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RESEARCHERS & INNOVATION CENTERS

We are committed to protecting and supporting medical research and entrepreneurial efforts that are founded on medical research. We believe it’s essential to protect and grow Missouri’s research environment in order to attract and retain the best and brightest talent to our research facilities and innovation centers.

It is important for us to recognize and support the efforts of medical researchers and entrepreneurs across the state. By hosting events to showcase their research and ongoing work, we promote innovation in Missouri. Our educational mission allows us to partner with leading researchers to present cutting-edge work to local audiences throughout our state.

This Month’s Featured Researcher

Dr. Jeffrey Millman

November 2020

Dr. Jeffrey Millman, Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey Millman is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at John T. Milliken Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. His team’s goal is studying and developing a cure for diabetes. Dr. Millman is leading the field in the discovery and development of novel therapies using human stem cells. Specifically, developing replacement cells and tissues that can secrete insulin in response to blood sugar levels to precisely control blood sugar. Learn more here.

Previous Featured Researchers

Dr. Barbara A. Pahud

October 2020

Dr. Barbara A. Pahud, Director of Research, Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy Research Hospital

Dr. Barbara A. Pahud is a pediatric infectious diseases physician who has spent her career focusing on vaccine preventable diseases, immunization development, safety, and efficacy, vaccine education for physicians and healthcare workers. She is the Director of Research, Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy Research Hospital in Kansas City. You can learn more about her work or watch her recent presentation on COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Sheila Grant

September 2020

Dr. Sheila Grant, associate vice chancellor of Research & Strategic Initiatives for the University of Missouri

We are pleased to introduce you to Dr. Sheila Grant, associate vice chancellor of Research & Strategic Initiatives for the University of Missouri and a professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering at the University of Missouri. You can learn more about the work she is doing here or you can join her at our WISER Columbia Virtual event on September 22 at 8 a.m.

Chanté Summers

August 2020

Chanté Summers, Senior Associate Scientist at Pfizer Inc.

Meet Chanté Summers, Senior Associate Scientist at Pfizer Inc. in the Bioprocess Research and Development Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Chanté works with a multidisciplinary team to research innovative technologies for the development of mid- to late-stage therapeutics. She leverages her technical background in organic chemistry to develop biochemical processes for production of clinical trial material. Through small-scale laboratory studies and statistical analysis, Chanté applies her findings to deliver robust and efficient strategies for heightened process performance at large scale. Chanté has supported therapeutics across Pfizer’s portfolio including gene therapies, antibody drug conjugates, and vaccines. We are excited to have Chanté join us as a panelist for on November 11th for our WISER Week. Learn more here.

Dr. Cynthia Rogers

July 2020

Dr. Cynthia Rogers, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine

Meet Dr. Cynthia Rogers, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Rogers and her team are studying the effects of home environments on children born prematurely and the impact of adverse psychosocial environments on brain development. Her work will help improve long-term outcomes for children born prematurely as targeted interventions can be used to modify factors leading to impairment. Learn more about her fascinating work here.

Dr. Agca

June 2020

Dr. Yuksel Agca, Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri Columbia

We are excited to introduce Dr. Yuksel Agca as our feature researcher. Dr. Agca is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri Columbia. He and his team of researchers induced menopause in rats to study cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease with hormone depletion. According to Dr. Agca, “These animal models can be useful for future testing to examine the impact of a variety of other factors, such as alcohol, smoking, diet, exercise, hypertension or previous traumatic brain injuries.” Learn more about his work here.

May 2020

This month we featured three WISER women fighting COVID-19

Dr. Philip Payne

April 2020

Dr. Philip Payne, Director of the Institute for Informatics (I2) at Washington University and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

Dr. Philip Payne is the founding director of the Institute for Informatics (I2) at Washington University, where he also serves as the Robert J. Terry Professor and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. The Institute of Informatics is doing critical work to help guide the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and building a rapid response to public health data management. In addition, Dr. Payne is part of the leadership team building a national synthetic data COVID-19 resource. You can follow him on twitter @prpayne5 and learn more about his work here.

Dr. Tom Curran

March 2020

Dr. Tom Curran, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Children’s Research Institute, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City

Dr. Tom Curran has been working on the frontline of cancer research and developmental neurobiology for more than 30 years and continues to contribute as a scientist, administrator, leader and mentor in the research community. In 2016, he became the Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Children’s Research Institute, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City with the ambition of establishing a world class center for pediatric translational research. His goals for the Children’s Research Institute are to develop a strong focus on pediatric translational research and developmental therapeutics throughout the region. Learn more about him and the Children’s Mercy Research Institute here.

Dr. Enrico Di Cera

February 2020

Dr. Enrico Di Cera, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Dr. Enrico Di Cera was recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to science. Dr Di Cera, who is the Alice A. Doisy professor and chairman of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at SLU, is being recognized for his key contributions to the theory of ligand binding and to the structural enzymology of proteins controlling blood coagulation. He is also the Interim Vice Dean for Research at Saint Louis University. Learn more about his work here.

Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D.

January 2020

Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine –Biomedical and Health Informatics Department

Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., is a professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine –Biomedical and Health Informatics Department. She is also the director of the Community Health Research Group, the director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, and adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychology at UMKC. Her expertise is in using community-engaged approaches to test and disseminate evidence-based health screening and linkage to care interventions focused on HIV/STDs/Hepatitis C, diabetes, heart disease, and mental health in community settings. She is dedicated to engaging students and community-health-academic partnerships along with underserved populations to address health disparities using novel scalable and sustainable methods. She recently spoke at one of our Brews & Breakthroughs. Find out more about her work here!

Dr. Walter Gassmann

December 2019

Dr. Walter Gassmann is Interim Director at the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri

Dr. Walter Gassmann is Interim Director at the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri. The Bond Life Sciences Center at MU allows researchers to form collaborations rarely seen on college campuses to solve problems in human and animal health, the environment and agriculture. Dr. Gassmann’s research focuses on the inner working of plant immune systems. In particular, he is interested in how it is activated, and how it is kept in check to prevent harmful side effects from an overactive immune system. Learn more about his work here.

Innovation & Life Science Organizations

Raising the visibility of our region to attract founders and startups.