31 Jan Michael J. Fox coming to UW Waisman Center
Madison, Wis. — Actor Michael J. Fox plans to visit the Waisman Center in Madison on Tuesday. Following the tour, Governor Jim Doyle and Fox will hold a media event to discuss the Waisman Center and the governor’s plans for biotechnology research in Wisconsin.
In November, Doyle outlined Wisconsin’s strategy to remain at the forefront of biotechnology and stem cell research, including a collective $750 million investment, much of it private, in various life-science initiatives. As part of this strategy, Doyle announced a $375 million Institute for Discovery, to be located on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin.
Fox, a proponent of biotechnology research, discovered several years ago that he suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.
“I am honored to welcome Michael J. Fox to Wisconsin,” Doyle said. “He is a person of courage and commitment, who has not only inspired America but called on us to act. In Wisconsin, we’re at the forefront of research that might one day bring cures for diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers, and we must seize its great potential.”
Fox expressed enthusiasm over Doyle’s initiatives.
“Governor Doyle’s $750 million proposal for a public and private investment in biotech and stem cell research builds on the state’s reputation as a leader in medical research,” Fox said. “It is good news not only for Wisconsin, but also for those of us who believe in the great potential of this research.”
Doyle and Fox will tour the Waisman Center, visiting a science lab, a bio-manufacturing facility, and a brain imaging facility. They will also have lunch with scientists from the University of Wisconsin and the Waisman Center.
The Waisman Center is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases throughout the lifespan. The center’s name honors the late Harry A. Waisman, a pediatrician, biochemist, and pioneer in mental retardation research. He was a driving force in the enactment of legislation mandating testing of all newborns for the metabolic condition phenylketonuria (PKU), which results in mental retardation if undetected and untreated.