The medical engineering team is devoted to exploring and building medical devices with the potential to better diagnose and treat serious medical conditions, especially virulent cancers. The group’s ongoing efforts improve technologies for medical imaging, optical microscopy, and radiation medicine. In addition, medical engineering aims to accelerate the movement of new devices from research lab to clinical use, and is closely integrated with UW-Madison in its research and translation efforts. This area operates an Advanced Fabrication Lab, which is a collaborative resource for the broad UW-Madison innovation community for rapid prototyping, 3-D modeling, and the design of novel tools for research efforts. Ultimately, we hope to catalyze transformational research in this field to make medical devices to this region what computers and software have been to Silicon Valley.
Thomas “Rock” Mackie’s distinguished career in UW-Madison medical physics includes the mentoring of 40 PhD students, generating 42 medical technology patents, and founding two influential Wisconsin companies. They include TomoTherapy (sold to Accuray in 2011), a technology that delivers radiation doses that are precisely sculpted around tumors. The company has generated more than $1.5 billion in sales. The other company, Geometrics Corp., produces radiation therapy treatment planning software under the name Pinnacle and used in more than 300,000 patient treatments annually.
Mackie is involved in university entrepreneurship policy as founder of the Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE), a group working to reduce barriers for faculty, staff and students with commercial ideas. At the Morgridge Institute, he leads efforts to create technology that can better diagnose, treat and prevent disease, and leads advanced fabricating resources that are open to campus scientists. in 2014, Mackie earned the William D. Coolidge Award from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) — the highest honor in the field of medical physics — for his game-changing contributions to medical imaging.