Texas Medical Center CEO Robert Robbins in Line For Top Arizona Post

[Updated 3/01/17 4:37 pm. See below.] Houston—Robert Robbins, the CEO of the Texas Medical Center, is one of two finalists vying to be the next president of the University of Arizona.

The Phoenix-based Arizona Board of Regents announced Monday that the top two candidates are Robbins and Sethuraman Panchanathan, the executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer at Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise Development department.

Arizona’s board of regents stated in a press release that both candidates will interview in Phoenix on March 6 and that the successful finalist will come to the Tucson, AZ, campus two days later.

Since his arrival at the Texas Medical Center’s CEO in late 2012, Robbins has overseen a transformation in how the corporation supports the innovation that comes from both within the TMC and the broader Houston biotech community. Most notably, in the last two years, the TMC has created the TMCx accelerator, which brings in young health IT and medical device companies, and a biodesign fellowship that can help medical entrepreneurs see commercial opportunities.

[Response added from TMC board.Robbins was not available for comment. But Holcombe Crosswell,  the TMC board’s chairman, said in a statement that top leaders such as Robbins are often recruited to such positions. “TMC is proud to have a strong, respected and admired leader in Dr. Robbins,” he said.

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