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Growing the future

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is an engine of scientific discovery, with researchers working across the spectrum of agricultural and life sciences. Academically, the college offers research-based, hands-on teaching of undergraduates; world-class graduate programs rich in research and project assistantships; and short courses, workshops and other programs. Our outreach activities bring the work of the college to Wisconsin businesses, organizations and communities throughout the state. Learn more about CALS.

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How do you do science? You hypothesize, you test and experiment, and then you make a good sub-hypothesis, and again, you test. And what do you do in business? Same thing. You make one business plan; if it doesn’t work out, you make another one.

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Krishna Ella

When Krishna Ella PhD’93 arrived at CALS in 1987 to begin a doctoral program in plant pathology, his goal was to probe the mysteries of hybrid plants. But an understudied cellular process captured his attention and ultimately redirected him to the medical sciences. About a decade later, Ella and his wife, Suchitra, returned to India and founded Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad. It has grown into a multinational biotechnology company that develops new vaccines and biotherapeutics. Bharat Biotech now holds 145 global patents, boasts a portfolio of 16 vaccines, and has delivered more than 5 billion vaccines worldwide, with a primary focus on the developing world. The company is a leader in pandemic vaccines, and its products have been prequalified for use by the World Health Organization. UW has recognized Ella’s accomplishments with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and an honorary degree in 2022, which he accepted at commencement last May. Read more: go.wisc.edu/2na760

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