TCIC Student Researchers Present at Major National Research Conference NCUR 2011.

Between April 14-16th, TCIC student researchers presented several posters at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR 2011). This year the conference was hosted by Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and was attended by some 3000 students and faculty from across the nation. TCIC researchers Tim Morris, Kevin Rixmann, Ashley Graef, Reid Kuen and Samantha Wagner presented work from our projects on in-vitro 3D modeling of embryonic stem cells, breast cancer cells, cervical carcinoma and glioblastoma respectively as well as one on the effects of magnetic fields on cancer cells.

In addition to the student presentations, TCIC Director, Tim Lyden also presented a talk at the “Faculty and Administrator Network” session. Dr. Lyden’s talk focused on the continuing development of the TCIC and it’s current evolution into a mixed curricular/research model based loosely on that of the CiBER Center at UC Berkley.

Once again this year the TCIC posters/presentations were very well received and generated many interesting discussions and questions form the respective audiences.

Tim Morris’s poster was entitled:


Kevin Rixmann’s poster was entitled:


Ashley Graef’s poster was entitled:


Reid Kuen’s poster was entitled:


Samantha Wagner’s poster was entitled:


Dr. Lyden’s talk was entitled:


The TCIC Director recently presented to the River Falls Economic Development Corporation (RF-EDC) on potential future impacts of the UWRF TCIC.

On January 27th 2011, TCIC Director Tim Lyden presented an invited talk to the River Falls Economic Development Corporation focused on the current and future potential for the TCIC to impact local regional development. The talk touched on several important topics including:

- the concept and mission of the TCIC
- the research focus and direction of our program
- the teaching and training mission of the TCIC
- our collaborative relationships with clinical, academic and industrial partners
- future directions for the Center related to research/training integration and the potential for a new “spin-off” biomedical/biotechnology company in the near term future
Collectively these topics generated an interesting and spirited discussion following the talk, during which the role of the TCIC and UWRF in developing a future biomedical/biotechnology “incubator” facility in River Falls was also explored. In the end, further conversations were planned with individual members of the group and they hopefully came away with a new realization that the TCIC and it’s programs are already having an impact on the regional technical workforce and that we will continue to do so into the future.

TCIC joins “Life Sciences Alley” trade association.

The TCIC recently joined the regional trade association, Life Sciences Alley. Based in Minnesota, this group works with industrial, clinical and academic partners across the region to enhance collaborations and interactions on a number of fronts that relate to life science issues. Following the TCIC’s first contact with the group, Life Sciences Alley has already facilitated initial contacts for the TCIC with two industrial organizations in the region. TCIC Director Tim Lyden expects that this connection will help develop significant new collaborations in the Twin Cites and beyond.

From the Life Sciences Alley website:

About LifeScience Alley
LifeScience Alley is a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association serving the life sciences in Minnesota and the surrounding region. Our mission: Enabling business success in the life sciences. We accomplish this goal through leadership, collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and education.

From human health to animals, food to the environment, and pharmaceuticals to medical devices, our diverse membership helps to improve and sustain wellbeing, in the state of Minnesota and around the world. But ideas don't have borders. That's why LifeScience Alley is currently expanding its influence into Canada, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and the Dakotas, in an effort to strengthen cross-border collaboration in the life sciences.

Our region is rich in talent, resources, and infrastructure. LifeScience Alley works successfully to forge connections among top industry experts so that remarkable new discoveries and advances can be made.”

TCIC Hosts the Director of the National Animal Disease Research Center for the first talk in the 2010-11 “Visiting Scientist Seminar” series.

The TCIC was recently invited by collaborators at Marshfield Clinic to join in discussions with the National Animal Disease Research Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa about the potential of developing future interdisciplinary research projects based on 3D cell and tissue culture. As a portion of that developing collaboration, the TCIC last week hosted Dr. Kurt Zuelke who is the Director of that facility and also happens to be a UWRF alumni (class of 1984)! On December 2nd, 2010 Dr. Zuelke spent the day on campus meeting with students, faculty and administrators.
As a portion of his activities, Dr Zuelke presented a noontime talk entitled “Science, Medicine and Agriculture: A perfect mix for building your dream career.” to a group of approximately 100 students and other interested attendees. The talk covered the science done at the NADC in a variety of areas, all of which have a distinctive immunology-related theme. These include among other things being at the front and staying ahead of last-years threat from H1N1 influenza. Dr. Zuelke also highlighted how his impressive career has developed since his days at UWRF. Among his other accomplishments was serving as the USDA representative on the National Science and Technology Council in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In that capacity he coordinated federal agricultural, biotechnology, and life science related issues for the White House during the last Administration. Needless to say the students were very impressed and hopefully more than a few saw themselves mirrored in his accomplishments as a UWRF graduate. During the morning, Dr. Zuelke met with student researchers from the TCIC as well as from departments in CAFES. Taken as a whole, the day was very successful and further discussions took place regarding future student opportunities at the Center in Iowa as well as the developing research relationship with the TCIC.

