UW-Madison lays off entire staff at eye research center

UW-Madison lays off entire staff at eye research center

By Colin Bennett. CREATED Nov 9, 2013

 MADISON -- The UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health laid off all 60 people working in the Fundus Photgraph Reading Center after they learned the eye research center had run up a deficit of $4.6 million. 

The Wisconsin State Journal says four of the employees either retired or were reassigned after a meeting in October, when employees were first notified of the layoffs.

The center has been open since 1972, and it helps in reasearch trials for retinal diseases like macular degeneration. It relied mainly on funding from pharacuetical companies and government research agencies looking to test new treatments. 

It's not clear exactly what caused the deficit in the center, but Lisa Brunette - the media relations director for UW Health - told the WSJ that the center had been losing contracts it neede for funding. 

Medical School Dean Robert Golden said he knew the center had funding problems, but did not realize how big the problem was.