By looking for patterns, researchers can learn more about what affects people’s health. All of Us aims to enroll at least one million participants to improve treatment and prevention strategies based on differences in lifestyle, environment, and genetics.


Michael Johnson posing for a photo inside a lab

BIO5 launched DISCOVER BIO5, an event series designed to showcase the innovative bioscience research happening at UArizona, and to share the inspiring ways we prepare our next generation of scientists for the future. We celebrate science and innovation by offering a “public sneak peek” into BIO5’s world-class research and discovery endeavors focused on solving the world’s grand biological challenges, improving society, and positively impacting Arizonans.



BIO5's science talks podcast

BIO5 launches Science Talks: a conversation hosted by UArizona’s BIO5 Institute, a podcast and video series highlighting the important research and innovation happening at BIO5.

DISCOVER BIO5 commemorates 20 years of research, innovation, and impact through a variety of events, talks, interactive programming, and public-friendly content for you to learn more about BIO5’s mission.