The mission of the
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI) is to discover and communicate scientific knowledge that substantially improves human health and well-being. The MCRI mission supports the Marshfield Clinic mission to serve patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education.
MCRI, a division of Marshfield Clinic, was founded in 1959. It is one of the largest medical research institutes in Wisconsin, with 35 Ph.D. and M.D. scientists and 155 other staff. In addition, approximately 150 physicians and other healthcare professionals throughout the Marshfield Clinic system are engaged in medical research.
The Laird Center for Medical Research houses the Clinic’s major medical research facilities. The Center is named in honor of Mr. Melvin R. Laird, a Marshfield native and tireless supporter of medical research throughout his successful career in public service in the Wisconsin Legislature, U.S. House of Representatives and as the Secretary of Defense.
The following are the top funding priorities in research as identified by the MCRI Board of Trustees:
Disease Specific Research Funds
MCRI helps to fund novel pilot research projects, following a rigorous scientific review process. Pilot studies in these areas are important, as they fuel the growth of research and discovery. Disease Specific Research Funds support such physician and scientist led pilot research projects in various areas including:
- Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases
- Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- General Medical Research
- Child Health and Development
Fund for Innovation and Growth
Some projects or initiatives that have the potential to be transformative in nature and/or position the organization to be a national leader in research do not qualify for funding from traditional research grants. The Fund for Innovation and Growth seeks to provide these efforts with the resources these novel and revolutionary ideas the opportunity to succeed.
Summer Student Research Internship Program (current needs and endowment support)
Each year, the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute hosts college undergraduate and graduate students for a unique 12-week research internship experience. Students work with a mentor and conduct research in clinical research, laboratory research, epidemiology and population health, genetics, agricultural health and safety, and biomedical informatics. This program is funded entirely with philanthropic support, with two of the ten positions currently funded by endowment support. In 2015, additional endowment support is being sought so that additional positions may be entirely funded with endowment support to provide long-term sustainability of this program.
Institute for Oral and Systemic Health
The fields of dentistry and medicine have traditionally been viewed as separate entities with little interaction among the practitioners of each area. However, it has become better understood that oral and systemic health can and do have a great impact on each other. Diabetes control, for example, is influenced by treatment of gum disease. With this in mind, MCRI has launched the Institute for Oral and Systemic Health (IOSH) with the goal of better understanding the role of oral health in disease.
Research in Precision Medicine
The future of medicine will incorporate a patient's genetic information in their care. With this aspect in mind, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute launched the Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) in 2001 with the goal of linking study participants' DNA to their electronic medical records. Over 20,000 people have participated since its launch, and today this system is the basis for innovative medical research in many areas of disease including cancer, cardiology, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, ALS, MS, and many other diseases.
Comprehensive genetic data combined with Marshfield Clinic's detailed and advanced electronic medical record will provide the tools to deliver health care that is predictive, preventive, and focused on the individual patient's risk. For example, a personalized medicine research project currently underway is utilizing a genetic test to inform a patient's physician about their risk of an adverse reaction to certain medications. This way, the patient's physician can prescribe a safer alternative medication. Studies like these will shape the future of medicine.
Endowment for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health
Epidemiology is the study of the incidence, distribution and control of disease in a population. The importance of this field of research lies in its ability to better understand the behavior of disease within the greater community. An example is MCRI's involvement in national influenza studies, including those used by the CDC to regularly monitor this dangerous disease. MCRI has recognized this importance by moving forward with the creation of an endowment fund to support innovative epidemiological and population health research. Such funding will help to maintain the MCRI's status as a national leader in Epidemiology and Population Health.
Marshfield Clinic and University of Wisconsin: World Class Partnership
The relationship between Marshfield Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Madison demonstrates a long and successful history, with Marshfield Clinic serving as a clinical campus for the University since the 1920s. This relationship is stronger today than ever before.
Recently, very strong ties have developed between the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI) Division of Marshfield Clinic and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH). In 2007, MCRI and the UWSMPH collaborated on an application to secure funding for the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program from the National Institutes of Health. This application was successful, and the resulting research partnership between the two institutions has been called the strongest partnership in the entire national CTSA program.
The research projects that clinicians and scientists at MCRI and UW are working on together is truly cutting edge and will transform the way patients are cared for in the future. Federal funding for the work has diminished and researchers are turning to different avenues to fund this critically important work. The hope is that support will continue to be available to make sure that the UW-MC relationship remains as strong as ever, capitalizing on the synergy between the two institutions as well as the strengths that each brings to the table, and catalyzing the outstanding research being carried out together.
For more information about ways you can support medical research at Marshfield Clinic, please contact
1000 North Oak Ave - 1R1
Marshfield, WI 54449-5777