Scorpion Antivenom in the Top 10 Health Stories from Arizona in the Past 125 Years

AZ Central

Health Sciences Center programs and individuals were singled out by the Arizona Republic as among the top 10 health stories in Arizona in the past 125 years. The award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program was noted for providing advances in telecommunications.  Hospitals and health centers began using "telemedicine" to access hard-to-reach populations in rural Arizona, among other populations.  In addition, Jack Copeland, MD, a former chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the UA, performed the state’s first heart transplant surgery in 1979; six years later, he performed the world’s first bridge-to-transplant surgery. Tucson-basedSynCardia, a UA spin-off company, was noted for manufacturing the total artificial heart, which continues to be used worldwide as a bridge to heart transplantation. Leslie Boyer, MD, director of the UA VIPER Institute, was recognized for conducting a multi-site clinical trial to test a scorpion antivenom made by a Mexican manufacturer. After a dozen years, Dr. Boyer’s efforts secured FDA approval of the much-needed drug.  The UA also was noted for making strides in genomic medicine. Read more.