Human brain’s most ubiquitous cell cultivated in lab dish

Long considered to be little more than putty in the brain and spinal cord, the star-shaped astrocyte has found new respect among neuroscientists who have begun to recognize its many functions in the brain, not to mention its role in a range of disorders of the central nervous system.

2002 Best of Madison Editors Choice Awards

UW-Madison scientist and brainiac Su-Chun Zhang has raised the stakes — and astonished the world — by proving it’s possible to grow the healthy brain cells that could one day repair damage caused by everything from strokes to disease to spinal cord injuries. When UW wins the race to cure chronic diseases, he and James Thomson will be crossing the finish line together.”