WARF Ambassador Program

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Ambassador Program enhances the vital connection between research on campus and technology transfer. Engaging students to serve as WARF Ambassadors augments WARF's visibility and presence among researchers on campus.

WARF Ambassadors receive training in WARF's technology transfer process and learn how to access resources offered by WARF and other campus organizations designed to support technology development and entrepreneurial activity. They spend five to 10 hours per month promoting awareness of WARF's role across campus and WARF's engagement with campus research through departmental seminars, informal contacts and more.

In addition, the ambassadors bring a new dimension to WARF's inventor mining project, which was developed to identify those scientists on campus who are creating potential inventions through innovative research but may not be familiar with WARF. The ambassadors are able to talk directly with graduate students and researchers in the labs and check out research posters throughout campus buildings.

Current Ambassadors

Brian D. Cholewa

Department: Dermatology
Major Professor: Nihal Ahmad
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies the cell cycle and the targeted inhibition of cell cycle proteins as a means of therapeutic intervention for advanced stage carcinomas; has attended several lectures presented by WARF.

Gagan Gupta

Department: Computer Sciences
Major Professor: Guri Sohi
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies key challenges in the design and programmability of future high performance computer processors; worked with WARF on two technologies that arose from his research with Guri Sohi.

Kate Helmich

Department: Biochemistry
Major Professor: John Ralph
Email: [email protected]
Background: Researches the structural characterization of several enzymes relevant to the use of cellulosic biomass as a fuel source; mentors undergraduates and teachers in independent research projects through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center's education and outreach initiatives.

Rishabh Jain

Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Major Professor: Nicholas L. Abbott
Email: [email protected]
Background: Developing the use of Raman spectroscopy and chemometric spectral analysis as a noninvasive tool for biochemical characterization of healing wounds; attended the Discovery Challenge.

Ngoc Nhi Le

Department: Materials Science Program (Biomedical Engineering)
Major Professor: William L. Murphy
Email: [email protected]
Background: Researches hydrogel platforms for screening the effects of substrate properties on stem cell lineage specification and commitment.

Fang Yun Lim

Department: Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Major Professor: Nancy Keller
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies how LaeA regulates the production of spore secondary metabolites (SMs) in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and how these SMs impact establishment of invasive aspergillosis via interactions with host innate immune cells.

Kassondra Meyer

Department: Neuroscience
Major Professor: Avtar Roopra
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies underlying growth mechanisms as potential drug targets in breast cancer with the aim of advancing personalized medicine; participated in the Discovery Challenge.

Joseph Moore

Department: Chemistry (Chemical Biology)
Major Professor: Helen Blackwell
Email: [email protected]
Background: Researches quorum sensing-regulated virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa; learned about the Ambassador Program from former ambassador Julia Kennedy-Darling.

Hyunjun Park

Department: Bacteriology
Major Professor: Michael Thomas
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies nonribosomal peptide and polyketide enzymology to understand how these natural products are biosynthesized and to engineer microbes to produce new analogs; attended the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp and Gilson Series events.

Shannon C. Roberts

Department: Industrial and Systems Engineering
Major Professor: John D. Lee
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies driver distraction methods and mitigation with a particular focus on teenage drivers and feedback techniques to change driving behavior; previously served as the UW–Madison president-elect of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Muhammad Shoaib

Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Major Professor: David A. Wood
Email: [email protected]
Background: Researches computer architecture with an emphasis on efficient interface designs for hardware accelerators; previously served as the president of the Pakistani Students Association at UW–Madison.

Hillary St. John

Department: Biochemistry
Major Professor: J. Wes Pike
Email: [email protected]
Background: Uses high throughput techniques in combination with molecular biology tools to investigate the transcriptional regulation of osteocytes (bone cells) by the active form of vitamin D; led Saturday morning science camps at UW Space Place and attended the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp.

Colluru Viswa Teja

Department: Medicine
Major Professor: Douglas G. McNeel
Email: [email protected]
Background: Studies the mechanisms regulating DNA vaccine action in an effort to develop the next generation of anti-tumor vaccines; attended the Discovery Challenge Seminar Series and the Gilson Seminar Series.