Symposium on Laboratory Lifecycle Management

The goal of the Symposium on Laboratory Lifecycle Management (Lab Symposium) was to bring together experts in science, facilities design, maintenance, and renewal to discuss maximizing scientific productivity through modernizing campus facilities.

There were discussions held over three days on the UW-Madison campus: November 17, 29 and December 13, 2022. Each day featured panelists with a diverse array of experience in academic, industry, and government laboratories as well as design, real estate, and construction.

UW-Madison is expanding its biotechnology research and development capacity to accelerate industry partnerships. These efforts include significant development of real estate on the west side of campus, centering on next-generation laboratory facilities. The Wisconsin Symposium on Laboratory Lifecycle Management Report will promote a long-term approach to developing and managing our laboratories and related spaces in biotechnology facilities.

Executive Summary

Lab Symposium Report

Program Committee

The Lab Symposium Program Committee consists of a team of subject matter experts, industry leaders, facility managers and architects, and UW-Madison faculty and researchers. The committee was charged with refining the goals of the Wisconsin Symposium on Laboratory Lifecycle Management and answering key questions to inform the topics for discussion and exploration during the 2022 Symposium:

  • How do we maximize the impact of our research spaces?
  • How can we position our research space for the future?
  • How do we identify and develop operational and fiscal models to sustain growth?

Click below to see a full list of committee members.

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List of Committee Members

Name  Title  Org 
Kurt Zimmerman (Co-Chair)  Senior Director, Office of Biohealth Industry Partnerships  SMPH / UW-Madison  
Paul Seitz (Co-Chair)   Director, Strategic Initiatives   VCFA / UW-Madison  
Rich Halberg   Senior Director, SMPH Research Cores   SMPH / UW-Madison  
Mark Wells   Assistant Dean for Facilities, SMPH   SMPH / UW-Madison  
Jon Audhya   Senior Assoc Dean for Basic Science, Biotech and Graduate Studies   SMPH / UW-Madison  
Ed Borbely   Associate Dean, School of Engineering  School of Engineering / UW-Madison  
Randi Jean Smith   Laboratory Project Mngr Supervisor, Facilities Planning & Mgmt  FP&M / UW-Madison  
Chris Kozina   Assistant Vice Chancellor, Industry Engagement, Office of Business Engagement    Office of Business Engagement / UW-Mad 
Tom Smith   Vice President  Institute of Asset Management 
Aaron Olver   Managing Director  University Research Park 
Jessica Martin Eckerly   CEO   Forward BIOLABS  
Lisa Johnson   CEO   BioForward Wisconsin  
Kathy Collins   Vice President of Economic Development  MadREP  
Michael McKay   Director of Planning Design & Construction  UW Health 
Kristi Schaeve  Industry Liaison  SMPH / UW Madison 
Bob McDonald  Director, Division of Facilities Stewardship, Office of Research Facilities  NIH 
Mike Wagner  Chief Investment Officer  WARF 
Ryan Pingel  Organizational and Data Analyst  OVCRGE / UW Madison 
Dr. Amy Kind  Associate Dean, Social Health Sciences and Programs  SMPH / UW Madison 
Barbara A. Blodi, MD  Medical Director, Wisconsin Reading Center Professor  SMPH / UW Madison 
Frank R. Korosec, PhD  Professor, Dir. of Research Resources, Section Chief Imaging Sciences  SMPH / UW Madison 
Deneen Wellik, PhD  Chair and Professor, Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology  SMPH / UW Madison 
Mark Burkard, MD, PhD  Professor, Dept. of Medicine Associate Director, Genomics and Precision Medicine, Carbone Cancer Center  SMPH / UW Madison 
Tim Donahue  Director, Wisconsin Energy Institute  WEI / UW Madison 
Colin Dewey  Professor, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics  SMPH / UW Madison 
Michael Harrison  Director, Milwaukee Operations and Education Initiatives  BioForward Wisconsin  
Megan McBride  Project Manager  FP&M / UW-Madison  
Jesse Winters  Interim Director of the Space Management Office  FP&M / UW-Madison  
Aaron Williams  Interim Director, Campus Planning & Landscape Architecture  FP&M / UW-Madison  
Brent Lloyd  Real Estate Development Dir  FP&M / UW-Madison 

Overview of Discussions


  • Current landscape and opportunities in biohealth.
  • Aspects of readiness
  • Case Study: University of Washington School of Medicine

Operations and Renewal

  • Opportunities and challenges in lab management, design and renewal
  • Case Study: Pivoting labs for COVID-19

Long-Term Planning and Funding

  • Forecasting long-term research needs
  • Planning and managing
  • Financing and budgeting

Over three days, 85 attendees participated and represented multiple UW-Madison schools, colleges and departments, biohealth industry partners, the construction and development sector, and campus affiliates including University Research Park.

Key Findings

1. Maintenance, renewal and efficient use of our existing facilities and assets are key to maximizing impact on a limited budget.

2. Current procurement processes and capital project delivery models severely constrain our ability to keep pace with our more autonomous peers.

3. Research core facilities are a significant research asset, and can be better leveraged to benefit UW, research and industry.

4. Clear need for stronger partnership between UW-Madison, government, industry, and economic development agencies to position the advantages of Dane County and Wisconsin as a high value location for health tech growth.

5. Adaptable laboratories are a priority to meet the unpredictable needs of the future of science.

6. Researchers report a high administrative burden, limiting their ability to produce high-impact science and our ability to recruit and retain top talent.


Capital Project Delivery Models 

  • Invest in lifetime facility maintenance planning
  • Improve space allocation and reduce redundancy
  • Invest in flexible and adaptable labs

Strengthen Relationships with Industry and State 

  • Leverage partnerships with local biohealth industry
  • Support the Department of Administration’s investment in facilities development to move projects faster.
  • Fund deferred maintenance
  • Build industry and government partnerships for growth

Improve Campus Systems and Culture 

  • Reduce administrative burden on researchers
  • Increase transparency of decision-making for resource allocation and data use
  • Share space and research administration support between schools and colleges