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Medical Research

Every day, our physicians deliver superior care. And every day, their colleagues in research look for ways to enhance it. The work done by our researchers will change how we treat serious and life-threatening diseases here and around the country. These teams bring research advancements to our medical staff and cutting-edge treatments to our patients through clinical trials.

Our research


At the Kabara Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Paraic Kenny’s team studies precision oncology approaches in breast and lung cancer, while Dr. Karen Cowden Dahl’s team focuses on understanding treatment resistant gynecological cancers. Our community supports ongoing research efforts in many ways, including Gundersen Medical Foundation’s annual Steppin’ Out in Pink walk.


The Microbiology Research Laboratory allows our scientists to study Lyme disease and other tickborne infections and infectious microorganisms. The Laboratory also houses a Molecular Diagnostics Testing Laboratory with a diverse menu of molecular diagnostic tests, including a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) used for COVID-19 testing.

Research oversight

Research done at Gundersen must meet stringent standards. The Human Subjects Committee/Institutional Review Board approves research that involves patients or experimental treatment before it begins. Some research projects need full review by the HSC and Research Committee. No other group can overturn the decision of the Research Committee or the HSC if a proposal or request is disapproved. Researchers must disclose financial relationships with research funders for integrity.

Nursing research

We encourage our nurses to pursue evidence-based research opportunities. Our Nursing Research department help our nurses, faculty and students develop their research projects presented annually to Gundersen staff. Gundersen’s Medical Journal may feature their findings.

Summer Research Fellowship

The A.C.V. Elston III, MD, Summer Research Fellowship program grants 12 endowed fellowships to students pursuing a career in healthcare. Some are reserved for projects in a specialty (Nursing, Cardiology, Surgery and Pediatric Oncology), while others are open to research in any area of health-related scientific inquiry.

Apply for the student summer research fellowship

Apply for the nursing student summer research fellowship

Our work


The Gundersen Foundation Biobank is a tissue repository of biospecimens from more than 20,000 cancer patients. Each biospecimen is linked to de-identified pathology and clinical reports. Biospecimens are available to collaborating academic scientists at no cost and to industrial partners for a fee.

Clinical trials

Gundersen’s clinical trials grant our patients access to cutting-edge treatments for serious medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson's disease. We offer about 125 at any time, all scrutinized before patient participation.
Our trials and benefits

All of Us Research Program

Our patients can participate in the All of Us Research Program, which aims to speed health research breakthroughs by gathering health information from 1 million people. Identifying information remains protected.
Program details

Support our work

Gundersen Medical Foundation funds clinical research in our laboratories. Your generous support allows it to continue. We cannot do this ground-breaking work without your generosity.

Give online
How to connect

Contact with research leadership by email or phone.

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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