In a Feb. 27 address marking seven months at the helm of the University of Missouri, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced initiatives that will increase the positive impacts of research, enhance creative activities and increase economic development to boost MU’s impact on the state, nation and world.
“MU’s research enterprise is a powerful economic engine. The university’s annual expenditures for research are more than $200 million annually. Mizzou plays an active role in attracting federal and private dollars to the state,” Cartwright said. “MU faculty are shaping views on politics and society. They enrich our lives through arts and humanities. They develop solutions to the world’s grand challenges in food, water, health and others, and they engage our community—both on and off campus. This significant impact is creating a better future for citizens of our state, nation and the world.”
Cartwright announced an institutional plan to decrease funding gaps between MU and its AAU peer institutions. Cartwright’s goal is to double MU’s funding from federal sources—such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, as well as industry and foundations—over the next five years. This will require supporting investigations in promising new areas of study and providing advanced opportunities for collaboration for faculty and students. In addition, it will require increased partnerships with industry and other higher education institutions.
The Translational Precision Medicine Complex (TPMC), which features shared facilities that will foster partnerships between researchers of different disciplines and from different organizations, will help MU emerge as a global leader in biomedical research and maximize opportunities for external grant funding while enhancing Mizzou’s ability to recruit and retain the most talented researchers, Cartwright said.
“Collaborative efforts will include investments in facilities and laboratories that foster interdisciplinary studies, including the new TPMC,” Cartwright said. “Through the TPMC, the university will be able to pursue a collaborative approach to disease treatment and prevention that accounts for individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle. Translational medicine offers the promise of scientific advancements that are developed into new drugs, devices and treatments that improve human health and well-being.”
Other initiatives that will lead to increased research, creative activities and economic development at the University of Missouri include:
- Academy of Curators Professors—Curators Professorships are the highest academic rank awarded by the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The academy will provide mechanisms for these professors to serve as a resource for the entire university, providing guidance and mentorship to students and junior faculty.
- Artist in Residence Program—The Artist in Residence program will invite visual and performance artists, musicians, dance scholars and other professionals to campus to share their expertise with MU faculty, staff and students.
- Mizzou Innovates Program—This annual competition will focus on engaging students, faculty and staff in identifying and solving grand challenges in Missouri and the world. Examples within Missouri include access to broadband and providing better health care in rural areas. As part of Mizzou Innovates, MU will host a symposium where potential solutions can be presented and discussed.
- National Research Centers—National research centers, such as the National Swine Resource and Research Center at MU, provide resources for scientists across the U.S. while establishing the host institution as the premier leader in the research. MU will work to attract three to five externally funded national research centers in the next five years.
- Office of Research Advancement—This office will provide the infrastructure to help target large multi-investigator research grants. Staff in this office will coordinate initiatives focused on identifying grant opportunities, improving grant writing and connecting researchers across MU.
- Double NIH and Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials Funding—The goal of clinical trials at Mizzou is to uncover effective treatments for Missourians living with illnesses. MU is committed to doubling funding for clinical trials to provide Missourians with access to groundbreaking technologies.