TCIC presents at the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit

The 2010 World Stem Cell Summit was held in Detroit at the Marriott Center from October 2-5. This year the TCIC joined this premier meeting with the presentation of a poster entitled “Characterization of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived 3D Artificial Tissue Structures Produced with Natural ECM Scaffolding Materials”. Director, Tim Lyden was joined in Detroit by TCIC student researcher, Tim Morris who helped present the poster in three days of presentation sessions. This poster reported on studies undertaken over the past 3 years and also involved student researcher Travis Cordie, who is now employed at WiCell, the NIH National Stem Cell Bank in Madison WI. These studies have explored the application of 3D culture technologies developed at the TCIC for the culture and development of human embryonic stem cells in vitro. The resulting 3D artificial tissues were examined and characterized by normal phase, oblique dark field, SEM and immunofluorescence microscopy. The reported complex tissues generated a good deal of interest among the participants of the meeting and resulted in numerous new contacts for future projects. The meeting also provided the TCIC with critical new insights into the state of the art in stem cell sciences and gave us a good preview of future directions in the field. These new perspectives served to confirm that our work is on track to contribute to understanding the biology of these important cells in the 3D artificial tissue context. In discussions with several other labs and companies at the meeting, new collaborative efforts to explore 3D culture of other cell types has been planned for the future. The World Stem Cell Summit is a premier gathering of Stem Cell biologists held annually since 2007 with around 1500 participants each year. Next year’s event will be held in Pasadena California.

TCIC Director presents at UW-Whitewater Biology Colloquium

On October 29th, the TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden presented an invited seminar entitled “3D Cell Culture Modeling of Developmental Processes: Normal and Pathologic“ in the Biology Department Fall 2010 Colloquium at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Hosted by Dr. Eric Brown, Assistant Professor of NanoBiotechnology, the talk focused on the application of 3D cell culture in modeling cell lines, primary developmental tissues and primary tumor tissues from human patients in translational medicine projects currently ongoing in the lab. The talk was attended by some 70-80 students and faculty from the department. The talk was well received, generating excellent questions and discussions over lunch following the presentation.

TCIC Crew at the 2010 Midwest Medical Design and Manufacturing Tradeshow

On October 10th, four students from the TCIC, Tim Morris, Kevin Rixmann, Ashley Graef and Reid Kuen joined the Director, Dr. Lyden at the Midwest Medical Design and Manufacturing Tradeshow held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This show is one of the largest in the Midwest and will bring together more than 300 exhibitors and some 3000 visitors to display the regions biomedical devices industry and related partners from across the nation. The TCIC group helped man a booth for the Momentum West organization based in Eau Claire. Momentum West is the regional economic development organization in western Wisconsin. The booth featured materials from across this region of Wisconsin and included information on the UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center. In addition to covering the booth, the TCIC crew also explored the show and made many new contacts as well as gained insights into the current and future state of the art in biomedical device technology.

Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium, July 22-23, 2010

On July 22-23, the 3rd Annual Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium (WSTS 2010) was held at the UW-Green Bay. This annual gathering brings together scientists, industrial partners and politicians from across the state to share research from the comprehensive campuses and technology industries of the region. Again this year, two major laboratories from the Biology Department participated in this premier statewide meeting. Both the UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center and the UWRF Zebra Fish Laboratory presented a combined total of 8 posters and two oral presentations. This total, which amounted to approximately 31% of the posters at the meeting exceeded any other campus represented and was very well received with a great deal of interest being shown by other participants toward the biological research done here at UWRF. Drs. Lyden and Huang, the respective directors of the labs, were again joined this year by undergraduate researchers who presented their work in the all day poster sessions. Meanwhile Dr Lyden presented a podium talk entitled “In-vitro 3D Artificial Tumor Microenvironments as Potential Models of Clinical Disease“ which focused on the TCIC human tumor 3D modeling project being conducted in collaboration with Marshfield Clinic and the Rivers Cancer Center. Dr. Huang also presented a podium talk entitled “Zebrafish Make a Splash in Drug Discovery“ which highlighted work done in his lab in collaboration with researchers at the UW-LaCrosse Mycology Discovery Lab. UWRF student presenters were: Tim Morris, Kevin Rixmann and Reid Kuen from the TCIC as well as David Mankowski and Johnathan Emahiser from the Zebra Fish Lab.

