- News Releases
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Internationally known Mayo Clinic physician-scientist and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus, Timothy J. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the director of Research and Innovation for Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. The newly created position will support collaboration between Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic Health System.
Dr. Nelson’s role of director of Research and Innovation will be multifaceted. He will be charged with developing a cutting-edge research program for the northwest Wisconsin region of Mayo Clinic Health System, focused on expanding clinical trials and research and fostering greater research opportunities for UW-Eau Claire students and faculty.
Dr. Nelson, a native of Osseo, Wisconsin, is renowned for his pioneering research involving cardiovascular regeneration using bioengineered stem cells. Dr. Nelson is board-certified in internal medicine. He serves as director of the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, is the medical director of the Regenerative Medicine Consult Service of the William J. von Liebig Transplant Center and is an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester. He also serves as a grant application reviewer for the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Nelson is a member of the American Heart Association and International Society for Stem Cell Research. He received the Young Investigator Award at the 2009 International Symposium on Stem Cell Therapy and Cardiovascular Innovations in Madrid, Spain. In 2013, he was named Teacher of the Year for the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and received the President’s Award from UW-Eau Claire, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service. His work has been highlighted in numerous publications, including a 2013 episode of ABC’s “Nightline.”
Dr. Nelson’s research interests include cardiac regenerative medicine and bioengineering patient-specific pluripotent stem cells. These bioengineered cells can grow into any cell of the body and do not involve the use of human embryonic stem cells. Dr. Nelson has 78 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has co-authored six book chapters related to regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies.
“We are beyond fortunate to have someone of Dr. Nelson’s expertise develop and lead our efforts in Innovation and Research at Mayo Clinic Health System,” says Richard Helmers, M.D., regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. “Dr. Nelson is one of the world’s top experts in the field of regenerative medicine. His research and clinical expertise will be immensely valuable to this role, particularly for expanding our research relationship with the UW-Eau Claire. This will provide faculty and students more opportunities to accelerate scientific discoveries to critical advances in patient care for patients in the Chippewa Valley and around the world.”
“The three shields of the Mayo Clinic logo represent the core of our mission: practice, education and research,” says Bobbie Gostout, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic. “Mayo Clinic researchers continually demonstrate the power of teamwork and partnerships for finding solutions to the unmet needs of our patients. Our relationship with UW-Eau Claire is yet another example of our uniquely collaborative research culture involving a community partner. Dr. Nelson’s tireless commitment to research and innovation is unparalleled, and he will bring that same enthusiasm to building a research program for Mayo Clinic Health System in Wisconsin.”
Dr. Nelson received bachelor degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He received a medical degree and a doctorate in the Medical Scientist Training Program from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He completed a residency in internal medicine, a research fellowship in cardiovascular diseases and was chief resident in the Clinician-Investigator Training Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Dr. Nelson has received more than a dozen federal, foundation and industry grant studies including from the National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.
“As someone with strong roots in western Wisconsin, I am honored and excited to be part of this trailblazing initiative to help further establish the Chippewa Valley as a leader in health care innovation — not just in the region or state, but as a nationwide example of collaboration,” says Dr. Nelson. “By working together with UW-Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System, our collective expertise and passion for learning and discovery will serve to address unmet medical needs and advance the development of health care technologies and treatments we can provide for patients, while also increasing scientific scholarship opportunities for faculty and college students.”
“We are thrilled Dr. Nelson is coming home to Eau Claire to work closely with the amazing faculty, staff and students at UW-Eau Claire,” says James Schmidt, chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. “As a Blugold, Dr. Nelson is a great example of an alumnus who is using his experience, expertise and passion to improve the world around him.”
In his free time, Dr. Nelson enjoys camping, fishing and spending time outdoors with his wife and two young sons.
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