Why Animal Research Matters

Animal research is an indispensable tool for understanding complex living organisms, and many University of Wisconsin–Madison research programs study animals as models of human disease and to explore basic biological processes. The university’s commitment to responsible and ethical research conducted under the attention of skilled veterinarians continues a long history of improving human and animal health and well-being.

Heart transplant: a life saved courtesy of animal research

[photo] Reynolds

Chuck Reynolds, a tall, laconic and bearded man with a dry sense of humor, remembers the winter and spring of 2001 as the time he spent waiting to die. Weak, short of breath, swollen with fluid, he was barely able to climb the stairs and essentially stuck in a recliner at his backwoods house near Lafarge, Wis. He wasn’t a lazy man. Read more


January 26, 2015 Yin retirement closes UW–Madison sound localization lab

After nearly 40 years of distinguished teaching and research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, neuroscience professor Tom Yin has opted to retire, a decision he made more than a year ago when his National Institutes of Health grant was up for renewal. Read more

October 6, 2014 Animal research ethics discussion to focus on UW anxiety study

Bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn and veterinary pathologist Eric Sandgren will meet on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus Thursday evening for a discussion of animal research ethics focusing on a particular program employing monkeys in the study of anxiety and depression. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 1111 of the Genetics-Biotechnology Center Building, 425 Henry Mall.

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July 14, 2014 Wisconsin scientists find genetic recipe to turn stem cells to blood

The ability to reliably and safely make in the laboratory all of the different types of cells in human blood is one key step closer to reality. Writing today (July 14, 2014) in the journal Nature Communications, a group led by University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell researcher Igor Slukvin reports the discovery of two genetic programs responsible for taking blank-slate stem cells and turning them into both red and the array of white cells that make up human blood.

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June 16, 2014 Chemical strategy hints at better drugs for osteoporosis, diabetes

By swapping replacement parts into the backbone of a synthetic hormone, UW-Madison graduate student Ross Cheloha and his mentor Sam Gellman, along with collaborators at Harvard Medical School, have built a version of a parathyroid hormone that resists degradation in laboratory mice. As a result, the altered hormone can stay around longer – and at much higher concentration, says Gellman, professor of chemistry at the UW.

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June 11, 2014 Genes found in nature yield 1918-like virus with pandemic potential

An international team of researchers has shown that circulating avian influenza viruses contain all the genetic ingredients necessary to underpin the emergence of a virus similar to the deadly 1918 influenza virus.

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April 15, 2014 Hair from infants gives clues about their life in the womb

Like rings of a tree, hair can reveal a lot of information about the past.

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Wisconsin Discoveries

For more than 100 years, scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have successfully used animal models to discover new knowledge to benefit people, animals and society.

Animal Care

The university accepts responsibility for the stewardship of all animals under its care, conducting the kind of careful, ethical studies that can improve human and animal health.

Campus Oversight

Scientists, veterinarians and members of the public work to ensure UW–Madison’s world-class research is conducted ethically, safely and in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

Press Resources

We welcome reporters to contact us and obtain an accurate picture of what happens on our campus. Find videos and photos related to UW research.