Reinventing Discovery

The world's greatest scientific challenges can't be met by individual scientists, laboratories, or departments. The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an experiment in interdisciplinarity, combining the best minds in new teams with powerful tools that transcend the boundaries of departments and fields.


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Innovations in the research process help us solve the biggest problems with a new approach to science:

Targeted Expertise

Convening experts from emerging fields

Training & Teaching

Cultivating interdisciplinary skills and language

Town Halls & Forums

Gathering diverse ideas and people

Tackling Challenges

Addressing ambitious Grand Challenges

Expertise at WID

WID researchers make fundamental discoveries at the intersections of disciplines to solve problems that require an interdisciplinary approach.

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Stories of Discovery

Research, outreach, and initiatives at WID embody the Wisconsin Idea — reaching beyond the walls of the institute and the UW campus and into the lives of citizens across the state, country, and world.


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Jo Handelsman Named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

UW–Madison’s three new fellows–Susan Hagness, Jo Handelsman, and Justin Wilson–bring the university’s total representation to 15.
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WID Graduate Student is December Graduation Student Speaker

From high school dropout to PhD: The unlikely journey of student commencement speaker and Saha Lab member Kirstan Gimse
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Improved understanding of early spinal cord development paves the way for new treatments

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are developing the means to turn stem cells into a wide range of specific types of spinal cord neurons and cells in the hindbrain — the critical nexus between the spinal cord and the brain — paving the way for improved prevention and treatment of spinal cord disease.
Read More "Improved understanding of early spinal cord development paves the way for new treatments"

Discovery Hubs

WID’s hubs act as integrators for the campus community, generating new ideas that nucleate new collaborative research projects. The hubs make use of WID expertise to provide services that assist other researchers in applying specialized tools to a range of problems extending far beyond the scope of WID’s programs. Explore WID’s Hubs:


Grand Challenges