About the Institutes

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is a visionary public-private partnership that is creating two world-class research institutes. Its partners include donors John and Tashia Morgridge, the state of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin (UW–Madison) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

The Discovery Building, which opened in December 2010, houses twin interdisciplinary research institutes: the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving human health by accelerating scientific discovery to patient delivery; and the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, which is part of UW–Madison organized under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The state-of-the-art facility brings together scientists and researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines, such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, education, business and law. It also includes extensive public spaces in its Town Center intended to promote dialogue as a fertile crossroads for ideas among diverse parts of UW–Madison and the larger community.

The key objectives of the public-private partnership are to:

  • Foster new approaches to biological and medical programs at the convergence of biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology;
  • Create the potential for a fundamental transformation of human biology and medicine;
  • Provide cutting-edge scientific advances for clinical application and translation in the UW–Madison Medical School's new Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (formerly IRC);
  • Build on the university's Cluster Hiring Initiative by engaging and supporting the more than 100 multidisciplinary faculty hired as part of that initiative;
  • Establish educational components that will integrate cross-disciplinary science into K-12, undergraduate and graduate education; and
  • Facilitate the invention of technologies that can be transferred to the marketplace and create jobs.

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