When Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, picked up the phone to answer a call in 2001, he could barely understand the man speaking on the other line. “I could not hear his voice clearly,” says Zhang, a Waisman investigator and professor of neuroscience and neurology. It turns out that the man, who was calling from Texas, was on a ventilator which was garbling his voice.
New NIH grant to study language use as potential predictor of neurodegenerative disorder in FMR1 premutation carriers
A new study will investigate if language differences can predict the development of a neurodegenerative disorder in people that carry a premutation of the gene FMR1.
Pioneering research brings potential Parkinson’s disease treatment one step closer
Over two decades of fundamental research in Parkinson’s disease led by Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, professor of neuroscience and neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Waisman investigator, has culminated in the development of a promising stem cell-based treatment for the disease.
A science trailblazer retires: Stem cell researcher James Thomson’s legacy changed the future of biology
James Thomson helped the scientific world turn its attention to the shape-shifting stem cells that give rise to all of the building blocks of complex living organisms, from skin and bone, to hearts and blood, to neurons and brains.
Individualized brain cell grafts reverse Parkinson’s symptoms in monkeys
Grafting neurons grown from monkeys’ own cells into their brains relieved the debilitating movement and depression symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison reported today.
Stem cells can repair Parkinson’s-damaged circuits in mouse brains
The mature brain is infamously bad at repairing itself following damage like that caused by trauma or strokes, or from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Stem cells, which are endlessly adaptable, have offered the promise of better neural repair. But the brain’s precisely tuned complexity has stymied the development of clinical treatments.
New initiative to study Parkinson disease
Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, the Steenbock Professor in Behavioral and Neural Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Waisman Center investigator, is part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers selected by the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative to receive $9 million over three years for the “Parkinson5D: Deconstructing Proximal Disease Mechanisms Across Cells, Space and Progression” or PD5D project.
UW-Madison biomanufacturer offers essential gene-transfer capacity
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is used to insert replacement genes, and its role in genetic therapy trials is expanding quickly, says Carl Ross, managing director of Waisman Biomanufacturing. The AAV production reflects the Waisman lab’s growing importance in the biopharma business, as it’s the only facility on campus meeting FDA “good manufacturing practices” rules for large-scale manufacturing of biological therapies.
A decade after stem cell feat, research ramps up
A decade after scientists announced the development of induced pluripotent stem cells, Waisman investigators, including Su-Chun Zhang and David Gamm, continue to use these cells to research and develop potential therapies for several disorders and conditions, such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and macular degeneration.
Brain cells by the billions
Leaders of the University of Wisconsin–Madison lab that first transformed human stem cells into brain cells have started a company that produces and sells specialized neurons to drug researchers. BrainXell develops neurons from stem cells …