Biz Notes

General Mitchell International Airport

Governor Jim Doyle recently approved a $6.7 million project to complete runway safety area improvements at Milwaukee County’s General Mitchell International Airport. The Governor’s action releases $833,333 in state funds to help complete the work.  Milwaukee County is contributing $833,334 and the Federal Aviation Administration is providing $5 million. According to Wendy Hottenstein, airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the project will perform engineering and other tasks in preparation for construction of runway safety area improvements. The runway safety area improvements are required to comply with the FAA’s design standards. General Mitchell International Airport has five hard-surfaced runways that accommodate over 7 million passengers and 215,000 aircraft take-offs and landings each year. 

Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin, Wauwatosa, recently received a four-year, $1.84 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to study ways to improve the success rate of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is used to measure brain activity. The study has the potential to expand the role of fMRI as a routine clinical tool. James Hyde, professor of biophysics and director of the National Biomedical Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Center, is principal investigator for the grant. Clinical fMRI is, amongst other purposes, often used to detect brain tumors and identify cognitive impairments that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Its results are often unclear as a result of excessive patient motion. Furthermore, fMRI scans have a tendency to take longer than patients are comfortable with, and some become fatigued or fall asleep. Since patients are asked to perform a task while the scan is in progress, the length of the procedure and the fatigue associated with it has been identified as issues confounding results of the scan. Hyde and his team of researchers are looking for ways to improve the functionality of fMRI, specifically focusing on making real-time corrections to data corrupted by motion, and shortening the length of scan sessions.  Moreover, images are analyzed with computers for excessive motion while the patient is still in the scanner. In some cases, it may be possible to repeat portions of a study that are corrupted by motion to preserve the integrity of the examination.

The Medical College of Wisconsin also recently received a four-year, $753,604 renewal grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to train academic gastroenterologists to conduct research in under-studied areas. Dr. Reza Shaker, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research, and Joseph E. Geenen Professor in Gastroenterology, chief of gastroenterology/hepatology, and director of the Medical College Digestive Disease Center, is the principal investigator for the grant. Dr. Shaker is seeking to expand the Medical College’s gastroenterology training program to include two understudied areas of gastrointestinal research. These include training in the motor functions and functional relationship between the gastrointestinal tract and the organs and tissues of the respiratory tract and digestive tract; and neuro-gastroenterology, which is the interaction of the central nervous system and the digestive tract. Dr. Shaker first secured funding to train scientists in gastroenterology in 2003. The grant will help prepare physicians for research careers in academic gastroenterology through a multidisciplinary program that offers modern investigative tools and skills, instruction in research design and methods, and mentoring that encourages critical thinking and team work.

As senior associate dean, Dr. Shaker oversees the Medical College’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). This is a new and innovative infrastructure to support and advance education, collaboration, and research in clinical and translational science, and to advance biomedical sciences and application to patient care and technology transfer. The CTSI will build on the Medical College’s alliances with Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Zablocki VA Medical Center, and the Blood Center of Wisconsin’s Blood Research Institute, and longstanding collaborations with Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to serve as a mechanism in southeastern Wisconsin for, bringing basic discoveries to bedside use; fostering collaboration among area academic institutions, health care providers, community advocates, and local and state governments, and developing the next generation of clinical and translational researchers by developing master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in clinical and translational sciences.

University Wisconsin-Whitewater

Russ Roberts is one of five individual leaders who was honored for their work in promoting entrepreneurship and supporting inventor and entrepreneurship clubs this year at the Oct. 1-2 Ideas to Profits Conference. The conference was sponsored by the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and was held in Appleton, at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. Roberts is the manager of the Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) Small Business Center. He provides individual counseling, oversees program development and teaches small business courses. The Small Business Center has been in service since 2001 and serves about 1,500 entrepreneurs each year. Roberts works to educate small business owners to help them run successful business ventures.

Prior to working at the WCTC, Roberts began his own financial planning venture before being hired to counsel emerging entrepreneurs for the University of Wisconsin Small Business Centers.

Reflections Coaching, LLC

David Bohl, a personal and professional development coach and owner of Reflections Coaching LLC, Hartland, recently launched MVPSkills.com (www.mvpskills.com). Bohl established the Slow Down FAST coaching program (www.slowdownfast.com). Bohl will team with Cornell University athletics personnel to provide an ongoing coaching program beginning in October 2008. Among the tactics that men can learn from Bohl’s program are: focus – equally on performance on and off the field, while respecting that there are limits to what a single person can achieve each day; clarity – necessary to accomplish those goals; and design –create and implement a personal development plan with ongoing support and guidance.

Cramer-Krasselt

Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage has named Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, as its advertising agency of record following a review. C-K’s Milwaukee office will handle all brand strategy and creative work for Johnsonville, a maker of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. C-K’s new work for Johnsonville will launch in 2009. Media will continue to be handled by Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun and annual media spending is approximately $20 million.

Hyatt Regency Hotel

The Hyatt Regency Milwaukee was recently awarded the 2008 Best of MidAmerica award by Meetings MidAmerica magazine. The annual award is given to the top 49 properties in the Midwest and is chosen by the magazine’s readers, who are made up of national meeting planners, were asked to rate properties on their quality of rooms, staff, service, food and beverage, amenities, activities and value.

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