Scientist, staff and student news archives


  • 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!


  • Coauthors Tom Friedrich, Ph.D., and graduate student Louise Moncla in his lab at the WNPRC and Dept. of Pathobiological Sciences, UW School of Veterinary Medicine, provided deep genetic sequencing and analysis to the Kawaoka team for their current research studies on H7N9. Read more: Oct. 19 news story H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu and Emergence of Oseltamivir-Resistant H7N9 Influenza Viruses in Immunosuppressed Cynomolgus Macaques.
  • Les Sander retires after nearly half a century, Sept. 26, 2017. Thanks to Les Sander’s wife’s brother-in-law, the Primate Center gained a dedicated animal care and colony records employee for nearly 48 years.
  • Samantha Block and Caitlin Milnthorpe from WNPRC Administrative Services, Human Resources, drew plenty of interest from prospective student employees at the UW-Madison Student Employment Job Carnival Sept 11, 2017 at Gordon Dining and Event Center. Thanks, Sam and Caitlin!
  • Q&A with HIV researcher Matthew Reynolds, Ph.D., from undergraduate student to assistant professor at UW-Madison more than 20 years later. (Sept. 7, 2017)
  • Madilyn Williams, a student hourly working in WNPRC Administrative Services, is one of AMP’s newest Hayre fellows, announced Aug. 29. Mentored by Allyson Bennett, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, Maddie is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying for a degree in wildlife ecology with certificates in education services and environmental studies. She has worked with fellow students to hold events about comparative psychology and primate research at schools and science festivals. She looks forward to a career in conservation and animal welfare education. For her Hayre Fellowship, she will develop educational modules for schools, zoos and science venues that are focused on behavioral and psychological research involving animals. The programs will be shared with undergraduates in ‘train the trainer’ settings and then will be piloted at five zoos in Wisconsin.
  • In this Aug. 22 video, Jill Herrig, an animal research technician at the WNRPC, along with video journalist Tyler Ensrude from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville show us what it’s like to train for and work with laboratory nonhuman primates at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.
  • Sherry Tanumihardjo, Ph.D., a longtime WNPRC affiliate, was one of four featured speakers at this year’s Colloquium on Aging, free and open to the public and hosted by the UW-Madison Institute on Aging Oct. 12 at the Gordon Dining and Event Center. Her basic research in rhesus and marmoset monkeys at the WNPRC in the aughts led to more scrutiny of the possible harm that excessive Vitamin A intake can cause to humans.
  • Two WNPRC graduate students were among six student presenters at UW-Madison’s Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology Program Symposium June 15 at the Fluno Center. James Garcia in Ei Terasawa’s lab presented, “The role of kisspeptin and neurokinin B signaling in the pubertal increase in GhRH release in male rhesus monkeys.” Sydney Nguyen in Ted Golos’s lab addressed “Ferumoxytol imaging at the maternal-fetal interface.”
  • WNPRC scientific affiliate Rozalyn Anderson comments on her calorie restriction studies with the WNPRC halfway down in this June 1 BBC Future article, The secret to a long and healthy life? Eat less.
  • Scientists from across the state are leading the fight against mosquito-borne disease around the world. WNPRC and collaborators’ Zika research is featured midway through this excellent article by Silke Schmidt in the Spring 2017 edition of Wisconsin People & Ideas, published by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.
  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is honoring longtime WNPRC affiliate scientist Paul Kaufman. M.D., with its Friedenwald Award for his long and distinguished career of performing pioneering work in several areas of ophthalmic research. As stated on ARVO’s website, “Much of our current understanding of the aqueous humor outflow system in the eye, and the mechanisms of many known and novel drugs, have been the direct result of his work.” Dr. Kaufman, SMPH professor emeritus of ophthalmology and visual sciences, will receive the award and present a lecture May 10 at the AVRO 2017 conference in Baltimore. The Friedenwald Award was established in 1957 as a memorial to Dr. Jonas S. Friedenwald, a distinguished researcher whose contributions encompassed the entire field of ophthalmic investigations. His pioneer studies on the pathogenesis of glaucoma, corneal wound healing and diseases of the retina laid the groundwork for future generations of investigators.
  • UW-Madison Junior Lyndsey Waite, mentored by Joe Kemnitz, professor and vice-chair, Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, was part of UW-Madison’s home page article April 17 on the Undergraduate Symposium .
  • Animal to Man, Fear of the Next Pandemic, March 9, 2017, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Congratulations to “Forward-under-40″ 2017 award recipient Matthew Aliota, WNPRC scientific affiliate on the Zika Experimental Science Team.
  • Margaret McCarthy, Ph.D., presented “Surprising Origins of Sex Differences in the Brain: Lessons Learned from Animal Models” as our third speaker in the Robert W. Goy Lecture Series March 1, 2017, in the Hector DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Watch the video here.


  • Ari Rosenberg is one of three University of Wisconsin–Madison professors named to Sloan Research Fellowships — prestigious and competitive awards given to promising young researchers in the early stages of their careers. An assistant professor of neuroscience, Rosenberg is a new WNPRC research affiliate, studying neural computations underlying 3D vision, multisensory integration, and the neural basis of autism.
  • Henry Resnikoff, an undergraduate student in Marina Emborg’s Preclinical Parkinson’s Research Program, was awarded a Parkinson’s disease Foundation Summer Fellowship 2016 to study the “Impact of Inflammation on Alpha-synuclein Expression in the Colonic Enteric Nervous System”
  • Mary Ann Croft, distinguished researcher in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, working with Paul Kaufman, received the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research as an Independent Investigator.
  • Marissa Kraynak, a Ph.D. candidate in the Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology program and a teaching assistant in the Department of Zoology, who conducts research in David Abbott’s lab, received UW-Madison’s annual Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities.
  • Sylvia Frazier, who is majoring in biology, and gender and women’s studies, won a 2016 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship, studying in the labs of David Abbott (her advisor) and Jon Levine.
  • Bryce Wolfe, a graduate student in the School of Medicine & Public Health’s Cellular and Molecular Pathology Ph.D. program, conducting research with Ted Golos, received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator Travel Award to attend the International Federation of Placenta Associations annual conference in Portland, Oregon in September. There, she received the Elsevier Placenta New Investigator Award for best oral presentation. Her presentation was titled, “First trimester infection with Listeria monocytogenes is characterized by decidual and placental inflammation in pregnant cynomolgus macaques.”
  • My lupus story: How animal research saved my life: Guest post by Jordana Lenon for the Foundation for Biomedical Research “Share Your story” Series on July 7, 2016.