April 7, 2005
Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research
Remarks by Dr. Jeff Johnson
Thank you, President Reilly. Good afternoon everyone. It is an
honor to be here. On behalf of my many colleagues throughout the
UW System who conduct undergraduate research, I want to extend my
thanks and appreciation to the Regents, the Governor, and Legislators
for their support of our important work. And let me add a special
note of gratitude to our hard working undergraduate students for
all their efforts. I was an undergraduate researcher, and that's
what drove me into science. I understood both perspectives.
I can attest to the value of supporting undergraduate research.
I really do know how hard all of you have worked because I am the
Director of the Bachelor’s of Science Program in Pharmacology
and Toxicology on the Madison campus. This program has a very strong
emphasis on undergraduate research and the dedication of these undergraduates
to research is impressive.
Undergraduate researchers contributed to and are co-authors on
a number of our recently published papers. These studies have identified
two independent proteins in the brain that have the potential to
halt the progression of diseases such Alzheimer’s disease,
Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Huntington’s
With respect to Alzheimer’s disease, the number of Wisconsin
residents affected with Alzheimer’s is expected to grow by
almost 60 percent over the next two decades. The kind of research
that my colleagues, students, and I are doing has the potential
to give benefit to thousands of Wisconsin adults and their families
who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative
Thanks to the Governor, the Legislature and the University, we
will, I believe, make new discoveries, bring those new therapies
to market, start new businesses, grow our economy and impact lives
here in Wisconsin. I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting activity,
and am anxious to see the potential it holds brought to fruition.
Please continue to support UW undergraduate research. It is a central
part of developing good scientists.