Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Meet the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
Brian Pfleger
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
College of Engineering 


Research area Using metabolic engineering techniques to produce value-added fuels and chemicals. Projects in different organisms, including Escherichia coli, yeast and cyanobacteria.

What excites you about your work? 

“I love my students and those Eureka moments when you go to the machine, and you’ve been doing all this work for a week, and all of a sudden, the answer to the question is there on the screen, and voila!”

What do you hope to achieve? 

“My group is trying to understand what prevents the field of biomanufacturing from having a larger market share and how to build the things we can demonstrate in the lab at scales that make sense. I spent time on my sabbatical at the University of Stuttgart in Germany learning about barriers and identifying cool experiments and hypotheses about what we can study. In the near future, I hope we can develop technologies that bring things in our field to market.

Brian’s research looks at how we make the biological systems of microbes produce more useful chemicals for us. Industry recognizes his expertise, and he understands what levels of performance are viable for industrialization.

– Jennifer Gottwald, WARF, Director of Licensing

Want to learn more?

Jennifer Gottwald, [email protected], 608.960.9854