UWRF Posters presented were entitled:

C6, a Potential Drug for Heart Failure by Suppressing Inflammation.
Johnathan Emahiser and Cheng-Chen Huang, UW-River Falls

Screening Synthetic Chemicals and Purified Compounds from Natural Sources for Attenuative Action against AA-induced Heart Failure in Zebrafish.
David A Mankowski and Cheng-Chen Huang, UW-River Falls

Modeling complex cervical carcinoma cell-derived structures in 3D “artificial tissue”cultures.
Brittany Lee and Timothy Lyden, UW-River Falls

The isolation and 3D culture of putative fetal and adult cardiac stem cell populations from avian, bovine and porcine heart samples.
Timothy Lyden, Mike Martin, Victor Piazza, John Magnuson and Travis Cordie, UW-River Falls and Spring Point Project LLC

Modeling and characterization of primary and cell-line derived artificial breast cancer tissues produced using 3D culture methods.
Kevin Rixmann and Timothy Lyden, UW-River Falls; Ray Haselby, Marshfield Clinic; Peter Dahlberg, Rivers Cancer Center

Longterm 3-D cultures of HEK-293 cells demonstrate clear evidence of unique
kidney tissue-like differentiation.
Miyuki Bessho, Timothy Lyden, UW-River Falls

Seeking to generate “induced pluripotent stem” (IPS) cells from the cervical cancer cell line, HeLa.
Timothy A Morris Jr., Samuel Lifton, Reid Kuen, Timothy Lyden, UW-River Falls

Modeling human cancer with complex 3D cultures using rudimentary tissue
engineering methods.
Timothy Lyden, UW-River Falls; Ray Haselby, Marshfield Clinic; Peter Dahlberg, Rivers Cancer Center; Michael Pickart, UW-Stout

TCIC student researcher joins a world-class cardiac tissue engineering lab at UMinn.

It is with great pride and no small regret that we recently learned current TCIC senior research student, Victor Piazza, a 2009 Biotechnology graduate has accepted a laboratory position in the Doris Taylor lab in Minneapolis. This lab was recently featured in a number of national and international news stories for their pioneering work on cardiac decellularization/recellularization. The Taylor Lab research has been of considerable interest to us since we first heard about it. In principle, it actually closely parallels cardiac projects we have been doing in the TCIC since 2005. Victor has been working for the past two years on a continuing series of cardiac artificial tissue projects and aspires to eventually take a Ph.D. in Bioengineering or Regenerative Medicine. It would appear that he is off to a good start!

During his time at the TCIC, Victor has participated in and presented his research at several national, state and local research meetings. He has also participated in a number of research-related outreach activities. Victor’s projects have focused on characterizing avian embryonic heart tissue in complex 3D artificial tissues (ATs). This is one of several developmental biology tissue modeling projects at the TCIC. His work involved advanced cell culture and tissue engineering methods as well as several approaches to microscopy for morphological characterization of the ATs. Among the scientific presentations made by Victor have been the following:

Piazza V, Lyden TW., Tissue and cellular characterization of long-term cardiac artificial tissues cultured in 3D using natural ECM materials. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2010, Missoula MT. (PP), UW System RSCA Day 2010 (PP), System “Posters in the Rotunda” 2010, Madison, WI (PP), 3nd Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium, UW-Green Bay WI (PP).

Piazza P*, Sams P and Lyden TW., The application of natural extracellular matrix
materials to generate cardiac artificial tissues. 16th Annual California McNair Scholars Symposium, Berkeley, CA (PP), National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2009, LaCrosse WI. (PP), System “Posters in the Rotunda” 2009, Madison, WI (PP), UWRF RSCA Day 2009 (PP), 2nd Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium, UW-LaCrosse WI (PP).

The entire Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center crew wishes Victor well and will follow his continued successes in cardiac tissue regeneration with intense interest.

Best of luck Victor! Make us proud!!!

Images of Victor presenting his research at national and statewide meetings. These include the National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2009 and 2010 and Posters in the Rotunda 2009. From the top left, Victor with Senator Harsdorf in Madison, explaining his work to peers at NCUR 2009 and 2010, discussing his work with the new UWRF Chancellor, Dr. Van Galen and with his fellow TCIC student researchers at NCUR 2010.

