Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Meet the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
Hiroshi Maeda
Professor of Botany
College of Letters & Science


Research area Exploring and harnessing evolutionary diversification of core metabolic pathways (i.e., primary metabolism) in various plants through chemical, biochemical, genetic and evolutionary analyses.

What excites you about your work? 

“Our society faces climate issues, food security, energy challenges and extreme weather. Plants can do remarkable work, sucking up CO2 and producing a variety of chemicals, simply using sunlight energy. By understanding how plants do this and utilizing this power, I’m optimistic we can address the pressing issues we’re facing today.”

What do you hope to achieve? 

“We’ve been studying how plants control the complex process of making chemical compounds, and we realized that this fundamental understanding of plant metabolism can be applied directly to crops in the field through emerging technologies like gene editing. We can alter a specific area of plant DNA sequence to improve critical traits, like photosynthesis, the ability to capture CO2 or the ability to convert CO2 into useful chemicals. Going forward, we’d like to continue our discovery of plant chemistry and metabolism and apply that basic knowledge to crops in the field.

Hiroshi draws connections between pathways no one has ever considered. His research has amazingly broad potential to provide critical solutions to our planet’s challenges.

– Emily Bauer, WARF, Director of Licensing

Want to learn more?

Emily Bauer, [email protected], 608.960.9842