UW-Madison’s Nobel Prize Winners

The Wisconsin Idea, introduced by UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904, asserts that the UW campus and its educational influence are not bound to the classroom, but can and should reach the whole world. Nobel Prize winners connected to Wisconsin, 19 in total, exemplify this philosophy through their desire not only to invent and explore, but to use their creativity and intelligence to create a better world for all.

This video project presents four Nobel winners: Joshua Lederberg (1958, Medicine), Har Gobind Khorana (1968, Medicine), Howard Temin (1975, Medicine), and John Van Vleck (1977, Physics). These four were chosen as their time at UW-Madison included work that directly led to their Nobel Prize and serves as an excellent example of how our campus fosters innovation, experimentation and the Wisconsin Idea.

William C. Campbell
William C. Campbell

UPDATE: In October 2015, William C. Campbell, a master’s and doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded a share of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Campbell was given half the prize along with Satoshi Omura for their work leading to the discovery of the drug avermectin, which plays an important role in dramatically lowering the incidence of the tropical diseases river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis.

He received his master’s degree in veterinary science in 1954 from UW-Madison and went on to earn a UW-Madison doctorate in zoology in 1957. Learn more about Campbell’s discovery and connection to our campus. Bravo, Dr. Campbell, and On, Wisconsin!

Click to view movie transcript. [pdf]

For more information about UW-Madison’s Nobel Prize winning research and researchers, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Created by Kate Hill (iSchool) for the UW-Madison Archives, 2011.