For background information on the UMinn cardiac decell/recell research go to: or

TCIC at Bio 2010 Convention in Chicago!

On May 5-6th the TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden, and two UWRF student researchers, Victor Piazza and Tim Morris traveled to Chicago to participate in the “Bio 2010” Convention at McCormick Place. The TCIC contingent joined others from across Wisconsin in representing the Biotechnology Industry of the state. In particular, the TCIC crew manned the “Momentum West” portion of the state pavilion in this global event. More than 1700 exhibitors representing countries, states and companies from around the world presented the state of the art in Biotechnology. The meeting also featured presentations by former Presidents Clinton and Bush as well as Vice President Gore. Altogether the meeting attracted some 17,000 participants over 5 days.

Momentum West, the regional economic development organization based in Eau Claire invited the TCIC to participate in this world class event to showcase the significant work being done here in western Wisconsin to develop the biotechnology and biomedical research and training capacity of the region. At the Momentum kiosk we were joined by individuals and materials from UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and CVTC as well as information on numerous industries in the area. Also presenting within the state pavilion was TCIC collaborator, Marshfield Clinic in addition to several units associated with UW-Madison.

A significant number of very interesting contacts were made throughout the 2 days of TCIC participation in this meeting. On the 5th, Director Lyden was invited to attend a breakfast reception at the Swiss Consulate, which served to make a number of interesting contacts with European pharmaceutical companies as well as other governmental agencies. Later during the meeting, the Consul and Trade Commissioner of Canada (Chicago Embassy) visited the Wisconsin Pavilion and took a keen interest in the TCIC concept as well as the economic development capacity of western Wisconsin. After a long and productive discussion, the Consul volunteered to work toward establishing connections between the TCIC and various biomedical research organizations throughout Canada. This contact interestingly builds on potential connections of the TCIC to the Ontario Cancer Center, with whom we first connected last Fall in New York at the JCB/NYAS meeting (see story below). Additionally, several pharmaceutical industry representatives took an interest in the work being done here as well.

The two TCIC student researchers also had the opportunity to explore the state of the art in biotechnology as well as make numerous connections themselves with industrial representatives and recruiters. In fact, one of the students had an extremely productive discussion with a biotechnology recruiter from New York who, after hearing about undergraduate research experiences at the TCIC, suggested the student should contact him immediately upon graduation next year for a formal interview. Needless to say both students will be following-up on many of the networking opportunities that presented themselves this week.

In short, this was an extremely productive short trip to Chicago that we expect to see grow new opportunities and potential collaborations. Thanks go out to the Dean of CAS, the Director of the UWRF Biotechnology Program and the Grants Office for their funding support of this trip.

Chippewa Valley Technical College/UWRF TCIC Nanotechnology collaboration continues to grow.

During the Spring break in March of 2010, the TCIC again hosted students from the CVTC Nanobiotechnology course for a one day workshop in “Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering”. This is the 3 rd year in a row that this important event has taken place with a total of approximately 40 CVTC students and staff from Eau Claire being given an introduction to applied micro/nanobiotechnology at UWRF. This year, the students spent the day working with Dr. Lyden and UWRF undergraduate student, Tim Morris who served as an excellent teaching assistant for the effort. These primarily engineering student were introduced to key concepts of cell culture, stem cell biology and tissue engineering during their visit. The day resulted in CVTC students producing artificial tissue samples of their own which will be grown here at UWRF for 3 weeks and then transfered to Eau Claire for further processing and SEM evaluation by the students as a course capstone activity. Again this year, the effort generated interest from at least one student who will be joining the TCIC this summer for an internship and will then matriculate to UWRF in the Fall as a Biotechnology student.

In addition to the annual workshops, the TCIC and CVTC Nanotechnology programs are also working in collaboration with the UW-Stout Genomic Training and Analysis Center to develop a nanobiotechnology workforce grant to enhance and/or spur the economic development of western Wisconsin. In this regard the three programs have and are collaborating on NSF curriculum development grants which this year included an NSF Advanced Technology Education proposal. Further submissions are planned in near future as well.

TCIC continued to grow this past year with the successful international presentation of the Tumor Project and new partnerships forming.

