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A. Ward Ford Memorial Research Grant


Caroline S. Mark


William B. Mark


William B. Mark was an engineer by training who, along with his wife, Caroline, formed the A. Ward Ford Foundation named in honor of Caroline’s grandfather, Austin Ward Ford, who was a pioneer in the early business machine industry.

After attending an industrial laser conference, Bill Mark became interested in the possible medical use of lasers. With the foundation medical director, Dr. Ellet Drake, a number of other like-minded individuals, and a generous grant from Caroline and the A. Ward Ford Foundation, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) was founded with the first annual meeting in 1981. The Society had a unique concept where all interested parties including physicians, nurses and other clinicians, researchers, industrial and government representatives could meet and share their research and teaching for the benefit of medical care.

Bill Mark died in 1980, but under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Drake the Society grew and developed into the premier organization we know today.

If Bill Mark was the brains, and Ellet Drake the heart of the Society, Caroline Mark was the soul. She was a lady of significant means, which she used wisely and generously, but she was also a lady of intelligence and integrity. She believed in the value of education and the benefit of research which she supported throughout her lifetime. She gave encouragement and formed many lasting friendships in her continued support of the Society.

Research, education, and the friendship of sharing was the nature of Caroline Mark and this is, and continues to be, the basis of the Society. The A. Ward Ford Memorial Research Grant is the continued legacy of Bill and Caroline Mark, and their contribution to the laser medical field.

Support for this project is provided by the A. Ward Ford Memorial Institute Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin.

Application Process

Applications are accepted through the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin’s online application system. The Community Foundation serves as administrators of the endowed A. Ward Ford Memorial Institute Fund. To register on the online grant system and to complete your application, visit their website and follow the step by step instructions. Once you have registered, you will see a menu of Foundation grant opportunities; choose the A. Ward Ford Memorial Research Grant to begin filling out your form.

Research Grant Awards: Grants up to $65,000 may be awarded for one year

Application Deadline: June 1

Notification: Successful applicants will be notified by the end of June

Project Completion: The grants are available for projects to be completed between July 1 of the application year and June 30 of the following year. Applicants may receive an extension to complete the research if requested and approved by the grant review committee.

Guidelines: A. Ward Ford Grant Guidelines (pdf) 

Questions or requests for further information can be directed to:

Dr. William Owen, Chair
A. Ward Ford Memorial Research Grant Committee | Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin
500 1st Street, Suite 2600, Wausau, WI  54403
715-845-9555 |

2023 Grants

$55,000 GRANt Recipients

Laisa Negri, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital
"Strategies to Bring Antimicrobial Blue Light to the Bed Side"


Payal Patel, MD

Cutaneous Biology Research Center
"Non-Invasive, Laser-Assisted Measurement Of Intraepidermal Nerve Fiber Density"

Jasmine Wong

MedStar Health Research Institute
"Assessment of the Effectiveness of Early vs. Late Intervention with Fractional Ablative CO2 Laser in the Treatment of Burn Hypertrophic Scars

Sara Yumeen, MD

Rhode Island Hospital
"Platelet Rich Plasma in Combination with Carbon Dioxide Laser for Infraorbital Rejuvenation: A Split Face Study"


Past Recipients

2022 – Peijun Guo, PhD

Yale University, New Haven, CT
“Visible-to-Ultraviolet Up-Conversion Films for Antimicrobial and Sterilization Applications”

2020 – Hui Wang, PhD

Miami University, Oxford, OH
“Development of Ultrasensitive Fiber-optic Radiometric Thermometry for Guiding Interstitial Laser Thermal Therapy”

2019 - Manu Sharma, PhD

University of Texas at Austin
“A Bio-compatible Nano-particle Platform for Treatment of Melanoma by Photo Thermal Therapy and Immune Checkpoint Therapy”

2018 - Istvan Stadler, PhD

Rochester General Hospital
“In Vivo Experimental Application of Riboflavin Nanoparticles as a Photodynamic Therapy Compound and its Relevancy for Cancer Treatment”

2017 - Yajie Dong, PhD

University of Central Florida
“Flexible Quantum Dot Light Emitting Devices for Photodynamic Therapy and Photobiomodulation”

2016 - Heather K. Hunt, MD

University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
“Burn Depth Imaging Analysis via Waveguide-Mediated, Backward-Mode Photoacoustics”

2014 - Jeremy Goverman, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts
“Gene Expression Analysis of Burn Scar Treated with Fractional CO2 Laser”

2013 - Anthony Rossi, MD

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center | Juva Skin and Laser Center, New York, New York
“Laser Ablation of Basal Cell Carcinoma”

2012 - Manu Sharma, PhD, MS, BE

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
"Development of a Multi-Modal Spectroscopic System for Early Skin Cancer Detection"

2011 - Xinyuan Chen, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital / Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Boston, MA
“Improve Flu Vaccine Immunogenicity in the Elderly by Cutaneous Laser Illumination”

2010 - Yu Chen, PhD

University of Maryland, College Park
"In Vivo Optical Imaging and Photothermal Therapy of Colorectal Cancer Using Molecular Targeting Nanoparticles"

2009 - Bongsu Jung, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate

University of California, Riverside
"ICG Containing Nancapsules for Optical Imaging and Laser Irradiation of Cancerous Cells"

2007 - Juanita Anders, PhD

Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
"A Laser Based Repair Strategy for Severely Injured Peripheral Nerves"


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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