Mark Cook receives UW entrepreneurship award

Mark Cook, professor of animal sciences, has been selected to receive a 2015 UW-Madison Entrepreneurial Achievement Award for turning his research and 20 patented technologies into start-up companies with great success.

Cook accepted a position as assistant professor at UW-Madison in 1983, became an associate professor in 1990 and a full professor in 1992. He is currently on the faculty of the Department of Animal Sciences, directs the Poultry Research Institute at UW-Madison, and holds affiliate appointments in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food and Microbiology, and the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center. He has authored or coauthored more than 95 peer reviewed articles and has been involved in national news coverage of his research.

Cook holds patents involving four technological areas, including a technology that improves animal growth and feed efficiency around which he founded successful spinoff Aova Technologies in 2001. Cook also co-founded Isomark LLC, for the early detection of infectious disease using biomarkers in breath. The company’s goal is to help health care providers achieve a critical need for earlier and more accurate diagnostic techniques.

Several of Cook’s inventions are being pursued by Wisconsin companies.

“At UW, we take our role in fostering entrepreneurship very seriously. Major research universities are at the heart of what keeps our economy competitive. Through basic research, we discover new ideas. By fostering innovation and providing excellent education, we help shape a skilled and nimble workforce. And by fostering and encouraging entrepreneurship, we help leaders take risks, go after their vision, and bring their dreams to the world,” said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, in a UW news release about the award.

The university also honored Pavan Nigam, a graduate of the Department of Computer Sciences, with an Entrepreneurial Achievement Award. Pagan co-founded the company that’s now WebMD.