Delta Beer Lab Event – 2022

CaSP x DBL Collab

Catalysts for Science Policy is proud to be collaborating again with local Madison brewery, Delta Beer Lab, to feature art inspired by active research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a new special edition beer label! We hosted a competition among UW-Madison researchers earlier this year in search of a beautiful design to highlight the diversity of scientific research happening now on our campus. 

We’ll showcase all submissions below, alongside a description of the science that has inspired the work and links if you want to learn more. We hope you learn something about the interesting research done in our campus community! 

We’re hosting an event on May 20th at “the Lab”, where we will enjoy talks and Q&A from the winning researcher, Amy Neusaenger, and other artists, plus trivia hosted by Premiere Trivia!  Mark your calendars for the evening of May 20th from 6:00 – 9:30 PM, and check back to this page details as the date approaches. 

Sign up your team for trivia here: Trivia Sign-up Form

Be sure to RSVP to the event: RSVP

Schedule of events on May 20th:

6:00 PM Gather at the Delta Beer Lab for community, beer, and to hear about the research going on by our artists!

8:00 PM In-person trivia from Premiere Trivia. 

9:30PM Trivia ends 


Our Winning Design: Amy Neusaenger, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences 

“What do LCD TVs, Benadryl, and perfectly tempered chocolate have in common? They all rely on the formation of desirable crystal structures! While you can find crystals anywhere you look, our lab focuses on pharmaceutical applications. What you see in this design is a compilation of several pictures of D-arabitol (a sugar alcohol) crystals captured using polarized light microscopy. Studying the crystallization behavior of D-arabitol and other similar model systems helps us understand how the tablets in your medicine cabinet physically behave at the molecular level—the ultimate goal being treatments that are as safe, reliable, and effective as possible.” 


Runners Up: 

Brenna Bierman

“Chemistry often conjures images of colorful solutions in Erlenmeyer flasks, but solids have interesting and beautiful chemistry too! This label showcases one such solid—models of a crystal composed of gold and silicon (Au atoms in turquoise and Si atoms in magenta), at varying levels of distortion in their inner-gold cage. Beneath the three structures are a band plot and density of state curve. Band plots, also referred to as spaghetti diagrams, are 2D visualizations of allowed electronic energy levels. The density of states curve shows the number of these electron states as a function of energy.”


Tessa Haldes

“Microwave hyperthermia is a noninvasive cancer therapy that has been explored as a treatment option for breast cancer. These images show simulations of waves propagating through fibroglandular breast tissue. The different colors represent the wave amplitudes. Here we can see results from various numbers of antennas, types of waves, and multiple snapshots in time.”


Anna Christenson

“Each of us has over 10 billion miles of DNA in length in our body, dwarfing the roughly 92 million miles between the Earth and Sun. Nearly half of this DNA is composed of transposable elements. Transposable elements are repetitive regions of our genome, and certain elements have the ability to move around to different locations in our DNA. This movement can be harmful to our cells, so a variety of molecular mechanisms are used to keep them silenced, including modifications to the histone proteins around which DNA is wrapped and modifications to the DNA itself.”


Sean Fenstemaker

“The wild tomato relative Solanum galapagense accession LA1141 demonstrates the ability to tolerate deficit irrigation making it a potential resource for crop improvement. Plant canopy temperature is a proxy for physiological traits which can be challenging to measure. Canopy temperature was estimated using a FLIRONE GEN3 iOS thermal camera (FLIR Systems Wilsonville, OR USA) and calibrated relative to water baths at a known temperature. Assessment of canopy temperature provides a rapid and efficient measure of plant response to water deficit stress. Additionally, water deficit stress evaluations of plants with thermal images improved the objectivity of evaluations.”


Kendall Kamp 

“One of the fundamental goals of materials chemistry is to find the link between a material’s structure and its physical properties. To make this link, research is needed to evaluate why a structure forms and what contributes to its stability. One factor to consider in this evaluation is the size of the atoms and how they pack in the structure and how their relative sizes effect the internal strains of the structure. The images shown here are two pressure maps depicting different strains between (left) and within the cores (right) the atoms (overlayed) in an ordered model of YZn5+x.”


Irene Stoutland

“Individual bacterial cells can communicate using a complex language of chemical signals. When cell density reaches a critical threshold, the high concentration of signaling compound (the haze around each cell) causes the bacteria to shift from a nomadic lifestyle to a multicellular community. This is known as “quorum sensing” and is associated with changes in virulence, metabolite production, biofilm formation, and more. By interfering with chemical communication between bacteria, chemists can combat antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria.”


Sarah Ferguson, Ben Webber 

“Blood! Lasers! Metamorphosis cocktails! Sounds like great sci fi, right? Except I use all these things in real research in the Gumperz Lab. I study how immune cells differentiate, or grow up, in hopes of creating the best cells for cancer therapy. By using blood samples, “cocktails” of chemicals called cytokines, and flow cytometry (the lasers), I can isolate stem cells and track what functions they might have as I push them down different differentiation paths. I collaborated with talented designer and friend, Ben Webber, to merge actual flow data with my love of science communication in this awesome label!”


Hannah Fricke

“My research focuses on the long-term effects of antidepressant usage during pregnancy and lactation on the skeletal health of both mother and offspring. The antidepressant I specifically study is fluoxetine (Prozac), which is a member of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressants. The research in my lab is centered around serotonin, which plays a role in both lactation and in bone; therefore, SSRI usage during the reproductive cycle and bone health is of particular interest to us. This label design showcases the skeleton and the chemical structures of serotonin and fluoxetine.”