Innovation marks UW-Madison contribution to vitamins, drugs, medical supplies
The independent, non-profit WARF remains one of the most successful university technology offices: by now it has patented 1,900 university inventions and contributed $1.07 billion to university research, programs and initiatives.
“With a long tradition of exploration of medicine and biology, and a research budget that has passed $1 billion, University of Wisconsin-Madison builds on a rich history of discoveries related to drugs and nutrition: Vitamin A and B were discovered here in 1914.
In 1941, Karl Paul Link discovered dicumarol, an anti-coagulant and poison. From dicumarol, Link synthesized coumadin (Warfarin), the first widely effective rat poison. Coumadin, the first safe medical anticoagulant, is still widely prescribed.
Ever since biochemist Harry Steenbock discovered how to enrich the vitamin D content of foods through irradiation in 1923, the vitamin and its many derivatives have been a mainstay of UW-Madison pharmaceutical research. Facing considerable commercial interest in the vitamin, Steenbock believed the university should benefit, and together with Dean Slichter, he founded the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), which opened in 1925 as the nation’s first university technology transfer office…”