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WiSys names UW-Parkside’s Dr. Francis Mann 2020 Innovator of the Year

Published: November 18, 2020

Francis Mann

For exemplary contributions to Wisconsin innovation, WiSys honors UW-Parkside’s Dr. Francis “Frannie” Mann as a 2020 Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovator of the Year.

Mann, an associate professor of chemistry and co-chair of the chemistry department, has been an active member in building a culture of innovation at UW-Parkside and throughout the UW System.

“UW-Parkside proudly congratulates Dr. Frannie Mann as one of the WiSys 2020 Innovators of the Year! Dr. Mann serves as an outstanding educator, scholar and innovator while engaging students in her work,” said UW-Parkside Chancellor Dr. Deborah Ford. “I am especially proud of the trend in the UW-Parkside Chemistry department with alumna, Cassie Van Hoof, being honored as WiSys Innovator of the Year in 2019. We are fortunate to have Dr. Mann and her innovative spirit in our learning community.”

Mann has submitted several inventions to WiSys in the past few years, leading to four patent applications, including an international filing. Mann has also received grant funding to support her work.

During the 2020-2021 funding cycle, Mann was awarded a competitive Ignite Grant, which encourages UW System faculty and staff to apply their expertise and scholarship to support economic development in Wisconsin. Mann also received an Ignite Grant in the 2018-2019 funding cycle.

Mann’s research focuses on harnessing the power of microbial secondary metabolism to produce greener and more efficient processes for generation of bioactive natural products. Mann is also an experienced biochemist with a demonstrated history of supervising and training scientists at a variety of skill levels. 

“Dr. Mann has done high-level research at UW-Parkside and has impressed WiSys staff with her outreach and supportive nature,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “She exemplifies the excellence in research and innovation found throughout Wisconsin on our UW regional comprehensive campuses.”

Mann received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Iowa State University and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovator of the Year Award is presented to a UW System faculty, staff member or student making exemplary contributions as an innovator. The award was created to honor the former managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation who supported WiSys throughout his 16-year tenure.

WiSys also recognizes UW-Eau Claire Associate Professor Elizabeth Glogowski and a UW Oshkosh student team of Jessica Tarter, Parker Schmidt and Macall Hill as 2020 Innovators of the Year.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries, and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state. In 2020, WiSys universities were second in SMU’s national Innovation Impact Productivity Rankings for smaller research universities.

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