Science Café series to be held at Milwaukee Public Library

Feb. 27, 2014 College News - The Community Engagement Key Function of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin will hold a series of Science Cafés at the Milwaukee Public Library’s Central location that are free and open to the public.  The theme of the 2014 series is “Science and a Healthier You,” and topics will include heart disease prevention, drug addiction, asthma, and an overall look at Science Cafés and how they work.

Syed Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH, Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Director of the Community Engagement Key Function of the CTSI, said, “We are excited to continue the Science Café program as it has been extremely successful in the past three years of increasing communication between the community and researchers. The Science Cafés are valuable for our community partners through increasing confidence in their health and scientific literacy.” 

The series kicks off Tuesday, March 11 with a discussion led by Aimee Welsh, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular); and Kelly Duffy, PhD, Academic Program and Research Consultant in the Cardiovascular Center, both from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).  Drs. Welsh and Duffy will offer new information on heart disease and stroke, including conditions and factors that increase risk, and how individuals can lower their risk of heart disease and stroke.

Then on April 8, John Mantsch, PhD, professor and chair of biomedical sciences in the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University, will lead a discussion on drug addiction.  Dr. Mantsch will explain the science of drug addiction, factors that lead to addiction and new research that has advanced our knowledge about the brains of drug addicts and what drives their behaviors.

The café on Tuesday, May 13, will be led by Zeno Franco, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at MCW.  Dr. Franco’s talk, entitled, “Lessons Learned at Science Cafés,” will explain the genesis of the science café, the rationale behind gathering community members with researchers to discuss science, and the best way to measure the benefit of the cafes to the community.

The final café of the spring series will be held Tuesday, June 10, and will address childhood asthma.  Matthew Gray, MD, instructor of pediatric emergency medicine; and Michael Levas, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Medicine; will lead the discussion.  Both have academic appointments at MCW and see patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  Drs. Gray and Levas will talk about those most at risk for asthma, the role the environment plays in the disease, and treatment options.

All four Science Cafes will be held at the Milwaukee Central Library at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue, in the first floor meeting room. Discussion begins at 6 p.m. and continues through 7:15 p.m.  The discussions are designed to engage and involve members of the community, and all are free and open to the public.  Registration for the March café is available now at, or contact Mia DeFino at (414) 955-5754 or

Science Cafés are a program of the Community Engagement Key Function of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) of Southeast Wisconsin.  Funding for this program comes in part by the CTSI of southeastern Wisconsin and in part by Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Research and Education Initiative Fund, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clin­ical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The eight member organizations of the CTSI are the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

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Page Updated 02/27/2014