Living Pharmaceuticals for First-in-Human Clinical Trials; Transforming Milwaukee’s Menonomee Valley; Tracking Insects Across Wisconsin in the Year of Living Covidly

Explore the Unknown!   
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For July 28, 2021            
Hi WN@TL Fans,
My daughter and I went up to Oshkosh yesterday for the first day of the 2021 EAA AirVenture, still known to my brain as the Fly-In from back when it was held in Rockford IL and I was growing up in Dixon.  As Whitewater’s own Stephen Ambrose might say, ‘There’s nothing like it in the world.’  Hyperbole, but ya gotta go a long way to find something comparable.  EAA is for me a happy example of Wisconsin punching above its weight. 
Other heavy-hitting examples but in the life sciences, and within eyeshot out my office window, include the discoveries of vitamins (Vitamin A 1913 in Ag Hall; Vitamin B 1916 in Biochemistry Building) and the development of warfarin (1930’s-50’s, Biochem again).  In 1998 Jamie Thomson figured out how to grow human embryonic stem cells and he announced this to the world from the lectern in the Biotech Center’s Auditorium, the same lectern WN@TL speakers have long used.  For an outreacher like me, it’s splendid being able to point to buildings and say to visitors, “Sometimes, X really does mark the spot” where great and good discoveries happen.
Likewise, this week’s topic traces back to 1968 with the first successful bone marrow transplant led by Fritz Bach of UW-Madison and Robert Good of the University of Minnesota. Fifty-three years later, pioneering work here at the edge our knowledge and know-how in cell therapy continues in that quest to treat, to cure, to save lives. 
Sometimes, it’s not just the airshows that amaze. 
On July 28 Ross Meyers will speak on “Living Pharmaceuticals for First-in-Human Clinical Trials.”  He will give an overview of the Program for Advanced Cell Therapy (PACT) and discuss currently active clinical trials and advanced cell therapies in development.  PACT is a partnership of UW Health and UW-Madison that speeds the work of UW researchers, clinicians and external partners in translating innovative cell and gene therapies from the laboratory benchtop to the hospital bedside. We enable clinical trials through direct communications with the Food and Drug Administration. The cleanroom Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility is physically located within UW Health.

UW PACT currently has five active, FDA-approved cell therapies in Phase 1 clinical trials. These include two trials using Cytomegalovirus virus-stimulated T lymphocytes (CMV-VST), another trial for solid organ transplant, a fourth trial for patients 
xerostomia after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, and a trial for bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients.

Bio:  Ross O. Meyers, PhD is Director of Cell Manufacturing, University of Wisconsin-Madison Program for Advanced Cell Therapy, School of Medicine and Public Health, Carbone Cancer Center.  He is also Principal Instructor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacy Professional Development, Applied Drug Development

Dr. Meyers contributes expertise in GMP Biomanufacturing, drug product quality testing oversight, and documentation preparation and review to PACT. He led the Waisman Biomanufacturing Quality Control program operations at UW-Madison from June 2011 to June 2019 and a team of analytical method validation scientists at the Madison, WI Pharmaceutical Products Development GMP laboratories from February 2006 to June 2011. Dr. Meyers adds over three decades of leadership and technical drug development experience to PACT in the performance, education, training, management and supervision of cell and tissue culture, analytical small molecule, protein and nucleic acid chemistry, vaccine development, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, drug target validation, molecular interaction analysis and cell and in vivo-based bioassay development.
On August 4 Corey Zetts of the Menomonee Valley Partners will speak on “Transforming the Menomonee Valley:  A National Model in Economic Development and in Environmental Sustainability.”
Description: Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley has a rich history: from wild rice marsh and gathering place of Native Americans, to manufacturing center, to infamous eyesore, and now to a national model of economic revitalization and environmental sustainability.
The 1200-acre Valley, named for the wild rice “menomin” that flourished here, was filled for industry; while Milwaukee was known as the Machine Shop of the World, the Valley was its engine.
By the 1960s, the Menomonee Valley became Milwaukee’s Mason Dixon line, the divide between its black and white neighborhoods, and for 200 consecutive nights the NAACP Youth and Father Groppi led marches across the Valley in their fight for justice.  
But if you lived in or passed through Milwaukee from the 80s to the early 2000s, you might remember the Valley as the blighted area right along I-94, with miles of vacant industrial buildings, contaminated land, and a forgotten river. 
Since 1999, a community effort had been underway to revitalize the Valley, through economic development, environmental restoration, and community engagement. Twenty years in, the Valley is already a national model of sustainable redevelopment, and the vision is continuing to progress. 

Bio: Corey Zetts serves as the Executive Director of Menomonee Valley Partners, the public/private partnership facilitating the redevelopment of Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. Corey joined Menomonee Valley Partners in 2005 and became Executive Director in 2014. Through the years she has led diverse projects, including real estate development and business recruitment, infrastructure and sustainable design planning, habitat restoration, greenspace and recreational planning, public art and community engagement. She is actively engaged on several boards and community organizations, including the Governor’s Council on Workforce Development, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Regional Transit Leadership Council, Urban Manufacturing Alliance, Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail, and Highland Community School. She received her MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin in 2005. Corey lives in Milwaukee with her husband and daughter.

Remember, we continue to meet by Zoom, since we can’t gather all in one room.  
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H

UW-Madison:  5.9 million owners, one pretty good public land-grant teaching, research and extension university. 

Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round. 
Here are the components of the WN@TL User’s Guide
1. The live WN@TL seminar, every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT on Zoom
2. The WN@TL YouTube channel
3. WN@TL on the University Place broadcast channel of PBS Wisconsin 
4. WN@TL on the University Place website