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Nov 08
MRIGlobal’s Design of Next Generation Medevac Biocontainment System Wins R&D Magazine Award as Top 100 Innovation

MRIGlobal's Containerized Bio Containment System (CBCS) wins R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award


Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal's state-of-the-art, flight-ready Containerized Biocontainment System (CBCS) has been awarded an R&D100 Award for Innovation by R&D Magazine. Each year R&D Magazine presents the awards to 100 of the most technologically significant and innovative technologies introduced to the marketplace over the past year.


Effectively addressing global public health challenges, such as Ebola, requires the commitment of medical professionals. A major recruitment challenge has been limited access to medical evacuation should health workers become ill and need access to medical treatment. To help solve this challenge, a $5 million dollar private-public partnership grant between Paul G. Allen and the State Department was established for the development and manufacture of the CBCS.


MRIGlobal designed the CBCS as a reusable bio-containment and medical treatment unit to operate on government/civilian cargo aircraft. Able to fully contain highly-contagious pathogens, the extremely durable and safe CBCS units allow for the secure transport of healthcare workers abroad. The CBCS can treat four critically ill patients while maintaining biocontainment and safe flight.


"The CBCS was designed to save lives," said Dean Gray, Ph.D., Director of Special Programs, MRIGlobal. "There's nothing like this in the world right now and it was developed in response to an urgent need. With CBCS, the world is ready for the next big event."


See the video here: https://youtu.be/RI7WcxRSWhA


Winners were presented with their honors at the 54th Annual R&D Awards dinner on November 3.

Nov 03
MRIGlobal’s Design of Next Generation Medevac Biocontainment System Named Finalist In Innovation Awards

MRIGlobal’s Containerized Bio Containment System, designed and fabricated in just 191 days, is a finalist in R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards

Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal’s state-of-the-art, flight-ready Containerized Biocontainment System (CBCS) has been named a finalist by R&D Magazine for the coveted 2016 R&D 100 Awards.

Effectively addressing global public health challenges, such as Ebola, requires the commitment of medical professionals. A major recruitment challenge has been limited access to medical evacuation should health workers become ill and need access to medical treatment. To help solve this challenge, a $5 million dollar private-public partnership grant between Paul G. Allen and the State Department was established for the development and manufacture of the CBCS.

Designed by MRIGlobal, the CBCS is a reusable bio-containment and medical treatment unit, designed to be operated on government/civilian cargo aircraft. The CBCS are designed to fully contain highly-contagious pathogens. The units are extremely durable and safe, which will allow for the secure transport of healthcare workers abroad. The CBCS can treat four critically ill patients while maintaining biocontainment and safe flight.

“The CBCS was designed to save lives,” said Dean Gray, Ph.D., Director of Special Programs, MRIGlobal. “There’s nothing like this in the world right now and it was developed in response to an urgent need.”

See the video here: https://youtu.be/RI7WcxRSWhA

Considered to be the Oscars of Innovation, each year R&D Magazine presents the awards to 100 of the most innovative technologies and services of the past year. Winners will be presented with their honors at the annual awards dinner on November 3.

Oct 17
MRIGlobal, in Partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific and ASU, to Lead Testing of Diagnostic Medical Countermeasures Program for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response (ASPR)

ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide up to $100M over 10 years to the MRIGlobal Team to conduct advanced development for a qPCR-based quantitative biodosimetry assay (ARad Biodosimetry Test) and validation testing in support of a 510(k) submission to the FDA.

Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal, with key partners Thermo Fisher Scientific and Arizona State University (ASU), will lead a molecular biodosimetry development program for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contract, worth more than $21.3 million over the first four years and three months, could be extended for up to $100 million over 10 years.

The ARad Biodosimetry Test is a diagnostic test designed to determine absorbed doses of ionizing radiation and inform the use of medical countermeasures to administer medical care following a radiation or nuclear incident. The ARad Biodosimetry Test was developed by researchers at ASU's Biodesign Institute and Thermo Fisher Scientific and is designed to be run in a clinical health care laboratory that produces a quantitative estimate of the actual absorbed dose a person received.

