The new facility represents an innovative vision that reaches beyond a state-of-the-art meat and muscle biology building. It builds upon the efficiency and leanness of function and operation epitomized by the meat industry to allow for the creation of a novel field of research, Value Added Product Research, while dramatically expanding the capabilities of an existing one, Biomedical Research. For Dr. Shanmuganayagam’s research program, the Biomedical & Genomic Research Group, the Value Added Product Research represents the ability to discover novel uses for molecules within animal tissue in the waste streams of the meat industry that would benefit both human and animal health. In context of Biomedical Research, the facility enables a level of efficiency and practicallity of research that will open doors to the fields of genomics, regenerative medicine and xenotransplantation, while accelerating the rate at which novel bench-top discoveries can be developed to bedside applications in the medical and veterinary fields.
The new meat lab will allow me to develop more (and higher impact) meat science and food safety extension programs than ever before. The new facility will also be a model for meat processing facility design and allow us to be leaders in design, technology, and food safety.
I am really excited about the breadth of research and learning opportunities the new Meat Laboratory will accommodate. I look forward to a facility utilized by not only our current staff but by collaborators across UW and the meat industry. In my instructional role, I look forward to truly engaging students in hands-on learning experiences in a modern facility that will showcase the exciting opportunities the field of meat science has to offer.
Our vision is to be recognized worldwide as a leader in meat safety. The BSL2-dedicated meat processing area and adjacent laboratories in the new facility will allow us to expand our research capabilities to support that vision. This facility will bring together experts from the Meat Lab, the Food Research Institute, Microbial Sciences, Food Science, Animal Science, and Veterinary Medicine, to develop practical processing and formulation strategies to improve meat safety.
At last we will have a center where scientists from all disciplines can disassemble the molecules of the whole animal and its hitchhiking myriad into new innovative composites that solve problems with which we complacently live. Our milligrams solutions will become kilograms and our theoretical, reality. Those who labor hard and gave generously to create this new facility will see, in short order, vast returns to industry and society. Their names should be placed at the top of a pyramid of all the outcomes that soon will follow.
Innovations are needed in the areas of food safety, byproduct utilization, and manufacturing muscle foods that maintain high quality during extended storage periods. The new facility is being designed with these areas of study in mind which dovetail with another focal point of the facility which is advancements in human health and disease prevention using animal-based models. This facility will expand our understanding of the basic chemistry, biology, and physical processes that occur in pre-mortem and post-mortem animal tissues so that real-world problems can be solved.
The new meat lab will allow Bucky’s Butchery to expand retail sales, as well as gain extensive wholesale accounts. This will give us a broader outreach across the UW campus, and the city of Madison. The new retail area will eventually be a Madison destination spot, similar to Babcock Hall Dairy Store. The new facility will also strengthen our relationship with outside companies by giving them a wide array of state-of-the-art equipment and processes to conduct their R&D. The contact with these companies will foster the learning of meat science to our students, let them build important relationships within the industry, and give them job and internship opportunities.