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Danforth Center Reaps $70M Grant

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis will use a $70 million grant from the Danforth Foundation to fund an expansion of its staff and research facilities.

The grant is the last that the Danforth Foundation will award before dissolving at the end of May.

The funding will support the first phase of a planned three-part expansion of the Danforth Center's scientific staff, capabilities, and facilities. The center said that it will "rely on support from the St. Louis community and others" to complete phases two and three of the expansion.

The Danforth Center conducts research aimed at enhancing nutrition from plants, developing new biofuels, and reducing the need for fertilizer and pesticides.

The grant will be used to hire five new principal investigators; expand bioinformatics and biocomputing capabilities; and expand training opportunities for scientists, the center said.

Along with the Danforth Foundation, research at the Danforth Center is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, and the BIll & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Danforth Foundation, formed 84 years ago, has provided a total of $226 million in funding for the Danforth Center, including a $60 million grant in 1998 to support the center's launch.

In 2003, the foundation announced that it planned to close its doors after spending down its remaining portfolio.

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