Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of our new quarterly SCRMC newsletter. For more news and interactive updates, join us on Facebook or the SCRMC website.
Did you know that SCRMC members have garnered over $230 million in federal research funding since 2010? Read on about some other ways that our members are impacting science and society! 




Four receive SCMRC Training Awards


Out of 26 outstanding graduate and postdoctoral applicants for this year's
SCRMC Training Awards, the recipients are, clockwise from top left:
  • Steven Jackson, Ph.D., postdoctoral training award recipient, and his mentor, Rupa Sridharan, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell and regenerative biology and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.
  • Jared Carlson-Stevermer, B.S., graduate training award recipient, and his mentor, Kris Saha, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. 
  • Andrew Petersen, Ph.D., postdoctoral training award recipient, and his mentor, Su-Chun Zhang, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience and Waisman Center.
  • Fima Zaltsman, B.S., graduate training award recipient, and his mentor, Laura Kiessling, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry. 

The SCRMC Education Committee and WiSCR Chair Jayne Squirrell, Ph.D., would like to express their thanks to the SCRMC members who carefully and thoughtfully reviewed the applications. (Images by S. Gilbert)





By studying nerve cells that originated in patients with a severe neurological disease, SCMRC member Su-Chun Zhang, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience and neurology at the Waisman Center has pinpointed an error in protein formation that could be the root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).


Also called Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS causes paralysis and death. According to the ALS Association, as many as 30,000 Americans are living with ALS.


Researchers make muscle cells from human stem cells


As stem cells continue their gradual transition from the lab to the clinic, SCRMC member Masatoshi Suzuki, Ph.D., assistant professor of comparative biosciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine has discovered a new way to make large numbers of skeletal muscle cells and muscle progenitors from human stem cells.


The new method, described in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, could be used to generate large numbers of muscle cells and muscle progenitors directly from human pluripotent stem cells. These stem cells, such as embryonic (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, can be made into virtually any adult cell in the body.


'Stem cell tourism' takes advantage of patients, says law professor


Desperate patients are easy prey for unscrupulous clinics offering untested and risky stem cell treatments, says SCRMC member Alta Charo, J.D., professor of law and bioethics, who is studying "stem cell tourism."


Stem cells are cells that can form many types of cells in the body, and that makes them inherently promising - and dangerous. "Stem cell tourism" refers to people traveling, both within the U.S. and abroad, in pursuit of advertised stem cell therapies to purportedly treat a variety of medical conditions.


Tuesday stem cell meetings run through May 6


Justin Williams, Ph.D., left, joins SCRMC Co-Director Bill Murphy, Ph.D., at the April 1 meeting of the SCRMC Weekly Campus Seminar Series. An associated professor of biomedical engineering, Williams was the invited speaker choice of the Wisconsin Stem Cell Roundtable (WiSCR), a graduate student and postdoctoral trainee organization proudly supported by the SCRMC. He spoke on emerging engineering technologies used to interface with the nervous system. 

Students wishing to attend the series for academic credit should contact Sue Gilbert.

Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium is April 30


Join leading researchers investigating how stem cells give rise to blood develop and function, and how analyzing their mechanisms yields principles of stem/progenitor cell biology, as well as insights into diseases such as cancer. From Stem Cells to Blood, the 9th annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium, is coordinated by the SCRMC, the Blood Research Program, and the BioPharmaceutical Technology 

Center Institute (BTCI).



Hearts and stem cells join fish and ships at Discovery World in Milwaukee


When Nina Garlie, Ph.D., director of Regenerative Medicine at Aurora Health Care, approached
Amish Raval, M.D., about a planned heart exhibit at Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee, Raval and the
SCRMC Cardiovascular Regeneration Scientific Focus Group knew this was an opportunity not to be missed. SCRMC directors, faculty and staff produced exhibit materials, videos and hands-on activities for the world-class science museum on the Milwaukee lakefront.


The finished exhibit, sponsored by Aurora Health Care, included a cardiovascular health and research video produced by UW Health and SCRMC staff and featuring Dr. Raval.


As part of a satellite workshop at the exhibit's premiere March 15, SCRMC Co-Director Tim Kamp, M.D., Ph.D., along with present and past SCRMC trainee award winners Steve Jackson, Ph.D., and Emily Jobe, B.A., joined Jordana Lenon, B.S., in running more than a dozen stem cell mini-lab sessions for teachers, patients, students and others who signed up in advance for this part of the experience.


View more photos of the exhibit, titled Your Mighty Heart or better yet, visit the exhibit until May 31, 2014. (Image by J. Lenon)



Fima Zaltsman, B.S., the new president of the Wisconsin Stem Cell Roundtable, succeeding Ka Yi Ling, B.S., volunteered Jan. 20 along with seven other WiSCR members on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. They showed fixed stem cells under the microscope and let about 100 young people try their hand at pipetting and plating techniques. Most of our outreach audiences have never been in a real lab or seen how researchers keep cells alive outside the body. Other WiSCR volunteers from our many SCRMC labs were Hamisha Ardalani, Nick Propson, Mitch Biermann, Jared Carlson-Stevermer, Matt Brown, Amritava Das and Ryan Prestil. (Image by Karla Foster)  


The most visited page on our website, after our home page, is our SCRMC faculty list. Check it out to see who's new, who's working on what, who has job opportunities in their labs, who's making headlines and much more.

COMING UP NEXT - SCRMC Featured Researcher, WiCell Updates, Spring Symposium Recap and more. Please send additional ideas to Jordana Lenon, Editor.





Are you a UW-Madison faculty or staff member, or a student interested in stem cell and regenerative medicine research?

If so, the SCRMC is your central point of contact for information and education, faculty interaction, and facilitation for research and clinical development in the field.


Operating under the School of Medicine and Public Health and the Graduate School, our center's goals are to:

  • Maintain UW-Madison as leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research and application.
  • Foster increased communication about the field within campus and beyond its borders.
  • Support basic and translational research, clinical application, and sound bioethics and public policy decisions.
  • Develop education, training and outreach programs.
  • Enhance philanthropic support. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, with landmark discoveries including the first successful isolation of pluripotent stem cells in 1998 by James Thomson and colleagues.

As you can read in our latest SCRMC 2014 Update, we are now advancing better ways to treat debilitating diseases and uncover the fundamental processes that lead to these diseases.

Won't you join us in our important mission?


Thank you for reading and for your support.



Dr. Bill Murphy, Co-Director

Sue Gilbert, Program, Website

Jordana Lenon, Outreach


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