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$3 Million Gift to MU Creates Thompson Lab for Regenerative Orthopaedics

Funds will help further research into regenerative joint replacement and improve health care

May 5th, 2016

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Thompson Foundation, created by William and Nancy Thompson, has pledged $3 million to the University of Missouri School of Medicine to create the Thompson Lab for Regenerative Orthopaedics. Researchers at the new lab will pursue discoveries and advances to help people with joint replacements resume family and work activities sooner and lower costs and improve access to health care. By training at the new center, surgeons and researchers will be able to spread the world-class regenerative orthopedic programs and technologies developed at the MU School of Medicine across the nation and around the globe to benefit millions of people.

“The Thompsons’ generosity and continued support for Mizzou are inspirations to the entire MU community,” MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said. “This gift will allow MU to further advance us as a world leader in regenerative orthopedics. This gift directly supports our primary missions of discovery and improving the health of Missourians and the world. With strong support such as this, MU will play a leading role in the future of health care.”

The new lab will be housed on the fourth floor of the new addition to the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, which is currently under construction. Recent research into regenerative orthopedics at MU includes the development of a better method to store donor tissue, and improved procedures for repairing torn knee ligaments and other joint injuries. James Cook, the William and Kathryn Allen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of the Orthopaedic Research Division at MU, says this gift will create a unique opportunity to provide world-class care for Missourians.

“This amazing gift will create a center of discovery, translational and transformative research, and clinical applications,” Cook said. “It will set Mizzou apart in this burgeoning area of medicine. Because the Thompsons have provided this incredibly unique opportunity for us to create a world-class laboratory right in the heart of our clinical orthopedic center, we will be able to more efficiently and effectively improve health care.”

“Since our days at Mizzou, Nancy and I have been fortunate to meet some of the exceptional academic, medical and research talent within the University,” Bill Thompson said. “When Drs. Hal Williamson, Jim Stannard and Jimi Cook told us of their exciting plans for future discovery and innovative treatment in regenerative orthopedics, we jumped at the chance to invest in their cutting-edge work! It has the potential to benefit the lives of countless people, young and old.”

“We cannot thank the Thompsons enough for their generosity and vision to support such life-changing research here at MU,” said Patrick Delafontaine, dean of the MU School of Medicine. “Our faculty and students are doing amazing things at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and with regenerative orthopedics in particular. This financial support will have a tremendous impact on health care and improving the quality of life for Missourians and people around the world.”

“MU Health Care is devoted to improving the lives and health of all Missourians,” Mitch Wasden, chief executive officer of MU Health Care said. “This amazing gift will further this mission and ultimately have significant positive effects on the health and well-being of people throughout our state and beyond. From our entire team of more than 6,000 clinicians, scientists, educators and health professionals, I sincerely thank the Thompsons for their generous support.”

With an overall fundraising goal of $1.3 billion, the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign will secure the University of Missouri’s status among the nation’s elite public universities by focusing on three priorities: endowment — building the university’s endowment to compete with other institutions will strengthen the ability to attract and retain stellar students and faculty; signature centers and institutes — interdisciplinary centers and institutes will be the engine of research growth that will enhance MU’s AAU status and add to the university’s distinctiveness; and a campus renaissance — new and renovated facilities will propel Mizzou to global leadership in education and research and will help attract and retain students and faculty.