What They’re Saying About the Morgridge Metabolism Initiative

The UW–Madison campus community has high expectations for the campus-wide Metabolism Initiative, which is spearheaded by the Morgridge Institute for Research and is in the process of a national search for a leader. Here are some thoughts on the possibilities ahead:

“I think that the bridging of clinical research and hardcore basic research is where the future is. The clinical view of the function of this work is different from the basic biologist. We can bring those two forces together on campus, and I don’t think they are fully integrated now. With the Morgridge Initiative, we could become the fusion campus for metabolism research.”

Rozalyn Anderson, assistant professor of medicine

“One of the really great things that could happen is a seminar series that brings together many research areas — a place for people who are really interested in the development and application of tools to address metabolic questions in different systems. That would help leverage the development of more collaboration on campus. I think there are many people interested on the experimental and computational sides that have different questions and bringing them together would be really useful.”

Jennifer Reed, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering

“Resources are a major issue. We have to increase the capabilities of the metabolism community with shared technology. A lot of people are doing metabolism research and may not even recognize it or define it as such, so we need to build infrastructure and support more work with a larger metabolic focus. I think this effort will help us land center grants that can seed larger initiatives.”

Luigi Puglielli, associate professor of medicine

“I think we need leadership and we need a central hub for everything that’s happening in metabolism in Madison. Our breadth is both a strength and a weakness here. A central location with a team of researchers who are focusing on metabolism will serve as a microcosm for the type of metabolism research that can happen across campus. Rather than choosing our battles thematically, I advocate for getting the best people we can and touch on all the right enabling technologies.”

David Pagliarini, associate professor of biochemistry

“We do have some wonderful assets on our campus and most of the tools we need to do this. Our campus doesn’t lack great people. The difficulty is we’re so big and decentralized that it’s hard to organize any big initiatives. I’m hoping this initiative will unify he campus and help create a sense of community, enable us to make some improvements in our infrastructure and make us more competitive for NIH funding.”

Alan Attie, professor of biochemistry