MRIGlobal, with partners Thermo Fisher Scientific and ASU, will clinically test and validate the ARad Biodosimetry Test for FDA clearance. The FDA-cleared test will be manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific and stockpiled for available testing.

Using the ARad Biodosimetry Test, blood samples will be analyzed for up to seven days post exposure to measure how genes respond to different amounts of radiation, and the test is expected to generate results in approximately eight hours. This test provides rapid response capabilities and high throughput sample analysis with the potential to process 400,000 or more tests a week.

"This work is critical to saving lives in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency," said Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, MRIGlobal, "Current tests only detect radiation on the skin, but there are no biodosimetry tests approved to measure the amount of radiation absorbed into the body."

"This technology contributes a critical capability to the nation's preparedness for a major radiation-related emergency," said Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., Interim Executive Director of ASU's Biodesign Institute and Director of the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. "Rapid and precise tracking of gene expression resulting from radiation exposure will allow clinicians to fast-track patients based on absorbed radiation dose, ensuring the best medical outcomes in the event of a catastrophic incident."

Aug 29
MRIGlobal Furthers Study of Zika Virus Infection Resulting in Microcephaly Using 2016 Patton Trust Research Development Grant

$50K Grant was awarded by The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute

Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal will further study Zika virus infection resulting in microcephaly. The study will be funded by a newly awarded research development grant from the Paul Patton Trust, Ted C. McCarter, William Evans Jr., Bank of America N.A.

The $50,000 grant was awarded by The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute to support research focused on genetic diseases affecting children.

Zika Virus Infection Resulting In Microcephaly

MRIGlobal will collaborate with the University of Missouri to develop unique animal models to investigate Zika virus infection. The mosquito-borne virus can be passed from mother to fetus via an unknown mechanism, resulting in reduced head circumference due to incomplete brain development called microcephaly. Individuals with this condition have many disabilities. Although there are no treatments for the physical abnormalities associated with this condition, therapies can control seizures, hyperactivity, and other symptoms.

"Zika virus is not well researched and is now known to cause serious birth defects. There is a desperate need to understand how the virus spreads through mosquitos and from mother to baby," says Carl Gelhaus, Ph.D., Principal Scientist at MRIGlobal. "Our research through animal models will examine how Zika virus spreads to provide tools to the research community and better understand how Zika virus causes microcephaly in a developing fetus. Our hope is that we will identify drug and vaccine targets that can be further developed to stop the devastating effects of Zika virus infection."  

"These grants fund research focused on genetic diseases that primarily affect children and may lead to life-changing discoveries and treatments," said Dr. Wayne Carter, KCALSI's president and chief executive officer.  "We value our relationship with the Paul Patton Trust, Ted C. McCarter, William Evans Jr., and Bank of America Trustees, the corporate co-trustee, for funding these research grants.  Historically for every dollar invested in these grants, over $8.50 has been returned to the community and researchers in future grant dollars because these grants allow the recipients to successfully compete for much larger, federally funded grants that can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for follow-on research." KCALSI has managed the scientific review of the Patton Trust grant proposals since 2007, identifying research programs with the greatest scientific relevance and potential impact.

About MRIGlobal

MRIGlobal, an independent research and development organization, delivers solutions in global health, national security and defense, and energy and the environment. The organization performs scientific research, advanced engineering, and program integration and management for clients in industry, government, and academia. Established in 1944 as Midwest Research Institute, MRIGlobal is based in Kansas City, Mo., and operates in nine states and Washington, D.C. MRIGlobal employs more than 500 and manages 2,600-plus workers through management and operations programs with various clients.

For more information, visit www.mriglobal.org.

About Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI)

Through its Research Development Grants program, KCALSI manages a variety of individual grants for area corporations and trusts, helping them identify proposals with the best scientific, medical and technical merit. Research grants are awarded to generate initial results and stimulate the submission of major multidisciplinary research proposals to government or private agencies. KCALSI's Research Development Grants program includes proposal review, evaluation by subject matter experts, written reviews for all applicants, and post-award management. For more information, visit www.kclifesciences.org.

Aug 26
MRIGlobal Adds New Trustees

Steve Edwards, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Black & Veatch

Jewel D. Scott, Executive Director, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

Maurice Watson, Chairman, Husch Blackwell

Three add key expertise in engineering, business, government, law

edwards.pngscott.pngwatson.jpg 

Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal announced that its Board of Directors has elected three new members to the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees.

MRIGlobal's Board of Directors govern and direct the leadership of the organization while the 124 members of the Board of Trustees serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors.

The three newly appointed trustees are:

  • Steve Edwards, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Black & Veatch
  • Jewel D. Scott, Executive Director, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City
  • Maurice Watson, Chairman, Husch Blackwell

"Our trustees serve as MRIGlobal's ambassadors to the community to advocate our efforts in making the world safer, healthier, and more sustainable," said Tom Bowser, MRIGlobal Chairman of the Board of Directors. "We proudly welcome Steve Edwards, Jewell Scott, and Maurice Watson to our prestigious Board of Trustees."  

Bowser became a member of the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees in 2008 and was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2014.

"The role of our Trustees cannot be understated," Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, MRIGlobal. "We are grateful that Steve, Jewell, and Maurice bring their time, expertise, and broad reach to help promote MRIGlobal's mission." 

Steve Edwards is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black & Veatch. He is responsible for the company's engineering, consulting, construction and related infrastructure businesses in the power, oil and gas, water, telecommunications, and security markets worldwide. With revenues of $3 billion, Black &Veatch is ranked in the Top 150 of Forbes list of Largest Private Companies and is the 12th largest employee-owned corporation in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

Jewel D. Scott became Executive Director of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City in 1994, having served as Director of Research and Planning. Before joining the Civic Council's staff, she was a city manager and had previous experience as a member of the City Manager's staff in Kansas City, Missouri and as a journalist. Ms. Scott serves on the Missouri Biotechnology Association's Executive Committee and was a founding board member of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute.

As Chairman of Husch Blackwell, Maurice Watson is responsible for developing and communicating the firm's strategic direction and ensuring that its policies and culture align with this direction. He is a member of the firm's healthcare, life sciences, and education industry team. His law practice focuses on representation of educational institutions, colleges and universities, and regional and national education associations.

Jul 13
MRIGlobal to Lead International Research Collaboration for Tularemia Vaccine

Collaboration includes scientists from Canada, Sweden, U.S. in $6.2 million Defense Threat Reduction Agency contract award.

Kansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal today announced that it has been awarded a $6.2 million, 5-year program from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for the development of a vaccine for tularemia.

The award continues a long-standing international co-operation to develop a tularemia vaccine.

Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Rabbits, hares, and rodents are especially susceptible to tularemia and often die during outbreaks. Humans can become infected in several ways including tick and deer fly bites; skin contact with infected animals; ingestion of contaminated water; inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols; and acts of bioterrorism.

"This award builds upon our 2002 commitment to deliver a tularemia vaccine to the U.S. Government," said Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal. "We are honored to lead the collaboration with this distinguished team of researchers."

Previous efforts and cooperation among US and foreign entities generated a vaccine that was less reactive and more protective than other tularemia vaccine candidates. The current award will help to advance the new vaccine candidate by supporting scaled-up manufacturing, large animal studies, and studies aimed at understanding how the vaccine produces immunity.

Related stories:

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/prnewswire/press_releases/Missouri/2016/07/13/DC46286

http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/technology/article89447652.html

May 24
Business of curing cancer: MRIGlobal helps clear path for drugs

Many Kansas Citians — and Americans — have been touched by cancer in some aspect, whether it's a personal diagnosis or that of a family member, friend or colleague. But Kansas City is playing a crucial role in the fight against cancer.

