The 501(c)4 advocacy arm of the organization was founded in 2005 by the late James Stowers and former Washington University Chancellor the late Dr. William Danforth. Then known as The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, the organization now called Missouri Cures, ran “The Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative,” known as “Amendment 2.” The successful campaign was co-chaired by former US Senator John Danforth and the late US Senator Thomas Eagleton. This constitutional Amendment was passed by Missouri voters and protects stem cell research and therapies in Missouri that were legal under federal law, prohibits human cloning, and allows patients and their physicians to utilize stem cell-related therapies. Any medical research legal under federal law remains legal in the state of Missouri.
In 2011, the 501(c)3 nonprofit Missouri Cures Education Foundation was founded. Its mission is to promote the world-class medical research institutions, the cutting-edge research being done in Missouri, and the researchers working to find therapies and cures. The organization sponsors events and educational forums, provides thought leadership by participating in symposia, and keeps supporters informed through newsletters and social media posts.
2005—The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures is created by the late James Stowers and Dr. William Danforth.
2006—Amendment 2 Campaign: The Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, a state constitutional ballot initiative, passes allowing all medical research legal on the federal level to be allowed in Missouri.
2010—Dena Ladd is appointed as the Executive Director of Missouri Cures after being instrumental in guiding the 2006 campaign, and subsequent fundraising and awareness activities.
2011—The 501(c)3 Education Foundation is launched with the sole purpose of educating Missourians about medical research taking place in the state.
2013—Created the first Women in Science and Entrepreneurship (WISE) event, which takes place annually and has been held in cities and regions throughout the state.
2016—Defeats Tobacco Tax Initiative Campaign in order to keep protections guaranteed by the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative in place.