A $2 million gift from University of Missouri alumni will support the university’s NextGen Precision Health Institute, the capital priority for the state’s flagship campus. University officials celebrated the gift from Mike Brown, a 1979 MU graduate, and his wife Millie Brown, a 1982 graduate.
“We are grateful for Mike and Millie’s tremendous support,” MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said. “They not only share our path-breaking vision for the NextGen Precision Health Institute, they also share our confidence that Mizzou will transform health care and bring solutions to every Missourian throughout all of our rural and urban communities. Using collaboration and interdisciplinary research to tackle grand challenges is the core of our mission as Missouri’s flagship, land-grant university and a leading research institution.”
Mike Brown, a 1979 graduate of the College of Engineering, co-founded Euronet, a global financial transactions company, in 1994 and has served as its chief executive officer ever since. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors and president of the company. The same year he graduated from Mizzou, he founded Innovative Software, which merged in 1988 with Informix, provider of advanced database software technology. During his time at Informix, he served as president and chief operating officer as well as president of the workstation products division.
“My time at Mizzou taught me that engineers are knowledgeable and creative and know how to solve unsolvable problems,” Brown said. “The university also taught me that engineers can’t do it alone, isolated in their own research labs. We need to collaborate across all fields to dream bigger to completely transform healthcare. That is exactly what the NextGen Precision Health Institute will accomplish and why Millie and I are proud to support the university’s efforts to improve health care.”
University leaders broke ground on the NextGen Precision Health Institute in June 2019. The facility currently is under construction with an expected completion date of October 2021. Researchers in areas such as engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, animal sciences and humanities will work at the institute to advance lifesaving research.
Research at the institute is expected to accelerate medical breakthroughs for patients in Missouri and beyond, and train a new generation of scientists and practitioners who will help Missouri address the health care needs of the future. The institute will play a key role in the NextGen Precision Health Initiative, which harnesses and supports the research activities of the UM System’s four universities and health system.
“The University of Missouri System is creating an initiative that will bring laboratory research to the world through effective treatments,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “The Brown’s gift to the institute at our flagship university is a symbol of the dedication of our alumni to our vision of using research to improve the quality of life for everyone.”
The $220.8 million facility at MU is the UM system’s top capital priority and is funded through a combination of private and corporate support, contributions from MU and the UM system, and the state of Missouri. The state of Missouri has contributed $10 million for the institute and university leaders are hoping the state will make further commitments to the project.
Elizabeth Loboa, vice chancellor for strategic partnerships and dean of engineering, has served as a leader of the project. She has worked closely with Brown through his role on the Dean’s Engineering Strategic Advisory Board.
“Alumni that come from Mizzou Engineering are visionaries,” Loboa said. “They understand the role that engineers can play in collaborating with biologists, physicians, nurses and other researchers in bringing the next generation of personalized health to life. Mike’s commitment to our vision and his support of precision health bring us one step closer to turning our vision into reality.”