University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Areas of Excellence

The total research funding for the divisions of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Gerontology currently exceeds $60 million. The majority of this research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Health Resources and Services Administration. Provided below is a brief description of some of the major clinical, education, and research programs of excellence sponsored by the divisions of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

The University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, led by General Internal Medicine's, Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, has a research and intervention portfolio of approximately $7 million per year with more than sixty full-time staff. A national leader for over a decade, this center has shaped our understanding of how smoking and quitting impact people's mental and physical health, social interactions, and lifestyle. It has also contributed to our understanding of how to optimize existing tobacco dependence treatments, and has led the way in the development of new treatments. This center's leadership is responsible for the current U.S. smoking cessation guidelines.

The Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine, leads a nationally-recognized, comprehensive clinical care program that has served the needs of aging adults throughout Wisconsin for over 30 years. Its primary clinical mission is to deliver exceptional geriatric specialty care, primary care, and hospital-based services. Strong links with research on aging, (e.g., Dr. Cindy Carlsson's evaluation of potential therapies for prevention of Alzheimer's disease) lead to distinctive translation of state-of-the-art care to patients and their families (e.g. Dr. Amy Jo Kind's improvements in patient safety during transitions between health care settings in geriatric and nursing home populations. Community-based research by Dr. Jane Mahoney is funded by the Centers for Disease Control to research falls prevention in the community. The well-funded Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute (Mark Sager, MD), the Comprehensive Memory Program (Sanjay Asthana, MD), the Osteoporosis Clinical Center and Research Program (Neal Binkley, MD) and Institute on Aging programs including "Midlife in the U.S. aging longitudinal study" (Carol Ryff, PhD), represent cutting edge programs with national reputations that provide great research venues and learning opportunities for our postgraduates.

Molly Carnes, MD, MS, directs the Center for Women's Health Research and the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at UW-Madison.  She also directs the Women Veterans Health Program at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital.  Her research focuses on multi-level factors that promote the successful academic career development of women and underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities in academic medicine, science, and engineering.  She is currently leading an NIH-funded program of investigation on the science of peer review.  In addition to leading her own research program, Dr. Carnes is the program director of an NIH-funded grant that supports underrepresented ethnic and racial minority graduate students called Training Education and Mentoring in Science (TEAM-Science) and of a VA sponsored postdoctoral program called the Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health (AFWH).

Laura Zakowski, MD, is one of our outstanding and most awarded teachers.  As Associate Vice Chair for Undergraduate Medical Education, Dr. Zakowski provides leadership in educational innovations for medical student education.  She is one of the key leaders in the medical school's curriculum transformation and is chair of the Department of Medicine Education Committee.  Dr. Zakowski encourages all residents to teach medical students in the clinical skills course (Patient, Doctor and Society), a once weekly small group of first or second year medical students in our conveniently attached School of Medicine and Public Health.

James Sosman, MD, Director of the regional site for the Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center (MATEC) provides program leadership, training and clinical consultation, and oversees intensive clinical training for clinicians and other health care professionals. The program's mission is to increase the number of health care providers who are effectively educated and motivated to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage HIV infection. One current project tests a behavioral intervention designed to improve antiretroviral treatment adherence for HIV-infected prison inmates as they transition to the community.