Scientists at MRIGlobal have been working with the National Cancer Institute since 1969 to test agents that could be used in chemotherapy treatments for many different types of cancer.

Download full article.

May 19
MRIGlobal Honors A. Drue Jennings

Jennings named Life Trustee for Commitment, Long-term Service to MRIGlobal

Jennings, Drew.jpgKansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal announced that A. Drue Jennings has been honored as Life Trustee. The announcement was made today at the mid-year meeting of the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees and Directors.

Mr. Jennings was recognized for his exceptional service, enthusiastic commitment to the MRIGlobal mission, and generous contributions to the governance of MRIGlobal. He served as a Trustee for 26 years and as a Director of the Board for 23 years, serving as Vice Chair for four years. He retired from the Board of Directors on September 30, 2015.

"Drue's leadership has been invaluable and we deeply appreciate his service," said Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., MRIGlobal President and CEO. "Our Trustees and Board are vital to our business. They are ambassadors and Drue truly deserves this honor."

In MRIGlobal's 72 year history, Jennings is the 12th to be recognized as a Life Trustee.

MRIGlobal Life Trustees include also: Charles W. Battey; Henry W. Bloch; Richard Green, Jr.; Donald J. Hall; Irvine O. Hockaday, Jr.; Robert A. Kipp; Louis W. Smith; Morton I. Sosland; and the late David M. Clark, S.J.; George C. Dillon; Charles H. Price, II.  

Apr 05
Science Pioneers Honors MRIGlobal

160331_247.JPGKansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal announces the receipt of the first Science Pioneers STEM Business Award.

MRIGlobal was presented the STEM Business Award for support of Science Pioneers since its inception 60 years ago. Dr. Charles N. Kimball, who founded Science Pioneers, was the President and Chief Executive of the Midwest Research Institute, now MRIGlobal. MRIGlobal has provided consistent leadership on Science Pioneers board, plus financial support as well as the expertise of its scientists and researchers who serve as judges and mentors.

Science Pioneers announced a new STEM Hall of Fame series of awards to recognize contributions from business, teachers, volunteers and students for their commitments to STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – in Kansas City.

More than 200 students, parents, teachers, executives and civic leaders celebrated Thursday, March 31, at Union Station at an event kicking off the 65th annual Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair. 

MRIGlobal will be memorialized on a Science Pioneers STEM Hall of Fame plaque hanging in Kansas City's Union Station.

About Science Pioneers: Science Pioneers began blazing the trail of inspiring and engaging students in science exploration in 1956. We nurture critical thinking and creative problem-solving in students and teachers, leading to deeper understanding of our world and how to improve it through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Science Pioneers (SciPi) inspires and encourages young people to pursue STEM studies to meet the demands of global competition and acquire the skills needed for 21st century careers.

Mar 21
MRIGlobal supports Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists

University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy Student Wins Travel Scholarship to Present Research at Conference.

IMG_9913-edit1.pngKansas City, Mo. – MRIGlobal is proud to announce the winner of its travel award to attend the annual conference of the Society of Toxicology Conference in New Orleans.

Sebastian Medina, a Ph.D., candidate at University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy received the award to travel to the prestigious conference where he will presented his research as an MRIGlobal-sponsored scholar.

He was introduced at a special Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists event by Robert P. Casillas, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Health Security, MRIGlobal. The travel award was presented March 15 at the Hispanic Organization Annual Reception in San Diego.

The Society of Toxicology Conference 55th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, held March 13-16, 2016, is the world's largest forum to showcase discoveries and achievements in toxicology research. More than 6,500 of the world's leading researchers and scientists from academia, government, and industry participate in lectures, training, and scientific sessions. The event features more than 160 scientific sessions and 2,400 poster presentation on toxicological-related research.

Medina's research is entitled, "Developmental Arsenate Exposures Suppress Murine Splenocyte Mitogenesis, Without Altering Spleen and Thymus Lymphocyte Population Subsets or Bone Marrow Lymphoid Progenitors."

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