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Harnessing the Power of Plants to Combat Climate Change

Plants are quiet but amazing. Every year, plants absorb an astonishing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. This process, known as plant metabolism, allows them to harness the power of sunlight and convert CO2 into a wide range of essential chemicals. The impact of plant metabolism goes beyond just cleaning our air. The chemicals produced by plants serve as vital ingredients in our everyday lives. They contribute to our food, animal feed, energy sources, fabrics, medicines, and countless other materials we depend on. The Maeda lab fosters collaboration among diverse students and scientists to unravel the intricate workings of plant metabolism. By understanding these complex processes in various plants, we strive to discover innovative solutions to combat climate change. Harnessing the remarkable abilities of plant metabolism will pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future.

Read more about our research projects here.

Maeda Lab welcomes people having diverse backgrounds and experiences at different career stages. Our culture of respecting and bringing together each person's strengths and ideas facilitates creative and robust approaches to answer innovative questions. Diversity is our driving force to scientific exploration and professional, social, and personal growth. Read more about our commitment and efforts here.

Lab News

  • NEW 2023 Nov Jorge's paper on grass DHS and TyrA regulation is now at Nature Commun.!
  • NEW 2023 Aug The Maeda lab will be a part of a new NSF PGRP grant', with Drs. Sue Rhee (MSU) and Phillip Zerbe (UC Davis) groups to expand the Plant Metabolic Network (PMN)', where we will characterize aminotransferase enzyme family from multiple plant species. See a new position advertisement!
  • 2022 Nov Our team has been nominated to the 2022 WARF Innovation Awards and selected to the six finalists. Here it the nomination video at WARF.
  • 2022 June Kaan's Aminotransferase method paper is on Meth. Enzymol.!
  • 2022 June The paper on plant shikimate pathway deregulation by Ryo and Marcos is now out in Science Adv., which is also highlighted at UW News, Wisconsin Public Radio, NSF News, Spectrum News1.
  • 2022 June Kaan's Aminotransferase review paper is on JBC!
  • 2022 May Tadhg Young successfully defended his M.S. thesis. Congratulations!
  • 2022 May The COPB paper by Ryo, Bailey, Anika, and Elaine is now published!
  • 2022 April The Megan and Andrew's story is now reposted at ASBMB!
  • 2022 March *Megan and Andrew were interviewed and featured in this article about the Maeda Lab!
  • 2022 Feb The Plant J paper by Samuel and Jorge was selected for the cover!
  • 2021 July Bailey Kleven received the best postdoc poster presentation award at the 60th Annual Meeting of PSNA!
  • 2021 June Annual Review on Plant Metabolic Evolution that Hiroshi wrote with Ally Fernie (MPI-Golm) has been published!
  • 2021 January Ryo's Plant Cell paper on DAHP synthase regulation has been published!
  • 2020 August Soyoung Jung and Madelyn Schaut joined us as CMB and Botany graduate students. Welcome!
  • 2020 August Yuri Takeda-Kimura joined our team from Toshiaki Umezawa lab at Kyoto University!
  • 2020 June Rika Judd joined us from Deyu Xie lab at NC State University. Welcome!
  • 2020 May Caroline Hanson was selected for the 2020 winner of the Folke Skoog Award for the best undergraduate thesis from the department. Congratulations!
  • 2020 April Kaan Koper joined us from Thomas Okita lab at Washington State University.
  • 2020 April Bailey Kleven joined us from Jean-Michel Ané lab at UW-Madison. Welcome!
  • 2020 January Beth Moore joined us from Michigan State University, Shin-Han Shiu Lab.
  • 2020 January Tadhg Young joined our lab as a graduate student. Welcome!
  • 2019 December Hiroshi's JBC review is now published here.
  • 2019 November Jorge El-Azaz joined us from Francisco Cánovas' lab at the University of Málaga, Spain.
  • 2019 September Our DOE BER grant has been funded! We will collaborate with Berkeley National Lab, Univ Potsdam, Univ Hokkaido, and JGI to construct nitrogen metabolic network of Arabidopsis and Sorghum.
  • 2019 July Our NSF PGRP grant has been funded! We will investigate evolutionary history of tyrosine-derived lignin pathways in grasses to understand how unique primary metabolic network evolves in macroevolutionary scale.
  • May 2019 Yusen's senior thesis has been selected for the 2019 Skoog and Curtis Scholarship from the UW Botany Department. Congratulations and good luck for your graduate study!
  • April 2019 Caroline has been awarded a Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the UW-Madison!
  • March 2019 Our former graduate student, Craig has been selected for the recipient of 2019 Eric E. Conn Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Congrats!
