Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Meet the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
Mike Petersen
Senior Research Scientist, Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences


Research area Engineering hemp plants by adding or editing genes to do things like remove THC to make it more usable for farmers, increase cannabinoid content or make them disease-resistant.

What excites you about your work? 

“Hemp is an untapped plant, as far as science goes. We have some anecdotal info of people using CBD for aches and pains or sleeping; we’d like to get some science involved and start testing it out. UW-Madison is at the forefront of hemp research, especially in the biotech realm.”

What do you hope to achieve? 

“I’d love to create some actual hemp plants that could subsequently go to market with some enhanced trait, like disease resistance, a trait that makes it more medically valuable, or anything that would make it stand out from a normal hemp plant in nature right now. I’m hoping this research leads to hemp becoming a new commodity crop for farmers to grow, in addition to corn or soybeans. Growing hemp on millions of acres would give farmers another choice of what to grow and more money in their pockets.

Mike came to UW with tremendous industry experience, after years of successfully developing and implementing new platform technologies at a major ag biotech leader. His perspective has been a fantastic addition to campus.

– Emily Bauer, WARF, Director of Licensing

Want to learn more?

Emily Bauer, [email protected], 608.960.9842