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MU celebrates NextGen Precision Health Institute virtual topping off ceremony

The University of Missouri hosted a virtual topping off ceremony to celebrate the last steel beam being placed atop the NextGen Precision Health Institute today. As the cornerstone of the statewide NextGen Precision Health Initiative, the institute will be the home of translational research and life-saving precision health solutions that will benefit Missourians and the world. 

“As our communities continue to face unprecedented uncertainty and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to address today’s urgent health care needs,” UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi said. “This tragic situation only encourages our efforts in precision medicine, and this construction milestone reminds us that the NextGen Precision Health Institute is critical to the future of our world-class research and the long-term health of Missourians in every part of our state.”

One of the project’s newest leaders is Richard Barohn, MU’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs. As the NextGen Precision Health Institute’s executive scientific director, Barohn will work closely with five faculty research leads in the areas of cancer, population health, cardiovascular, neurological, basic and emerging research.

“The NextGen Precision Health Initiative will help us translate fundamental research from laboratories into effective treatments and devices, which will benefit Missourians as well as the rest of the country and world,” Barohn said. “This is an incredibly exciting time to be at Mizzou. With all the recent progress on the NextGen Precision Health Institute, we are poised to become national leaders in precision medicine.”

The 265,000 square-foot, five-story precision health facility will provide space for more than 60 principal investigators to conduct research in areas such as engineering, medicine, arts and science, veterinary medicine and animal sciences. The building will include laboratories, classrooms and innovative space for faculty, researchers and industry partners to collaborate.

In addition to harnessing and supporting the research activities of the UM System’s four universities and health system, the NextGen Precision Health Initiative is expected to accelerate medical breakthroughs, increase collaboration among UM System scientists and industry partners, attract research funding, generate jobs and train a new generation of health care scientists and practitioners.

Construction on the facility, which is located on MU’s campus near University Hospital, began during Summer 2019. The expected completion date is Oct. 19, 2021.