• Medical Innovation

    Mayo Clinic names leaders for Discovery Oasis biotech innovation hub in Phoenix 

In 2021, Mayo Clinic announced plans to develop a biotechnology innovation hub called Discovery Oasis adjacent to Mayo Clinic Hospital in North Phoenix.

Two leaders have now been named to champion this organizational priority. Steven Lester, M.D., Mayo Clinic cardiologist and health care futurist, will serve as the medical director for Discovery Oasis. Aric Bopp, an experienced economic development leader, will serve as its executive director. 

“I am inspired by this opportunity because I believe Discovery Oasis will have a transformative impact on healthcare and the greater Phoenix area for generations to come. We will shepherd in a new era of innovation in healthcare, where bold ideas are born and next-generation healthcare products, services and solutions are developed," says Dr. Lester.

“At Mayo Clinic, acting as a global leader in transforming medicine is central to our vision as an organization," he says. "Empowering intersections between Mayo experts and top healthcare disruptors can transform how we care for patients, at Mayo Clinic and beyond.” 

Dr. Lester and Bopp will partner in the execution of the Discovery Oasis vision, with support from Phoenix area economic development agencies and elected leaders, driving Arizona’s reputation as a leading biotech ecosystem and connecting with biotech companies that can disrupt and advance medicine and healthcare delivery. Arizona State University recognized nationally for innovation, is the first collaborator in this new ecosystem through its Health Futures campus and the Mayo Clinic and ASU Alliance for Health Care. 

“It takes a village to envision and execute upon a concept like Discovery Oasis, but I am very confident that we have the right initial organizations engaged, locally and nationally,” says Bopp. “We are building the foundation now for something very special.” 

Dr. Lester joined Mayo Clinic in 1999 and is a consultant in the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases and a professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic’s College of Medicine and Science. He has served as the associate medical director of both the Mayo Clinic Department of Business Development and Mayo Clinic Contract and Payer Relations. He also is the founder and chief medical officer of the MedTech Accelerator as part of the Mayo Clinic and ASU Alliance for Health Care. He speaks domestically and internationally about the future of consumer trends, the future of medicine and artificial intelligence. 

Bopp comes to Mayo Clinic following progressive experience in economic development within the greater Phoenix area. Most recently, he served as executive director of Economic Development and Innovation Zones with Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise. Before that, he served as the deputy director of strategic initiatives for the City of Mesa, program manager for the Economic Development at the City of Phoenix, and executive director for Virginia’s New River Valley Economic Development Alliance. He also has worked closely with various economic development organizations, including the Arizona Technology Council, Queen Creek Economic Development Commission, and the Chandler Economic Development Advisory Board. 

To learn more about Discovery Oasis, go to DiscoveryOasis.com