The UWRF Tissue and Cellular innovation Center continued to develop throughout the past year with ongoing clinical studies in collaboration with the Marshfield Clinic, the development of new clinical and industrial partners as well as ongoing developmental biology studies.
In our initial human tumor study TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden, and his collaborators from Marshfield Clinic (Dr. Ray Haselby) and UW-Stout (Dr. Micheal Pickert) demonstrated that primary human tumor samples from 5 distinct types of cancer will indeed grow in our 3D artificial tissue culture system. Further it was shown that specific and significant differences in that growth also occurred which may be reflective of specific stages of the disease. This successful modeling of human cancer in 3D was then accepted for presentation at the Journal of Cell Biology/New York Academy of Sciences meeting held in Manhattan (40th floor of 7 World Trade Center). The work was extremely well received and even generated an offer to collaborate with researchers from the Ontario Cancer Center on modeling breast cancer cell biology in 3D.

At the same time that the first study was wrapping up, Dr. Peter Dahlberg, a newly arrived surgeon at the River Falls Regional Hospital formally opened the new “Rivers Cancer Center” in collaboration with the Virginia Piper Cancer Center at the UMinn. Dr. Dahlberg immediately joined with the TCIC in forming an additional collaboration for the upcoming second human tumor study, which will seek to refine the application of our culture system to work in the direction of personalized medicine applications. Of particular interest in these follow-on studies will be the potential of this method for use in cancer treatment design. Also joining the principal research team as a new collaborator was Dr. Christopher Cold, head of Pathology at Marshfield Clinic. Additionally more than a dozen other surgeons, pathologists, clinical staff and patients at Marshfield and River Falls are or will be involved in providing samples for this work.

These clinical connections have also involved the exchange of presentations between UWRF, Marshfield Clinic and the Rivers Cancer Center as well as UW-Stout. Over the past year TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden has presented separately to the clinical staff and Research Foundation Board of Directors at Marshfield Clinic as well as the Hospital Board at the Regional Hospital in River Falls while Dr. Dahlberg and Cold have or are schedueled to present at UWRF to the Biology 341/342 Human Anatomy/Physiology course. Several additional talks are planned for the coming year as well. In the Fall, UW-Stout collaborator, Dr. Micheal Pickert, also visited campus for the 8th Annual SURSCA Gala Evening of RSCA and presented two posters from ongoing projects in his lab.

UWRF TCIC Director, Dr. Tim Lyden, presents the keynote address at the 2009 Oklahoma State Research Day.

In November 2009, Northeastern State University at Broken Arrow hosted the 11th annual Oklahoma State Reseach Day. This event was attended by some 1200 students from across the south central region and is a major event for the scholarly climate of Oklahoma. This year, the organizers invited UWRF TCIC Director, Dr. Tim Lyden to participate as the keynote speaker. Dr. Lyden presented his views on the definition and role a scholar at small comprehensive universities. The talk, entitled “Perspective Matters: A Scholar-scientist’s View from a Regional Undergraduate University in the 21st Century” focused on the challenges and rewards of seeking to balance one’s scholarship in the classic pattern of “research, teaching and service”. To address this topic, Dr. Lyden reviewed the evolution and research projects of the TCIC, the application of research to undergraduate courses such as Anatomy and Physiology (Bio 341/342) and Animal Cell Culture (Bio 463) as well as the high impact role of UG student research as an educational paradigm. In addition, Dr. Lyden also discussed UWRF student involvement in developing their own research culture and community service through activities like SURSCA and NCUR presentations. The talk was very well received and generated numerous very engaged and interesting comments from Oklahoma students, faculty and administrators. The NSU press release for this event can be seen at

TCIC and Biology Department Cell Biologists present at Annual Statewide Science and Technology Conference.

In July 2009, Drs. Lyden and Huang were invited presenters at the 2nd annual Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium held this year at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Also presenting at this meeting were undergraduate student researchers from the labs of both Lyden and Huang. These included, Victor Piazza, Luke Score and Steve Talsness from the Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center (TCIC) while the Fish Developmental Biology Lab was represented by Charles Phillips. Altogether, the group from UWRF Biology Department presented 4 posters and 2 oral podium presentations. The presented posters were entitled, "The application of natural extra-cellular matrix materials to generate cardiac artificial tissues." (Victor), "Characterization of a surface epithelial cell line derived from long-term culture of human embryonic stem cell based 3D structures." (Steve), "Isolation and morphologic characterization of potential stem and other cell populations from human breast milk." (Luke), "Tissue Adhesion Defects in the Zebrafish Bubble Tail Mutation Cause Hemorrhage, Epidermal Finfold Degeneration and Lethality" (Charles). The podium presentations were "Drug Discovery & Pharmacogenetic Study for Heart Failure Using a Zebrafish Model" (Dr. Huang) and "Modeling Primary Human Tumors in 3D Artificial Tissue (AT) Cultures." (Dr. Lyden).

