Tiny atoms, big impact: How the MU Research Reactor is saving and improving lives in Missouri and around the globe

The NextGen MURR initiative will expand the University of Missouri’s capacity to produce medical isotopes that will be used in advanced cancer treatments for decades to come.

Nov. 7, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, uriah.orland@missouri.edu

From its proud home in Columbia, Missouri, the University of Missouri is one of the most important and reliable producers of medical isotopes for treating cancer in the United States.

The University of Missouri Research Reactor, known as MURR, is the only U.S. producer of four critical medical isotopes. Researchers at MURR create radioisotopes that are used in the treatment of liver, thyroid, pancreatic and prostate cancers. These are lifesaving treatments that those with cancer desperately need.

The demand for radioisotopes is rapidly increasing however, and work must begin on a new, state-of-the-art reactor — NextGen MURR. NextGen MURR will solidify the University of Missouri's position as one of the most important sources of radioisotopes, while expanding critical cancer-fighting research and medical isotope production for generations to come.

Without a new reactor, these critical radioisotopes may not be available in the U.S. in the future leading to dependency on foreign sources. 

For more than 50 years, MURR has operated safely and has been at the center of advancements in science and medicine. NextGen MURR will take the university further into the future, providing accessible and lifesaving innovation for generations to come.

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