Update your Rolodex: the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School no longer exist. With an eye to streamlining infrastructure costs and keeping up with the latest directions in biomedical research, the three former departments have been rolled into two new entities: the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology.
Radical reorganization of basic science departments at a huge research university can be difficult to realize. In the case of UW-Madison, several serendipitous factors came into play at once, making the restructuring possible:
- The anatomy and pharmacology department chairs stated their intention to resign their chairmanships
- The chair of physiology was promoted to a dean position
- There were already active discussions about consolidating the neurosciences
- Nationally, other anatomy departments had already begun to redefine themselves to include emerging fields like regenerative biology (including stem cell research)
- Federal funding was going to be limited while the economy continued to struggle
The reorganization of these UW university departments is more than a paper formality. It will take dramatic shape physically in 2013 when the second tower of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) opens. This tower will include approximately 251,000 GSF of biomedical science space, with research units relocated from the Medical Sciences Center (MSC) on the central campus.
As is the case with most new science buildings, the goal of its design is to facilitate interdisciplinary research by creating spaces and opportunities for scientists to interact. In the midst of this collaborative environment will be housed the new departments of Neuroscience and Cell and Regenerative Biology.
According to Richard Moss, senior associate dean for basic research, biotechnology and graduate studies at the Medical School, and lead player in this restructuring plan:
"We expect to see new programs of collaborative research in WIMR II resulting from the close proximity and interactions among scientists with a range of complementary interests."
Each of the new university departments will be larger than any of the previous departments, and they will contain fewer redundancies and require less investment in infrastructure and overhead, Moss adds.
If you are a supplier of research equipment or a research scientist yourself and would like to meet and network with others in the Madison life science research community, plan on attending one or both of the upcoming Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. tradeshow events in Madison this September 7-8, 2011:
- Madison University Research Park FrontLine™ Event, September 7, 2011
- Madison BioResearch Product Faire™ Event on the UWM Campus, September 8, 2011
Or see the 2011 national life science tradeshow schedule for participation in other active life science markets. Or click the button to request more information!
Q: What does the optimization of university departmental resources and facilities mean for you and your interface with science research?