UW Health has selected Thomas “Rock” Mackie to be the inaugural leader of the health system’s innovation initiative, which it is pursuing in partnership with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Mackie, who was also named chief innovation officer at UW Health, is a well-known member of Madison’s biotechnology sector as a researcher, entrepreneur and investor whose list of innovations and companies includes founding Geometrics and TomoTherapy (incubated at UW Health); investing in and conducting research for Shine Medical Technologies; investing in Wisconsin Brewing and many more.

Before and during his long career in company-building and investing, Mackie was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in medical physics and human oncology. He began as an assistant professor in 1989 and concluded his academic career as professor in 2011.

Mackie, an emeritus professor of medical physics and engineering at UW, was also the director of medical engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison from 2010 to 2014. In addition to his investments in local biotechnology companies, Mackie also sits on the board of several other companies and institutions.

“Rock is the ideal leader to spearhead our desire to empower the medical visionaries we have all around us at UW Health and the School of Medicine and Public Health,” said Rick Moss, senior associate dean for basic research, biotechnology and graduate studies at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “His extensive expertise in taking innovation from ideas to reality, then scaling them up, will be a tremendous asset to guide the early stages of our efforts.”

Temporarily dubbed the “Innovation Hub,” the initiative is like a traditional business accelerator – where seasoned entrepreneurs, with the help of science, technology, business and legal experts, guide new innovators through the process of developing an idea and bringing it to market­ – but it is housed within the walls of UW Health. Read the full story here.