The WSTS meeting is hosted each year by the UW-System intellectual property organization, WiSys and brings together UW researchers, industrial and clinical institutions from across Wisconsin and Minnesota in order to share their work and identify potential new collaborators. This year the meeting attracted nearly 100 individuals from across the System and state. Next years meeting will be held in Green Bay at UW-Oshkosh.

The TCIC/Marshfield Clinic/Rivers Cancer Center Tumor Biology Collaboration.

During the summer of 2008, the TCIC was awarded a second WiSys Technology Foundation ARG grant to establish a collaborative research program together with physicians at the Marshfield Clinic. This project applies the uniquely successful TCIC tissue engineering technology to the growth and testing of primary human tumors. The overall long-term goal of this work is to develop new translational and personalized medicine approaches to the treatment of cancer and focuses on the potential contribution of putative “tumor stem cell” populations to tumor development. Early results from these studies have established that, in fact, we can generate significant long-term tumor-derived artificial tissues from breast, prostate, lung, colon and brain tumor samples. Each tumor type displayed significantly different ATs characteristics, although some common themes in terms of outgrowth and expansion were seen among the several tumor types studied. Distinctive apparent correlations were also observed between the original diagnostic staging of the tumor and it’s subsequent growth on 3D scaffolds. By 2009, the new regional cancer center forming at the River Falls Hospital joined this project as well. Several new grant proposals are planned for the near future to continue and expand this project to evaluate the initial observations and begin the process of developing a new personalized medicine approach to cancer therapeutic design.

The TCIC Grand Opening Event and Symposium was held on March 9th, 2009.

On March 9th 2009, the UW-RF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center or TCIC formally opened at a major campus event held in the UC Ballroom. This event, hosted jointly by then Chancellor Connie Foster’s office, the WiSys Technology Foundation and the TCIC culminated a year-long effort to transform the Center for Advanced Cell Biology and Imaging Center (Lyden Lab) into a new enterprise. First proposed by the WiSys Technology Foundation from Madison during February of 2008, the TCIC joined the Nanotechnology Center at UW-Platteville as one of two such centers in the UW-System. Plans call for a total of 6 UW Innovation Centers to be developed in the coming years. The other three will be at UW-Steven Point, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse and UW-Whitewater with each focused on different topics and areas of expertise. The TCIC is focused on tissue engineering and stem cell biology. These centers represent a new paradigm for the participating comprehensive campuses in which the traditional mission of teaching and training will blend with cutting edge research and economic development-related industrial (and clinical) collaborations. Plans call for the Centers to become self-sustaining within a five year period.

The March 9th event began with a 3 hour symposium and poster session in which collaborating fellows and other researchers presented a series of related presentations on topics of potential or current interface with the TCIC. In total, 11 presentations were made by collaborators from 3 UW-campuses (UW-Stout, UW-Stevens Point and UW-RF), 3 clinical collaborators from across the region (Marshfield Clinic, River Falls Hospital Cancer Center and UMinn Medical School) and finally 4 representatives of industrial collaborators (Phillips Plastics, BioE, Hysitron, and CAP Biomaterials) from both Wisconsin and Minnesota. These presentations were followed by comments from Chancellor Foster, Maliyakal John (Managing Director of WiSys Technology Foundation), Kris Andrews (UW-System Vice President for Federal Relations) and Dr. Bob Nelson (1990 UWRF Distinguish Alumni and senior research scientist at Regions Hospital). The final highlight of the day was the keynote address delivered by the Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce, Dick Leinenkugel. Secretary Leinenkugel provided state cabinet level approval and encouragement for the concepts represented by the TCIC particularly and the Innovation Centers concept generally. That endorsement recognized the immense potential of developing active collaborations between UW campuses and clinical or industrial partners as we have done over the past year.
Following lunch and the keynote address, the day finished up with Dr. Tim Lyden, Director of the TCIC presenting a short “Virtual Tour” which highlighted current and future research, teaching and outreach activities of the TCIC. This was followed by a presentation ceremony at which collaborators and current/former TCIC students received acknowledgements of their contributions to this exciting new idea. Overall throughout the day more than 125 people attended the event including students, faculty, administrators, collaborators, economic development experts, state politicians, congressional office staff members and regional press representatives. With the formal opening completed... the real work of the TCIC now begins!