University of Missouri breaks ground on addition to MU Research Reactor facility

The new $20 million, three-story addition to the existing MURR North Building will expand the facility’s production space and testing laboratories.

  • Groundbreaking ceremony for MURR West.
    Groundbreaking ceremony for MURR West.

Oct. 2, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, 573-882-6212,

Photos by Abbie Lankitus

The University of Missouri hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today for a 47,000-square-foot addition to the MU Research Reactor (MURR) facility.

Dubbed “MURR West,” the new $20 million, three-story addition to the existing MURR North Building will expand the facility’s research and medical isotope production space to offer researchers and their students more resources to explore nuclear science and discover new treatments that provide benefits to people around the country and the world.

“The new MURR West facility will drive even more research and development that will improve and save lives,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “This facility will significantly increase radioisotope productions to treat citizens of Missouri and the nation.”

Each year, 1.6 million patients benefit from medical isotopes produced at MURR, the most powerful university research reactor in the United States, operating at 10 megawatts, 24 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

“Missouri is home to the world’s most important university research reactor for fighting cancer,” said Michael Williams, chair of the UM Board of Curators. “MURR is the only producer in the country of four medical isotopes used in lifesaving treatments for liver, thyroid, pancreatic and prostate cancer. This new addition expands our ability to improve the lives of Missourians and patients around the country.”

The expansion, scheduled for completion in fall 2024, will also enable more collaboration with industry partners and will provide additional space for a growing workforce. 

“This new addition is really about expanding our research space, building the workforce and enabling more collaborations with our industry partners,” said Matt Sanford, executive director of MURR. “The work that will take place in the new space is done with isotopes produced at MURR and spans the entire breadth of our research and manufacturing programs.”

The first floor will provide 16,000 square feet for research initiatives, medical isotope production and collaborative projects with researchers at MU and industry partners. 

The second and third floors provide space for employees currently working in temporary buildings, manufacturing support, research and development, regulatory documents and records, and shell space for future expansion.

The MURR West addition is only part of the university’s plan for growth in order to meet the increasing demand for radiopharmaceuticals.

“This expansion will ensure we continue the great work we’re doing here as we also prepare for our next big initiative, NextGen MURR,” Sanford said. “Our plans to build a new, state-of-the-art reactor will further add to our research and isotope production capabilities. Together, these will provide our researchers, clinicians and partners with the tools and spaces they need to continue making key breakthroughs.”   

Read more in President Choi's Blog

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