MU scientists officials attended groundbreaking event at Missouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, MO

(l - r) Senator Kit Bond, Kelly Gillespie, Dr. Roger Beachy Missouri Plant Science Center

Mexico, Mo – Dr. Henry Nguyen, Director of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology and other MU officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Missouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, MO on April 26, 2010.

The new Missouri Plant Science Center is the cutting-edge plant science research facility with manufacturing capabilities.

The science center will house traditional offices, wet and dry laboratories, as well as manufacturing equipment that will process soybeans and other plant-based material into value-added products.

The goal of the Center is to capitalize on Missouri’s leading position in plant science to create high-paying, high tech jobs and to serve as a catalyst for capital investments in Missouri.

The science center’s first tenants will be Soy Labs, LLC, which is currently based in Fairfield, California.  They will bring at least 20 high-paying jobs.  Once at the center, Soy Labs, LLC, a leader in the soybean technology field, will continue their work on Lunasin XP and LunaSoy.

Lunasin is a soy peptide that exhibits health promoting characteristics.  It is a unique, 43 chain amino acid peptide found within soybeans, as well as, a key component in soy protein responsible for its cholesterol-lowering properties.  In addition, other on-going research at Soy Lab, LLC are focusing on other leading health concerns such as Obesity, Type II diabetes, prostate health, osteoporosis, and cancer.

“In 40 years of public life, I have seen a lot of good ideas come and go,” Bond said. “I strongly believe biotech is here to stay.  We are only just beginning to see the many exciting applications biotechnology can offer and it is changing lives for the better.”

Bond has worked with Missouri Community and business leaders to create a biotechnology corridor that stretches from mid-Missouri; west to Kansas City and east to St. Louis.  Kansas City is home to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and the Kansas City Area Life Science Institute.  St. Louis is home to the Danforth Plant Science Center.  The Missouri Plant Science Center will join the MU Life Sciences Center, the Missouri Biotechnology Association along with the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology and other incubators housed in Missouri.