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Wisconsin 275
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William Linton

Emerging Industries | Technology
President and CEO
Promega Corp. | Fitchburg

William Linton is founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Fitchburg-based biotechnology company Promega Corp. Linton founded the company in his garage in 1978 to provide restriction enzymes to molecular biologists. By 1981, the company had grown to 15 employees, and three years later, the company launched a joint venture to set up China’s first genetic biochemical manufacturing facility. The company has grown to offer over 4,000 products – including reagents, assays and benchtop instruments – used by scientists, researchers and pharmaceutical companies. Notably, its DNA IQ kit was used to help identify victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The company has more than 1,800 employees, about 1,200 of whom work at its Madison-area facilities. Its customers span over 100 countries, with direct sales and manufacturing branches in 16 countries. The privately held company has reported revenues of about $450 million.

In 2014, Linton founded the Usona Institute, a medical research organization focused on the therapeutic application of psychedelic medicine for mental health conditions. The institute is expected to soon open its new 93,000-square-foot building, located near the Promega campus, where it plans to conduct clinical research and trials. In 2019, Usona received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the potential of psilocybin to treat major depressive disorder.

Linton currently serves as a director for the Analytical, Life Science and Diagnostics Association; BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute; Bruker Biosciences; Eppendorf and Usona Institute.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of California, Berkeley

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