Advancing knowledge of human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Morse Society
The Morse Society and graduate student fellowships for training and research in Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities have been established through an endowment with the University of Wisconsin Foundation. The program is operated under the guidance of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the Waisman Center. The Morse Society will support a group eventually of 12 members (doctoral candidates and several postdoctoral scholars) for interdisciplinary study of childhood mental health and the psychiatric aspects of developmental disabilities. Scholars may come from all departments and professional schools and must show an intent to bridge additional related fields and research at the University. The group will meet on a regular basis and selected presentations will be made available both through open meetings and also ever-increasing electronic media. A yearly Visiting Professorship is also planned. The Bequest is made by Richard H. Morse, MD (UW School of Medicine) in honor of his parents Herbert and Freda (UW Law and UW Social Work), containing the estates of all three and also of Dr. Morse’s lifelong partner, Lawrence M. Connor, MSW (the Visiting Professorship).
“We wish the Society conviviality, toast you at the dinners and regret our own absence from the program, since we, too, share a vivid penchant for dialectical challenge. We wish you an exciting journey through your many disciplines and hope that your scholarship will be impactful in improving children’s lives.”
— Richard H. Morse, MD
The Morse Society was founded and initially co-directed by Professors Marsha Mailick and Seth Pollak.
Drs. Mailick and Pollak have complementary yet overlapping areas of scientific expertise. Dr. Pollak is an internationally renowned scientist focused on factors that compromise brain development and functioning, whereas Dr. Mailick focuses her research on specific IDD syndromes and disorders. Both are concerned with how the social and affective environment can compromise or optimize development, and both incorporate biological measures into their research as well as social and psychological approaches. Both have been long-time investigators at the Waisman Center, which greatly facilitates their co-administration of the training program, and they have worked closely for many years in the administration of the Waisman Center’s IDDRC. They were both thrilled to co-leading the Morse Society Scholars program.