MADISON — The Morgridge Institute for Research Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday to elect Carl Gulbrandsen, emeritus managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Association (WARF), as the new chairman of the 20-member Morgridge Institute board.

Trustees also welcomed three new community leaders to its board: Susan Engeleiter, the CEO and president of Data Recognition Corporation (DMC) in Minneapolis; Deborah Keller, retired CEO of Covance Drug Development in Madison; and John Neis, managing director of Venture Investors LLC in Madison.

Gulbrandsen, who led WARF from 2000-2016 and served on the Morgridge Board since 2006, played a pivotal role in the origin of the Morgridge Institute, a private biomedical research institute embedded in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Representing WARF, Gulbrandsen worked closely with UW-Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge, and state and university leaders, to craft a vision for the institute of basic research in areas that could transform human health, such as regenerative biology and virology.

Gulbrandsen will succeed Fred Robertson, venture partner at Baird Capital, as chair after Robertson served two consecutive three-year terms. Robertson will continue on the Morgridge board

Being chosen to chair the board is an honor and a high responsibility,” Gulbrandsen says. “While we’ve all been sheltered in our homes, the world has changed. The important question is what more can the Morgridge Institute do to meet that change and continue to help our world become a better, safer place.”

Adds Morgridge Institute CEO Brad Schwartz: “We are indebted to Fred for his extraordinary leadership during a decisive period in the institute’s growth and are fortunate to have Carl as his successor. Carl’s commitment to the institute and his experience with the research enterprise are incredibly valuable as we contribute to the betterment of society at a time when the need is so acute.

The board also honored departing board members Carol Skornika and James Berbee for their valuable contributions to the institute, helping foster “the tremendous potential of research to improve human health.” Skornika, the retired senior vice president, secretary and general counsel of Midwest Airlines, served on the board since 2012 and was chair of the board’s governance committee. Berbee, a clinical assistant professor in the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine at UW-Madison, and founder and former chairman of Berbee Information Networks Corporation, served on the board since 2014. Berbee also is chair of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Board of Trustees.

Since 1998, Engeleiter has led DMC, an assessment and information management company that offers educational assessments for the pre-kindergarten, K-12 and adult education markets. Its customers include public and private schools and districts; state and national government agencies; and other educational organizations.

In 1989, Engeleiter was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to direct and manage the Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. She also served as a state senator for Wisconsin’s 33rd District from 1984 to 1988 and served as the Senate minority leader during these years.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the Morgridge team to advance this great organization’s bold and innovative approach to biomedical research,” says Engeleiter.

As CEO of Covance Drug Development, Keller was responsible for more than $3 billion in revenue and 12,000-plus employees working in more than 100 countries. Keller is a WARF trustee, one of five trustees who serve on both the Morgridge and WARF boards. She also is operating partner of Health Cloud Capital and is founder and principal of Black Frame Advisors, LLC. She was named one of Fierce Biotech’s Top 10 Women in Biotech in 2012.

“At this time, more than ever before, research is critical for our future and the quality and breadth of researchers at Morgridge is outstanding,” Keller says. “I am honored to be part of this institute.”

Neis leads Venture Investors, a firm that targets, uncovers, and invests in bold ideas that will shape the future of health and wellness. Venture Investors has more than $275 million in assets under management.

Neis serves on the Board of Directors of Cellectar BioSciences, Prevacept Infection Control, Delphinus Medical Technologies, TAI Diagnostics, Health Scholars, the Wisconsin Technology Council, and the Wisconsin Venture Capital Association.  He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Weinert Applied Ventures Program and Tandem Press at UW-Madison.

“The Morgridge Institute is on the leading edge of research that is focused on many of the biggest challenges in human health,” Neis says. “It is a privilege to participate in the advancement of their mission.”

As an independent research organization, the Morgridge Institute for Research explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures. In affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support researchers who take a fearless approach to advancing human health in emerging fields such as regenerative biology, metabolism, virology and medical engineering. Through public programming, we work to inspire scientific curiosity in everyday life. Learn more at: