Krishna Ella

PhD'93, Plant Pathology

Not everyone manages to realize his grandest dream, but Ella is well on his way. After studying and working in the United States, Ella returned to his native India vowing to fight the spread of infectious diseases in developing countries. In 1996, he and his wife, Suchitra, founded Bharat Biotech with the goal of producing vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis and typhoid for pennies on the dollar. Bharat has supplied more than 1 billion vaccine doses to Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the company has two grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop affordable vaccines for malaria and rotavirus. Meanwhile, Ella has emerged as one of his country’s strongest advocates for research and development. He says his dream is to connect UW-Madison with India to act as a catalyst for its agricultural economy. One way he’s working toward that goal is by paving a route for Indian science students to study at the UW through the new Khorana Scholars exchange program.