Who We Are
Isthmus Project, a subsidiary of UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, serves as an innovation hub working with UW Health System and UW School of Medicine and Public Health innovators, including faculty physicians, scientists, residents, science trainees, nurses, and staff, to bring innovative healthcare solutions to market.

What We Do
Navigate the Innovation Ecosystem
Isthmus Project works with internal partners and external partners to help innovators access the entrepreneurial network across UW, Madison, and beyond.

Validate Ideas
Isthmus Project harnesses the expertise and insights of our own health care system to guide innovators through a diligence process to assess product/market fit.

Test Ideas
Isthmus Project helps innovators design and implement end user evaluations of product prototypes, which could include research projects and clinical trials.

Identify a Path to Market
Once a product has been tested and commercial value has been identified, Isthmus Project assists innovators in navigating a path to market.

Why We Do It
Isthmus Project believes innovation thrives in academic health systems. UW Health System and UW School of Medicine and Public Health offer access to unparalleled expertise along with the ability to explore innovative ideas in a world-class environment. Isthmus Project takes pride in supporting innovators on their journey to develop and realize new discoveries to advance the future of health care.


Elizabeth Hagerman, Ph.D.
Chief Innovation Officer, UW Health; Executive Director, Isthmus Project

Hagerman is a national biotechnology industry expert, academic-industry liaison and innovation leader. She joins Isthmus Project from her most recent position as the chief innovation and strategy officer at Conexus Indiana, where she led innovative collaborations among industry, academic and public partners.

As Chief Innovation Officer, Hagerman is responsible for providing vision and leadership in developing Isthmus Project and establishing an innovation network connecting UW Health, the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and internal and external partners.

As director, Hagerman is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Isthmus Project, which includes duties like meeting with potential innovators and partners, identifying projects with potential for growth and seeking funding for projects, as well as helping to develop and manage a long-term vision for growing Isthmus Project.

She started her career with Baxter Healthcare in California, and for a time in Vienna, Austria, in a variety of roles related to product development, and later brand development, product launch and systems integration.

In 2012, Hagerman returned to Rose-Hulman as vice president of Rose-Hulman Ventures, a product design, rapid prototyping and development firm providing experience for student interns as they help external partners develop products and ideas.

Hagerman earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2000, and both master’s and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Board of Directors

Anjon ‘Jon’ Audhya
Beth Burnside
Scott Button
David Casimir
Beth Drolet
Cherodeep Goswami
Tom Grist
Elizabeth Hagerman
George Kamperschroer
Rock Mackie
Mike Partsch
Manish Shah
Kelly Wilson