  • December 2018 Minmin's and Kyoko's paper on in vivo characterization of Arabidopsis tyrosine aminotransferase mutants is now published in JBC
  • December 2018 Samuel's paper on fungi TyrA characterization has been published at ABB.
  • November 2018 Marcos's paper on in planta characterization of tyra2 mutant and BvTyrAa overexpressors are now published in Plant J!
  • February 2018 Craig's review article on plant tyrosine metabolism has been published in Phytochemistry!
  • November 2017 Microbial TyrA paper by Craig and Yusen is published in Frontiers Mol. Biosci.!
  • October 2017 Samuel's beet story is now on NY Times and BBC (Spanish).
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  • October 2017 Samuel received the best oral presentation award of biochemistry at the 2017 SACNAS meeting. Congrats!
  • September 2017 Samuel's paper on coordinated evolution of tyrosine and betalain biosynthetic pathways in Caryophyllales, in collaboration with Ya Yang (Univ. Michigan, now at Univ. Minnesota) and Sam Brockington (Cambridge), has been published at New Phytologist! Also, see UW News.
  • June 2017 Craig's paper on structure-function analyses of legume PDH enzyme, in collaboration with Joe Jez lab, is now published in Nature Chem. Biol.! Also, see UW News.
  • May 2017 Minmin's paper on yellow/red beets, in collaboration with Irwin Goldman's lab, is published in J. Agri. Food. Chem.!
  • April 2017 Ryo Yokoyama is joining our lab as a JSPS postdoc fellow from Kyoto University. Welcome!
  • September 2016 - Minmin's paper on tyrosine aminotransferases was accepted to Phytochemistry!
  • August 2016 - Hiroshi and Maeda Lab received TWO awards, the Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award and the Elsevier Phytochemistry Young Investigator Award, at the PSNA meeting!
  • August 2016 - Craig and Hiroshi both gave a talk at the PSNA meeting at UC Davis.
  • July 2016 - Samuel gave a talk and Hiroshi chaired "Metabolic Diversity" mini-symposium at the ASPB meeting at Austin, Texas.
  • May 2016 - Matt and Adi both received The Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowships from the Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Congratulations!
  • November 2015 - We welcomed a new postdoc, Marcos Oliveira from Texas A&M, Dr. Ping He's lab.
  • July 2015 - Craig received the best graduate oral presentation award at Gordon Research Seminar on Plant Metabolic Engineering and was selected for the chair of 2017 GRS on PME!
  • March 2015 - Our USDA grant to elucidate and engineer tyrosine biosynthetic pathways in table beet has been awarded!
  • January 2015 - Craig's paper was featured on the Cover of the January issue of Nature Chem. Biol.!
  • November 2014 - Craig's work on identification of legume PDH enzymes has been published in Nature Chem. Biol.! Read more.
  • September 2014 - We welcomed a new postdoc, Minmin Wang, who recently obtained PhD at UC Davis working with Dr. Florence Zakharov.
  • August 2014 - Our NSF grant to investigate the diversification of plant tyrosine biosynthetic pathways has been awarded!
  • July 2014 - Our study on the evolution of plant phenylalanine biosynthesis has been published in The Plant Cell! See the paper and UW news release.
  • July 2014 - Hiroshi and Craig both gave a Mini-Symposium talk and Samuel presented a poster during the ASPB annual meeting at Portland OR.
  • June 2014 - Hiroshi gave a talk at the Banff Conference on Plant Metabolism.
  • January 2014 - Three manuscripts have been accepted or published! See the updated publication list.
  • October 2013 - Hiroshi gave an invited talk, entitled "Molecular Evolution of the plant phenylalanine and tyrosine biosynthesis", at the 13th International Congress on Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins (ICAPP, Galveston, Texas).
  • May 2013 - Jacob graduated UW Madison and will start a graduate school at the Biochemistry Department, University of Iowa. Congratulations and good luck with your grad study!
  • March 2013 - Craig and Samuel presented their work on Tyr biosynthesis at the Midwest Section Meeting of ASPB at Chicago State University.
  • March 2013 - Samuel received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship - Congratulations!
  • August 2012 - Julian joined the lab as a research scientist from USDA. Welcome to Maeda Lab!
  • June 2012 - Samuel and Craig joined the lab from New Mexico and Ohio as Botany Ph.D. students. Welcome to Madison! see their pictures
  • February 2012 - Kyoko joined the lab as a visiting scientist from the National Institute of Crop Science, Japan. Welcome to the US!

Maeda Lab Contact

University of Wisconsin, Madison
Department of Botany
430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706 USA (Google Map)
Birge Hall room
B214, +1-608-262-4288 (Lab)
B217, +1-608-262-5833 (PI office)