Partnerships in Discovery
CTSI is fostering a new era of collaboration.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) of Southeast Wisconsin is a consortium of eight Milwaukee institutions working in partnership to cultivate biomedical research as a signature strength of the region while advancing patient care and education. The Institute capitalizes on the distinct expertise of each member to engage in research that would not be successful if done in isolation. Members are the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital and Health System, Froedtert Hospital, and the Zablocki VA Medical Center. The CTSI supports cooperative research through pilot funding, connecting researchers with common interests, providing access to shared resources and facilitating joint appointments for collaborating faculty.
Based on longstanding collaborations among member organizations, the CTSI formalizes the relationships and provides vital infrastructure supported by a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Coordinated by the Medical College, the grant is being used to develop a borderless exchange that accelerates the translation of research discoveries into new and improved medical treatments. The grant also enables academic and advanced training programs. CTSI member schools (the Medical College, Marquette, UWM and MSOE) collaborate to offer doctorate and master’s level degrees, including programs in basic and translational research, and clinical and translational science.
The CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions linked through the National Center for Research Resources. The consortium includes 60 institutions working together to develop consortium-wide collaborations that expand research capacity and aim to improve the health of communities nationwide.
Key components of the Medical College’s many research collaborations:
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the Medical College of Wisconsin share a rich collaborative research history that includes projects spanning microbiology, pharmacology, neurodevelopment, toxicology, endocrinology, orthopaedics, kinesiology, infectious diseases, environmental health and education.
A technology transfer alliance was formed this year between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation, UWM and the Medical College of Wisconsin to foster the development and commercialization of new technologies. The organizations aim to bring academia and industry together to support entrepreneurship among faculty, fellows and students. Collaborative efforts will include marketing and licensing of technologies.
UWM Innovation Park is being envisioned as a research campus that will facilitate collaborations between UWM faculty and researchers at other academic institutions, including the Medical College. Innovation Park is being planned for property adjacent to the Medical College campus.
Children’s Research Institute, which conducts translational research to advance pediatric health care, is a member of Children’s Hospital and Health System. The institute is affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin as well as the Colleges of Nursing at Marquette University and UWM respectively. Collaborative programs in the Institute are focused on genomics; developmental and cell biology; cancer, immunobiology and host response; cardiovascular biology; health services research; community health and prevention; behavioral health; and clinical research outcomes.
The Blood Research Institute of BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only organization in the state focused solely on blood research. Institute investigators collaborate closely with Medical College faculty to study blood-related conditions such as sickle cell disease and hemophilia. For more than 60 years, BloodCenter researchers have made discoveries helping patients with heart disease, stroke, cancer, immune system disorders and blood diseases. BloodCenter of Wisconsin collects and distributes life-saving blood and marrow for Wisconsin families, and tissue and organs for Southeastern Wisconsin families.
Marquette University and Medical College faculty collaborate in many areas of biomedical research, including biomedical engineering, physical therapy, orthopaedics, cardiovascular and neurosciences. Marquette’s specific contributions include implantable pediatric vascular stents, rehabilitation robotics and devices, advanced technologies for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI, and a new PhD in clinical and translational rehabilitation science.
Milwaukee School of Engineering brings expertise in engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, health-related engineering, computer, business and nursing fields to its research collaborations. Its excellence in applied technology includes rapid prototyping, molecular modeling and fluid power, while a long-standing collaboration with the Medical College has led to advances in MRI and electron paramagnetic resonance imaging.
The Zablocki VA Medical Center is home to more than $13 million in federally funded research conducted by Medical College faculty. A full-scale vehicle crash laboratory operated by Neurosurgery faculty is on site as well as labs dedicated to biomechanics, spinal cord and brain injury, kidney and anesthesiology studies.