Michael J. Fox visits the Waisman Center

Michael J. Fox visited the Waisman Center on Tuesday, February 1 to tour the stem cell research laboratories of Clive Svendsen and Su-Chun Zhang, as well as other components of the center’s translational research tower, including the Waisman Clinical BioManufacturing Facility and the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior. Fox was accompanied by Wisconsin Governor James Doyle.

Following the tour, Fox joined a luncheon discussion with the governor, center director Marsha Mailick Seltzer, the center’s stem cell scientists, along with UW stem cell scientist Jamie Thomson. Also at lunch were Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation,  Rhonda Norsetter, senior special assistant to the chancellor, and director, federal relations, and the leadership of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.  Fox’s visit to the Waisman Center culminated with a press conference, which was covered by many media representatives. When asked what most impressed him about his visit to the Waisman Center, Fox mentioned that he had seen stem cells under a microscope for the first time. He also cited the intelligence and talents of the many young scientists he had met that morning. Commenting that he was at the Waisman Center to kick the tires, Fox was clearly impressed. This is where we have pinned a lot of our hopes and goals, he said. Fox referred to Wisconsin as the “gold standard” in stem cell research. His visit to Wisconsin ended with a reception at the governor’s residence.

To date, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded the Waisman Center four grants worth $1.2 million dollars. Fox, who is an advocate for stem cell research, has Parkinson’s disease.

Michael J. Fox tours Waisman Center
Actor Michael J. Fox, center, reacts to a funny remark from a staff member in a science lab at the Waisman Center in Madison, Wis. on Tuesday, February 1, 2005 during a tour of the facility. From right are Gov. Jim Doyle, Deborah Brooks, executive director of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Prof. Clive Sbendsen, rear behind Fox, and Marsha Seltzer, director of the Waisman Center. The center is dedicated to research and treatment of developmental disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases. Craig Schreiner — State Journal. PUBLISHED CAPTION 2-2-05 In addition to some serious science, there were a few laughs Tuesday during actor Michael J. Fox’s tour of UW-Madison’s Waisman Center. Fox visited the research center on behalf of his Parkinson’s disease foundation, along with Gov. Jim Doyle, right, and Marsha Seltzer, director of the Waisman Center.