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


August 13, 2015 Apes may be closer to speaking than many scientists think

Koko the gorilla is best known for a lifelong study to teach her a silent form of communication, American Sign Language. But some of the simple sounds she has learned may change the perception that humans are the only primates with the capacity for speech. Read more

July 28, 2015 New method for early pregnancy detection reduces reliance on mice in research

Animal-based research has led to nearly every major medical advancement in recent history. And mice, because they are very similar to humans in terms of genetics and biology, have played a vital role in studies on a range of diseases, from cancer to birth defects. Read more

July 28, 2015 News coverage of inherited anxiety study

Earlier this month, a new study from the Department of Psychiatry and the HealthEmotions Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison of an extended family of monkeys provides important insights into how the risk of developing anxiety and depression is passed from parents to children. Read more

July 13, 2015 Cancer discovery links experimental vaccine and biological treatment

A new study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has linked two seemingly unrelated cancer treatments that are both now being tested in clinical trials. Read more

July 6, 2015 Brain imaging shows how children inherit their parents’ anxiety

In rhesus monkey families - just as in their human cousins - anxious parents are more likely to have anxious offspring. Read more

June 10, 2015 Fragile X proteins involved in proper neuron development

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited intellectual disability and the greatest single genetic contributor to autism. Unlocking the mechanisms behind fragile X could make important revelations about the brain. Read more
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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.