Donata Oertel Named Chair of Neuroscience
Madison, Wisconsin - Donata Oertel, a nationally renowned researcher in the neurobiology of hearing, has been named the founding chair of the neuroscience department at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Oertel joined the faculty at UW-Madison as an assistant professor in 1981, and became professor of neurophysiology in 1992 and chair of that department in 1996.
After neurophysiology was merged into the physiology department, Oertel served as interim chair of physiology from 2009 until 2011, when the basic-science departments at the School of Medicine and Public Health began the process of reorganization.
Oertel now will serve as the founding chair of neuroscience, the department formed through the integration of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropharmacology components of three previous departments.
She takes the helm as the department joins others in a newly constructed state-of- the-art $134 million research facility, the central tower of the Wisconsin Institutes of Medical Research, which is connected to the university teaching hospital (UW Hospital and Clinics) and the major teaching facility of the School of Medicine and Public Health.
“Dr. Oertel is an experienced administrative leader, as well as an accomplished academician,” says Dr. Robert N. Golden, dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health. “She is well positioned to lead this new department to national prominence.”
Having earned a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of California-Santa Barbara, Oertel completed post-doctoral training at both UW-Madison and Harvard Medical School.
She has served on multiple editorial boards, as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, on the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council, and she is the recipient of awards at the national and campus levels.
Her primary research focus has been how the brains of mammals, including humans, extract information about the location and meaning of sounds from the acoustic information they receive from the ears.
Oertel’s appointment was effective November 15.
Date Published: 11/18/2014