Meet the CBM Staff

We are a group of teachers, scientists and artists working together to create revolutionary educational materials and outreach programs. Helped by a talented team of student interns, the CBM is filled with dynamic and unique individuals. Click on any of the profile images below for a video introduction.

Tim Herman, Ph.D.

Director of the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling

Dr. Herman received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 1972 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oregon State University in 1976. He pursued post-doctoral studies in molecular biology at Harvard Medical School from 1977-1980. He joined the biochemistry faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1980, and for the next 18 years, taught graduate and medical students while directing research programs in areas ranging from the synthesis of chemically cleavable biotin-labeled nucleotide analogs to the development of novel approaches to structure-based drug design. In 1997, he began working with the MSOE Rapid Prototyping Center to apply this additive manufacturing technology to the production of physical models of proteins. He officially joined the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1998, as Director of the newly-created Center for BioMolecular Modeling. Dr. Herman's current research interests are focused in two areas: the application of rapid prototyping technology to the production of physical models of molecular structures, and science education research projects designed to measure the impact of physical and computer-based models of molecular structures on student learning.

Margaret Franzen, Ph.D.

Program Director

Margaret Franzen earned a B.A. with honors in biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1978 and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Northern Illinois University in 1987, with an emphasis in molecular genetics. She pursued a post-doctoral study of ribozymes in 1987-1988 at the Plant Molecular Biology Center of Northern Illinois University before delving into a teaching career. She served as Assistant Professor of Biology at David Lipscomb University from 1989-1992, then was a guest lecturer at the University of Bucharest and the Romanian American University while serving as a missionary in Romania. She joined the faculty at Pellissippi State Technical Community College in 1997, where she became interested in teaching to multiple learning styles. Her teaching innovations have won both local and national recognition. She participated in the summer professional development program at the CBM in 2003, beginning a long and rewarding relationship with CBM staff in curriculum development and educator training. She joined the CBM staff fulltime in 2006 and currently devotes her efforts to the Proteins in Active Learning Modules (PALM) project, developing materials and assessing their impact in undergraduate classrooms, as well as maintaining and expanding the MSOE Model Lending Library.

Judy Birschbach, MS

Program Director

Judy Birschbach joined the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling in the summer of 2016. She received her B.S. in Biology in 2001 and her M.S. in Biology Education in 2014; both from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Judy taught high school Biology, AP Biology and Physical Science for ten years prior to her joining the CBM. She started her teaching career at Cudahy High School and finished at West Bend East High School. While teaching, she completed CBM coursework in Modeling the Molecular World and Genes, Genomes and Personalized Medicine, as well as advised two SMART Teams at West Bend High School. Also during her tenure as a teacher, she completed two research fellowships. Her first fellowship was awarded by the American Association of Immunologists. Working in Dr. Steeber’s lab at UW-Milwaukee, she investigated the link between regulatory T-cells and tumor growth in murine models with breast cancer. Her second fellowship was provided by the American Physiological Society. Working in Dr. Imig’s lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin, she investigated the efficacy of a dual-modulator drug on kidney failure in murine models with metabolic syndrome. Judy also served as an AP Biology Free-Response Rater for 5 years. Judy is the Director for the Local SMART Team Program. She is committed to empowering teachers and students by providing quality outreach programming that incorporates current research topics and science modeling into classroom curriculum. She is also very interested in aligning these curricula with Next Generation Science Standards.

Mark Hoelzer, MFA

Lead Designer

Mark Hoelzer started working at the Center For BioMolecular Modeling in 2003 during his senior year at Kettle Moraine High School. In 2007 Mark earned his BFA with honors from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a major in Illustration and a Minor in Painting. After graduation, he took the position as Lead Designer for the CBM while working towards his MFA with an emphasis on New Media from the Academy of Art University, which was earned in 2014. With help from the CBM's undergraduate interns, Mark is responsible for the graphic design, model and activity design, animation design, Jmol development, illustration design, video/audio design and web design for the Center for BioMolecular Modeling.

Diane Munzenmaier, Ph.D.

Program Director

Diane Munzenmaier received her B.S. in Biology in 1984 from Marquette University in 1984 and then spent 6 years as a research technologist in a cardiothoracic surgery research lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She went on to earn her PhD in Physiology in 1995 studying the role of the renin-angiotensin system on skeletal muscle angiogenesis. This was followed by postdoctoral study of the role of astrocytes in stroke-induced cerebral angiogenesis. She joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1999 and the Human and Molecular Genetics Center in 2008. As Director of Education in the HMGC, Dr. Munzenmaier lectured and developed curriculum for medical and graduate school physiology and genetics courses. She developed an ACGME-accredited medical residency curriculum and Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses for physician education. She also enjoyed performing educational outreach to K-12 classrooms and the lay public. She is passionate about education and career mentoring for students of all levels. Her specific interests in biomedical science education are finding engaging ways to help clarify the link between structure and (dys)function in health and disease.

Mike Warden

Lead 3D Printer Operator









Our work is supported by grants from the NIH National Center for Research Resources SEPA program, the NSF CCLI program, the Department of Education Institute for Educational Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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