Welcome to our Fall 2015 newsletter.  For more updates, join us on  Facebook Twitter or our  SCRMC website.

Featured Researcher - Healing Sound:

by Josh Knackert

Most of us have experienced that one sporting event or terrible cold which leaves us hoarse and unable to speak with ease.  This vocal loss is contributed to laryngitis, which is inflammation of the larynx or voice box.  Most people get better after a few days and do not give their brief speaking impediment a second thought.  However, there are people for whom speaking with ease becomes a persistent struggle. 

Chronic laryngitis can be attributed to a number of factors, including smoking, acid reflux, heavy voice use (as with singers and teachers), and environmental factors.  Chronic laryngitis is one of the more common ways in which the vocal folds (or vocal cords) can become permanently scarred and damaged.  Other possible  causes include neural based issues-often caused by surgery or intubation, throat cancers including human papillomavirus (HPV), or genetic disorders.
Susan Thibeault, Ph.D., CCC-SLP , professor of surgery and member of the SCMRC Stem Cell Bioengineering Focus Group , sees many patients with these conditions as the Director of the Voice and Swallow Section of the Otolaryngology Clinics, a division of UW Health.  The clinic serves around a thousand patients per month, with a variety of speech, swallowing, and airway issues.  The clinic's staff provides vital support for helping people rest and repair their vocal cords when possible, as well as teaching them how to adapt to partial vocal cord damage.  However, extensive damage of the vocal cords can be debilitating, leading to permanent struggles with speaking, swallowing, and breathing.  Once the vocal fold is extensively damaged, there is little to no treatment available.  Fortunately, Thibeault is working to change this.

Enhancing career opportunities  for top Ph.D. students in stem cells and regenerative medicine

A new SCRMC program aims to facilitate graduate student participation in career internship options outside of academic research. The goal of the CEO program, short for Career Enhancement Opportunity Exploration, is to help students make informed decisions about which of the many career paths to pursue after graduation. The program has two main components: a training component and an internship.The training component consists of a 2-credit course, Biomedical Engineering 601This course will prepare students for the internship interview process, orient them toward future internships and provide career development skills that will also be useful for their eventual job searches post-graduation. Identifying the internship and funding is the student's responsibility, with assistance offered throughout the training component. For more information, eligibility requirements and timelines, please visit the CEO website

Above: Graduate students Ben Steyer and Nicole Piscopo with Kris Saha, Ph.D., who directs the SCRMC's new CEO program. (Photo by J. Lenon.)
Fast Fact

TED-Ed's "What are stem cells?" co-produced by the SCMRC in 2013, has racked up 223,584 views, 7,509 questions answered, and 268 customized lesson plans built upon it to date!

Fall Conference Recap

Photos of our Fall Conference poster winners, student organizing committee, keynote speakers and more appear in our fifth annual Fall Conference Review. Enjoy the show and comments!

Wrote one viewer on a photo of our organizing committee, "It's fun to see where life has taken my former 6th graders!"

SCRMC gatherings -
Save the Dates!

March 16-19, 2016 
Regenerative Medicine Workshop at Hilton Head
Abstracts due Dec. 6!

April 13, 2016 
11th Annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium

Sept. 30, 2016
SCRMC Fall Conference, Discovery Building

Please contact Susan Gilbert for more information.