Saving and improving lives

The University of Missouri is home to MURR, the world’s most important university research reactor for fighting cancer. Learn more about MURR, the importance of radioisotopes and how NextGen MURR will benefit Missourians and patients across the country and the world for decades to come.

A vital resource

The existing University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) is the only U.S. producer of four critical radioisotopes used in the treatment of liver, thyroid, pancreatic and prostate cancers, and in imaging agents to diagnose cancers and heart disease. Our nation has an acute need to expand its supply of radioisotopes as more are used in successful cancer treatments, and NextGen MURR will build on the university’s history of lifesaving endeavors.

Learn More About MURR
Graphic shows a map with Columbia, Missouri, highlighted and arrowed line shooting out from Columbia. Text says, Missouri's central location ensures MURR can QUICKLY DEPLOY radioisotopes around the country, which is critical due to the short half-life of radioisotopes.

MURR by the Numbers

1.6 million

cancer and cardiac patients were treated last year with radioisotopes produced at MURR.

95 percent

of thyroid cancer patients are cured after using radioisotopes. Liver, prostate and pancreatic cancer patients have a better quality of life and live longer with radioisotope treatment.

56 years

of safe, innovative history. Operating 24 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, 52 weeks a year — MURR is the most powerful university research reactor in the U.S., working at 10 megawatts.

Why NextGen MURR?

Without NextGen MURR, the medical isotopes MURR produces might not be available in the future, leading to a dependency on foreign sources. Missouri can be the center for nuclear medicine to attract researchers, pharmaceutical firms, investors and distribution facilities. Missouri’s central location ensures a quick deployment of radioisotopes around the country, which is critical due to the short half-life of radioisotopes. NextGen MURR will help secure our domestic supply of radioisotopes to treat Americans.

Outline of the state of Missouri, with a nucleus symbol where MURR is located.

Building on excellence

As one of only six public universities in the country with schools or colleges of medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture, engineering, arts and science, law and a powerful research reactor — all on one campus — Mizzou is uniquely positioned to tackle critical health challenges. With its campus partners, NextGen MURR supports the bench-to-bedside approach, bolstering the university’s role in the development of new treatments and scientific discoveries that save lives in Missouri, the U.S. and beyond.