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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Micro-Molded ‘Ice Cube Tray’ Scaffold is Next Step in Returning Sight to Injured Retinas
WID's Sarah Gong is part of a team that developed a micro-molded scaffolding photoreceptor "patch" to be implanted under damaged or diseased retinas, the next step in restoring sight.
Read More "Micro-Molded ‘Ice Cube Tray’ Scaffold is Next Step in Returning Sight to Injured Retinas"
Treating Antimicrobial Resistant Infections: A Nano-scale Approach with Big Impacts
A new application of nanomedicine from Shaoqin Gong's lab, published in Advanced Materials, may be a potent tool in the fight against antimicrobial-resistant infections.
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Computational Tools Unlock Evolutionary Complexity
Innovations from associate professor of biostatistics and medical informatics Sushmita Roy can help scientists to better understand evolutionary processes, especially across multiple species and complex gene regulatory networks.
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Grand Challenges

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: