MADISON – Thomas Rockwell Mackie, co-founder, chairman of the board and director of research at TomoTherapy, will speak on faculty entrepreneurship on Wednesday, April 2, beginning at 5 p.m.  The event, part of the Gilson Discovery Series hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), is free and open to the public.

The presentation is followed by a networking reception beginning at 6 p.m. Interested individuals can receive complimentary parking at the Fluno Center, 601 University Ave., by contacting Devon Cournoyer at (608) 890-1621 or by Monday, March 31.

University-based startup companies are often formed when research activities come into line with a pressing market need. Seventeen years ago, University of Wisconsin-Madison Mackie and Paul Reckwerdt recognized a need for improved image guidance in cancer radiation treatment. The two addressed that need by developing a new method for radiation therapy called the Hi-Art slice therapy system. Today, their company, TomoTherapy, has multiple issued and pending patents, as well as exclusive licenses on more than 100 issued and pending patents worldwide. The company completed its initial public offering in May 2007, the largest in Wisconsin history. Headquartered in Madison, TomoTherapy has European operations in Belgium and more than 150 installations in 16 countries around the world.

Mackie will speak on the critical role of faculty entrepreneurs, and outline some of the challenges they face, drawing from his extensive experience.

WARF supports world-class research at UW-Madison by protecting the intellectual property of university faculty, staff and students, and licensing inventions resulting from their work. WARF was established in 1925 as the first university-based technology transfer office in the world.

In 2002, UW-Madison alumnus, faculty member and entrepreneur Warren Gilson bequeathed a generous gift to WARF to promote entrepreneurialism in Wisconsin.  Since 2005, WARF has hosted a series of events in his name to help connect the university with the Madison community.