Making a Vision a Reality

Our leadership unites some of the brightest minds in science, business, education, and civil service to execute the Danforth mission and steward its legacy.

Principal Investigators
Meet the People Changing the World with Plants

Our principal investigators are the engine that powers the Danforth Center. Their accomplishments have laid the groundwork for countless new technologies. They attract the brightest minds in the field for their labs and land major national research grants. We are honored to work with them.

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Board of Directors Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Todd R. Schnuck

Chair, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schnuck Markets, Inc.

Philip Needleman, PhD

Vice Chair, Former Chief Scientist & Head Of R&D Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia, Former Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine

William H. Danforth, MD

Founding Chair and Emeritus Director Chancellor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis

John F. McDonnell

Immediate Past Chair Retired Chairman of the Board, McDonnell Douglas Corporation

Brett D. Begemann

Chief Operating Officer, Bayer Crop Science

Blackford F. “Beau” Brauer

President, Hunter Engineering Company

Lee Broughton

Broughton Brand Company

Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD

Chancellor, University of Missouri

Christopher B. Danforth

General Partner, Cultivation Capital Life Science Fund Managing Director, The Yield Fund

Steven M. Fox

Managing Director, Harbour Group Industries, Inc.

Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt

President and Chief Executive Officer, Gephardt Group/Gephardt Government Affairs

James L. Johnson

Founder, Johnson Bender Asset Management

Robert J. Jones, PhD

Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Vice President, University of Illinois

Wesley Jones

Managing Partner, Sage Capital LLC

David W. Kemper

Executive Chairman, Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

Andrew D. Martin, PhD

Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis

Anna E. McKelvey, LLM

Community Volunteer

Thomas C. Melzer

Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners

Penny Pennington

Managing Partner, Edward Jones

Kiersten Stead, PhD

Managing Partner, DCVC Bio

Mary Stillman

Founder, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls Executive Director, Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation

Robert L. Virgil, DBA (Emeritus Director)

Retired Partner, Edward Jones

Peter S. Wyse Jackson, PhD

President, Missouri Botanical Garden

Usha Barwale Zehr, PhD

Chief Technology Officer, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, Ltd.

Board of Directors

Todd R. Schnuck

Chair, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schnuck Markets, Inc.

Philip Needleman, PhD

Vice Chair, Former Chief Scientist & Head Of R&D Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia, Former Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine

William H. Danforth, MD

Founding Chair and Emeritus Director Chancellor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis

John F. McDonnell

Immediate Past Chair Retired Chairman of the Board, McDonnell Douglas Corporation

Brett D. Begemann

Chief Operating Officer, Bayer Crop Science

Blackford F. “Beau” Brauer

President, Hunter Engineering Company

Lee Broughton

Broughton Brand Company

Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD

Chancellor, University of Missouri

Christopher B. Danforth

General Partner, Cultivation Capital Life Science Fund Managing Director, The Yield Fund

Steven M. Fox

Managing Director, Harbour Group Industries, Inc.

Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt

President and Chief Executive Officer, Gephardt Group/Gephardt Government Affairs

James L. Johnson

Founder, Johnson Bender Asset Management

Robert J. Jones, PhD

Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Vice President, University of Illinois

Wesley Jones

Managing Partner, Sage Capital LLC

David W. Kemper

Executive Chairman, Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

Andrew D. Martin, PhD

Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis

Anna E. McKelvey, LLM

Community Volunteer

Thomas C. Melzer

Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners

Penny Pennington

Managing Partner, Edward Jones

Kiersten Stead, PhD

Managing Partner, DCVC Bio

Mary Stillman

Founder, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls Executive Director, Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation

Robert L. Virgil, DBA (Emeritus Director)

Retired Partner, Edward Jones

Peter S. Wyse Jackson, PhD

President, Missouri Botanical Garden

Usha Barwale Zehr, PhD

Chief Technology Officer, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, Ltd.

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Board Participants Board Participants
Board Participants
Board Participants Board Participants
Board Participants

Ruth E. Kim, JD

Corporate Secretary General Counsel, SVP and Sr. Partner, FleishmanHillard

Chip Lerwick

Managing Director, Aon

Tim Rodgers

Co-founder, Rodgers Townsend

Board Participants

Ruth E. Kim, JD

Corporate Secretary General Counsel, SVP and Sr. Partner, FleishmanHillard

Chip Lerwick

Managing Director, Aon

Tim Rodgers

Co-founder, Rodgers Townsend

Scientific Advisory Board Scientific Advisory Board
Scientific Advisory Board
Scientific Advisory Board Scientific Advisory Board
Scientific Advisory Board

Lisa Ainsworth, PhD

Professor of Plant Biology, USDA-ARS, Photosynthesis Research Unit, University of Illinois — Urbana-Champaign

Edward Buckler, PhD

Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS; Adjunct Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University

Rebecca Doerge, PhD

Glen de Vries Dean, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Walter Gassmann, PhD

Interim Director, Bond Life Sciences Center and Professor, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri — Columbia

Craig Pikaard, PhD

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Distinguished Professor and Carlos O. Miller Professor, Biology/Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Indiana University

Richard D. Vierstra, PhD

George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

Scientific Advisory Board

Lisa Ainsworth, PhD

Professor of Plant Biology, USDA-ARS, Photosynthesis Research Unit, University of Illinois — Urbana-Champaign

Edward Buckler, PhD

Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS; Adjunct Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University

Rebecca Doerge, PhD

Glen de Vries Dean, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Walter Gassmann, PhD

Interim Director, Bond Life Sciences Center and Professor, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri — Columbia

Craig Pikaard, PhD

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Distinguished Professor and Carlos O. Miller Professor, Biology/Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Indiana University

Richard D. Vierstra, PhD

George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis