Researcher working in a lab at the WNPRC

More scientist, staff and student news


  • Coming soon – 2024 Student recognitions



  • Suzanne Hartenbach Oriel, pictured here, presented her Introductory Biology 152 poster Dec 12 on her work performed during her first semester in the Abbott Levine lab. Her preliminarydata suggests that while hypothalamic gene knockdown of estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) in adult female rhesus monkeys induces neuroendocrine, hyperandrogenic and metabolic traits associated withPCOS in women, the targeted ERa knockdown does not induce polycystic ovaries. The classic ovarian follicle defect of PCOS may have a different pathogenesis to that of neuroendocrine, hyperandrogenic and metabolic dysfunction. Suzanne is one of 23 undergraduates working in the lab in six teams. Each of the students also gave a 45-minute journal club and Q&A of an original research paper from the contemporary peer review biomedical literature.
  • Thank you Marina Emborg, Ph.D., graduate student Julia Gambardella and undergraduate researcher Samuel Neuman for presenting at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in November, as well as volunteering at the National Primate Research Centers booth. Here are a few photos.
  • Molly Willging, ERP program and Ob Gyn Ph.D. student, received a travel award to attend the Early Career Forum concurrent with the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting & Expo June 11-14, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Congratulations to Amy Laufenberg, WNPRC animal care manager, for being named Program and Awards Committee Co-Chair for the Laboratory Animal Management Association (LAMA)!
  • Congratulations to our students who received awards and recognitions this spring!


  • The Androgren Excess & PCOS Society has awarded its 2021 Ricardo Azziz Distinguished Researcher Award to David Abbott. The award was created through an endowment to recognize distinguished leadership in the field of androgen excess and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) research. The award supports the vision of the Society as an international leader in fostering the highest quality research in the field of androgen excess and PCOS research. Awardees are selected by an impartial committee. Dr. Abbott joins an impressive group of international researchers as the 2021 winner. He will formally receive the award at the AEPCOS Virtual Annual Meeting this November. Congratulations, Dave!
  • Congratulations to our student and faculty spring research award winners!
  • For the past two years, we’ve hosted the WNPRC Lab Animal Medicine and Pathology Seminar virtually in May. In 2020, the seminar drew 488 attendees and in 2021 it welcomed 649 attendees. Congratulations to Dr. Andres Mejia and his WNPRC planning team for hosting such a successful online seminar! Additional sponsors included the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, C.L. Davis DVM Foundation, and Latin Comparative Pathology Group.
  • Jacques Balthazart presented the annual Robert W. Goy lecture virtually on April 9, “Sex Steroid Action in the Brain: Conceptual Changes Based on Avian Studies.”  View the video of his talk here. Read more about the Robert Goy Lecture Series and Endowment here.




  • The National Primate Research Centers have been sending volunteers to Punta Santiago, Humacao, Puerto Rico to help with rebuilding efforts on Cayo Santiago. The team working there Aug. 18-26 included our own Ted Jones and Justin Schmidt from WNPRC Facilities Management and Shop Services. This team rebuilt the rain collection roof and monkey health check corral on the island. The research station staff has been transporting all of the monkeys’ fresh water by boat. They are still transporting food because the station’s infrastructure was devastated and also Hurricane Maria stripped the island of its vegetation. Project Monkey Island is all about helping the people in the Punta Santiago community rebuild their lives, as well as helping the monkeys on Cayo Santiago, also known as Isla de los Monos.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison seniors Brooke Meidam and Erin Schoenbeck have both been named this year’s winners of the AMP/Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach. Both are students of Allyson Bennett, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, and WNPRC affiliate. Congratulations, Brooke and Erin!
  • Joe Kurian, Ph.D., joined our Scientific Protocol Implementation Unit on Aug. 13 as an assistant scientist. In the 00’s, Joe received his bachelor of science degree in molecular toxicology from UW–Madison, as well as his graduate degree in behavioral neuroscience and his postdoctoral training in Ei Terasawa’s neuroendocrinology lab at the WNPRC.
  • Jim Butts, M.P.A., director of operations at the WNPRC for the past 10 years, retired in April. We thank Jim for his service to our country, and to the UW-Madison, including the WNRPC.
  • In Memoriam: Jenn Brunner, June 25, 1975 – January 23, 2018. We will all miss you so much.
  • Thomas Zwaka, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally renowned stem cell scientist, director of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and editor-in-chief of Stem Cell Research. In 2003, as a post-doc in Jamie Thomson’s lab at the Primate Center, he achieved homologous recombination with human embryonic stem cells. A method for recombining segments of DNA within stem cells, the technique made it possible to manipulate any part of the human genome to study gene function and mimic human disease in the laboratory dish (published in Nature Biotechnology). It’s always amazing to see how far our former students and post-docs have gone!

Scientist, staff and student news archives

For more older news from the archives, please email or call Jordana Lenon at 608-263-7024.