Throwback Thursday – May 2023

Week 18 - May 4 | Su-Chun Zhang / Stem Cells

Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD Stem Cell
#TBT – In 2001, Waisman Center investigator Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, and other scientists, shows that stem cell cans be coaxed into becoming brain cells or neurons. Zhang’s ground-breaking work showed that stems cells can be directed into becoming specific types of cells in the body that may have clinical significance. #Waisman50years
Photo 1: Su -Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, Photo 2: Derived from human embryonic stem cells, precursor neural cells grow in a lab dish and generate mature neurons (red) and glial cells (green), in the lab of UW-Madison stem cell researcher and neurodevelopmental biologist Su-Chun Zhang. Photo courtesy Su-Chun Zhang.

Week 19 - May 11 | Friends of the Waisman Center

Myers Williams, Lucy Williams, and Toni Richards (l-r) John Palmer, Albee Messing, and Carol Palmer. Ethel Waisman Tarkow and Harold Tarkow
(l-r) Toni Richards, Jan Robertson, Marijo Bunbury, Lucy Williams, and Joan Burns.  Carmen Skilton Dave Sugar
#TBT – In 1975, The Friends of the Waisman Center was established by Harvey A. Stevens, PhD, the first program administrator of the Waisman Center. The mission of the Friends of the Waisman Center is to support Waisman Center activities through fundraising, volunteer efforts, and community outreach. Some Friends activities include an annual awards program for staff, students, and families, the Days with the Experts series, mini grants, the Harvey Stevens International Collection of Art by Individuals with Disabilities, and much more. #Waisman50years
Photos: Some of the many long-term Friends of the Waisman Center board members and volunteers: Photo 1: Myers Williams, Lucy Williams, and Toni Richards. Photo 2: (l-r) John Palmer, Albee Messing, and Carol Palmer. Photo 3: Ethel Waisman Tarkow and Harold Tarkow. Photo 4: (l-r) Toni Richards, Jan Robertson, Marijo Bunbury, Lucy Williams, and Joan Burns. Photo 5: Carmen Skilton. Photo 6: Dave Sugar.

Week 20 - May 18 | Newborn Screening

Harry Waisman Stanley Berlow, MD Jon Wolff, MD
Cary Harding, MD Mei Baker, MD
#TBT As part of the Wisconsin Newborn Screening program, babies born in Wisconsin are screened for 48 conditions within the first days of life. In the 60s, advocacy by Harry Waisman,MD, PhD, led to the inclusion of the metabolic disorder PKU on the newborn screening panel in Wisconsin and eventually nationwide. Over the years, other Waisman clinicians worked to add more tests to the screening panel, preventing hundreds of Wisconsin children from dying or developing disabilities. The most recent disorder to be added to the screening panel is Pompe disease, which was added in January 2022.
Photos of Waisman Center physicians and researchers involved in the development of newborn screening, and researching and treating children identified through screening. 1: 1963 – Harry Waisman, MD, PhD, one of the lead researchers of Phenylketonuria (PKU). Photo 2: 1982 – Stanley Berlow, MD, who worked with legislators to draft and implement Wisconsin state laws requiring screening of newborn infants for certain inherited diseases. Photo 3: Jon Wolff, MD, PhD, who worked on gene therapy approaches for neuromuscular and metabolic diseases. Photo 4: Circa 2020 – Cary Harding MD, formally a metabolic geneticist at the Waisman Center, Harding worked to include disorders of fat metabolism in the Wisconsin screening panel. Photo 5: Circa 2022 – Waisman investigator, Mei Baker, MD, Co-Director of Newborn Screening Laboratory. Baker is focused on applying and translating advanced biochemical and molecular technologies into routine newborn screening practice to enable public health laboratories to screen for new conditions and improve screening performance for the exiting screened conditions.  #Waisman50years

Week 21 - May 25 | Raymond Chun

Raymond Chun Raymond Chun and wife Raymond Chun
Neurologist Raymond Chun, MD, would leave a lasting impact on the Waisman Center and families of children with disabilities. Chun loved children but was interested in challenges beyond typical childhood illness. He specialized in neurology and researched epilepsy in childhood. With biomedical engineers, he developed the “Chun Gun” used to evaluate the brains of children before the advent of CT scanners. After Harry Waisman’s untimely death, Chun became the medical director of the Waisman Center Clinics. He was married to Memee Chun, a pioneer in the field of developmental pediatrics.
Photos: Dr. Raymond Chun, and with Dr. Memee Chun, center portrait.