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MU learns why it lost major research facility

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

ST. LOUIS, MO – Officials with the Department of Homeland Security have debriefed the University of Missouri-Columbia on the denial of its application to house the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.

The 450-million dollar project would have brought major researchers and grants to the state.

Homeland Security officials gave the university high marks in the areas of research and collaboration but were concerned with the lack of workforce in Columbia. They noted that most scientists would be coming from the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Dr. George Stewart, chair of the department of Veterinary Pathology says officials had other concerns as well.

"The area that they noted that perhaps other applicants did better than we did was in in-kind contributions, so that other sites probably contributed more money up front for construction of the site," Stewart said.

Officials also sited growing community resistance to the project.

The NBAF will conduct research of human and animal diseases, including a potential avian flu pandemic and bioterrorism.

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