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University of Wisconsin–Madison

University of Wisconsin Celebrates 175th Anniversary in 2023

175th-logoHonoring past achievements.
Championing future innovations.

Research Highlights 1848 to 2023

Sift and Winnow plaque on Bascom Hall. Photo by Jeff MillerOn July 26, 1848, the University of Wisconsin was officially incorporated. Today, UW–Madison is one of the world’s leading research institutions with nearly $1.4 billion in annual research expenditures. That figure that puts us inside the top 10 in the nation among universities for volume of research. From education to entrepreneurship, research touches every part of the UW–Madison experience.

“For 175 years, research at UW–Madison has positively impacted every corner of the state and improved the lives of people around the world,” says Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “UW–Madison researchers are continually developing game-changing innovations. We celebrate their work and thank them.”

  • More than 400 start-ups have come from UW–Madison research.

  • 20 faculty and alumni have received Nobel Prizes.

A “winterover” — one of the two staff members who stay through the minus-100-degree Fahrenheit nights of Antarctica’s coldest months — hikes underneath the stars and aurora to the South Pole home of IceCube, a UW–Madison-led neutrino telescope frozen in a cubic kilometer of ice. Yuya Makino, assistant scientist, IceCube Neutrino ObservatorySteam rises from the nearby, but not pictured, Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant as satellite dishes and meteorological instruments atop the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are seen is silhouette during a frigid, subzero winter sunrise on Feb. 7, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)Researcher Christy Remucal found that Lake Michigan tributary water bodies and their sediment can be sources of chemicals known as PFAS. They have been called “forever chemicals” because they do not readily break down in the environment. PFAS has been linked to cancer and other human illnesses. University of Wisconsin–Madison


At left, UW–Madison Chancellor-designate Jennifer Mnookin pets a resident cow as Ruthanne Chun, clinical professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, leads Mnookin on a tour of the large animal hospital at UW Veterinary Care at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on June 17, 2022. The moment is part of a weeklong campus visit Mnookin made ahead of officially beginning her role as UW–Madison Chancellor on Aug. 4, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)Farmers harvest cranberries from a flooded-cranberry marsh at Cranberry Creek Cranberries, Inc., an 850-acre farm owned by Bill and Sandy Hatch in Necedah, Wis., during autumn on Oct. 27, 2015. Cranberry Creek Cranberries is an agricultural industry leader propagating several productive and profitable cranberry varieties -- including Sundance and HyRed -- bred at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and licensed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)Jacob Peterson, a junior studying geography, uses his laptop computer while working amid the quiet aisles of the north stacks at Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)





A Sample of UW–Madison Research Highlights
14,193 individuals involved in research on approved protocols in 2022.
2,329 principal investigators with approved protocols in 2022.
University of Wisconsin–Madison is proud to train over 1,100 postdoctoral trainees who are performing research in fields ranging from astronomy to biomedical engineering to history and economics.
39% of 2021-22 bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with research experience

A Legacy of Discovery
Vitamins A and B and use of Vitamin D
Blood-thinner Warfarin
Homo naledi human ancestor
Measurement of the size of the Milky Way Galaxy (UW astronomer J. Stebbins, 1933)
Cosmic neutrinos at South Pole
Creation of synthetic genes
Regenerative medicine paving the way for better health

A Sample of University of Firsts
Bone marrow transplant (UW Hospital)
Academic dance program
Department of wildlife management
Projection world map that reflects true continent size
Poverty research center
Oldest educational radio station
First space-based weather camera
Mapping of interstellar matter in the Milky Way (UW astronomers J. Stebbins and C. M. Huffer, 1934) The Stebbins Galaxy
Ultraviolet astronomical observations in space (UW astronomer A. C. Code and his Space Astronomy Lab team, 1968) The Wisconsin Experiment Package
Development of Wisconsin Solution used in transplant surgery

* Events included here are taken from, records of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE), the Graduate School, various news articles, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. OVCRGE Research Centers, and various other UW–Madison websites.

To report additional research highlights, email