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 (NIH) grant was up for renewal.
The decision to retire and close the lab was made because of his age and not because of any anticipated difficulty renewing the NIH award, which was funded continuously for decades. None of Dr. Yin’s research grant applications on sound localization had ever been turned down by NIH, even in a hyper-competitive funding environment, a testament to the quality and importance of the science.
Work in his lab ceased months ago. As the animals were well socialized and used to human contact, they were adopted out, a not uncommon practice for many research institutions.
The work in the lab was highly regarded scientifically and yielded important insights into how the brain localizes sound, knowledge important for such things as hearing and cochlear implants.
While work in the lab has come to an end, it is reflective of the natural evolution of university research programs and what occurs when researchers reach retirement age. Dr. Yin is 70 years old. The important research conducted by Dr. Yin and his colleagues was in no way affected or curtailed due to activity by animal rights organizations and any such claims are patently false.