University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Richard Halberg, PhD



MADISON, WI 53705-2275

(608) 263-8433


  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan – PhD in Biochemistry
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison – Postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Genetics

Professional Activities

Dr. Richard Halberg is faculty member in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Oncology. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. Halberg is Faculty Director of the Biomedical Research Model Services in the School of Medicine and Public Health. This group oversees the animal program providing day-to-day care as well as expertise in sophisticated techniques. He also serves on numerous campus research committees, including the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology’s research committee (which he co-chairs), the UW Carbone Center Small Animal Imaging Facility Advisory Committee, the UW Institute of Clinical and Translational Research Scientific Review Committee and the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s Partnership Education and Research Committee. He also trains students and postdoctoral fellows through the UW-Madison Cellular and Molecular Pathology Program and UW-Madison Cancer Biology Program. Dr. Halberg has recently received an American Association of Cancer Research Career Development award, a Department of Medicine Puestow Research Award, and UW-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance Award for Administrative Improvement.

Research Interests

Dr. Halberg’s research uses new animal models and a unique set of colorectal polyps from humans to understand how potentially cancerous tumors are initiated and established. Contrary to a longstanding paradigm in the field of cancer biology, his lab has found that tumors are often derived from multiple rogue cells—and that some tumors carry mutations in genes that drive progression and express a transcriptional program that foretells a pathologic fate. His team aims to fully understand the recruitment process in which one rogue cell transforms neighboring cells, and the consequences of early intratumoral heterogeneity on tumor biology. Their work, which is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, has implications for the development of personalized screening guidelines and personalized treatment strategies.