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Tip Sheet for the week of Dec. 5, 2011

RELEASED: Dec. 5, 2011

Story Idea
The 228 international students who studied at UW-Eau Claire last year pumped more than $5.2 million into the Chippewa Valley economy, according to a report released this month by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. NAFSA's Economic Impact Statements report considered foreign students' spending on living expenses, tuition and fees. The report estimates that nationwide foreign students and their families contributed more than $20 million to the U.S. economy. The number of foreign students studying at UW-Eau Claire is climbing each year. There are 254 international students on campus this fall, an increase of more than 25 students from a year ago and an increase of more than 100 students from three years ago. The university's goal is to have 300 international students enrolled by the 2014-15 academic year. The international students on campus are from more than 40 nations. More information about the financial impact of foreign students in the U.S. (including a breakdown for Wisconsin) is available online. To discuss foreign students at UW-Eau Claire, contact Dr. Karl Markgraf at 715-836-4411 or Markgraf@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
A chemistry professor with an expertise in synthetic chemistry has established a new business in an effort to develop a safer anticoagulant medication. Dr. David Lewis is a founder of McDel-Topology LLC, a company established to help develop new and safer derivatives of warfarin, an anticoagulant medication used to decrease the development of blood clots in people with disorders such as heart disease and people who have undergone joint replacement surgery. Doctors have found there is great variability of patient response to warfarin; some patients are extremely susceptible to its properties, while others are fairly resistant. The dosage used must be monitored closely to avoid side effects, injury or death. As a result, for routine procedures such as knee replacements, patients must get their blood tested often to ensure the warfarin isn't creating new health risks. Marshfield Clinic researchers identified genetic markers in humans that have helped them improve their ability to predict patient responses to warfarin, but they want new compounds that might provide alternatives to warfarin. Lewis became involved after receiving a 2007 WiSys Technology Foundation Inc. grant and research dollars from UW-Eau Claire that allowed him to work with a surgeon at the Marshfield Clinic. WiSys supports projects at UW System institutions other than UW-Madison that have the potential to invigorate economic development throughout the state. While the formation of spin-off companies is common at large research universities, it is much less common at comprehensive universities. A major reason for doing this is that it opens new avenues of funding to help develop the technology, which can be important at the beginning of a medical project. Lewis currently has a patent pending on a compound that enhances the benefits of warfarin. While some research will be done through McDel-Topology, Lewis will continue his university-supported research that involves undergraduate students. Six undergraduates have been involved in his project and have presented their work at regional or national scientific meetings. For details, contact Dr. David Lewis at 715-836-4744 or lewisd@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
UW-Eau Claire sends more students abroad for midlength study-abroad experiences than any other master's-level university in Wisconsin, according to the 2011 Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education. UW-Eau Claire ranks 10th nationally among all master's-level schools in the number of students who participate in midlength study-abroad programs. UW-Eau Claire is the only Wisconsin school — public or private — on the top 20 list of master's-level schools that send students on midlength programs. The report uses 2009-10 data. In that year, 296 UW-Eau Claire students who studied abroad participated in midlength programs. The report also ranked UW-Eau Claire 27th nationally among all master's-level schools in overall numbers of students who study abroad. UW-Eau Claire had 449 students studying abroad in 2009-10, up from 392 students in 2008-09. UW-Eau Claire offers study-abroad programs in nearly 30 countries. For details about the Open Doors Report or UW-Eau Claire's international programs, contact Dr. Karl Markgraf at 715-836-4411 or markgraf@uwec.edu.

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