Blending Research, Entrepreneurial Spirit

Dr. Rock Mackie jokes he is a “reformed academic,” having spent much of his career as a researcher in medical physics and oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He’s also an entrepreneur who has helped launch companies such as Geometrics, TomoTherapy, SHINE Medical Technologies, HealthMyne and more, making him something of a rarity among faculty due to his knack for understanding and acting on the business side of innovation as well as the scientific.

Today a professor emeritus, Mackie is determined to help others while advancing the cause of fostering more health-related startups in Wisconsin.

Mackie, who spoke last week to members of the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum, is the first “chief innovation officer” at UW Health. It’s a role that puts him at the center of an innovation plan designed to wring more commercial ideas and startups out of health research at UW-Madison.

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