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.

Penny Pennington

Vice Chair | Managing Partner, Edward Jones

Lisa Ainsworth, PhD

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

Teddy Bekele

SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Land O’ Lakes, Inc.

Sara Yang Bosco

Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Emerson

Blackford F. “Beau” Brauer

President, Hunter Engineering Company

Lee Broughton

Broughton Brand Company

Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD

Chief Visionary Officer and Founder, Impossible Foods

Mun Y. Choi, PhD

President, University of Missouri System; Chancellor, University of Missouri-Columbia

Desiree S. Coleman-Fry

Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, OMWI Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Christopher B. Danforth

President, Kennelwood Pet Resort

Steven M. Fox

Private Investor, Fox Family Office, Inc.

James L. Johnson, III

Partner, 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

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Olympian, Founder and CEO of Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation

Ruth E. Kim, JD

Corporate Secretary | General Counsel, Senior Vice President and Senior Partner, Fleishman-Hillard

Sanjeev Krishnan

Chief Investment Officer, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures

Ann C. Marr

Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources, World Wide Technology, LLC; President, WWT Foundation

Andrew D. Martin, PhD

Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis

Anna E. McKelvey, LLM

Community Volunteer

Thomas C. Melzer

Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners

William L. Polk, Jr.

Managing Partner, Egis Capital Partners

Robert Reiter, PhD

Head of R&D, Executive Vice President, Bayer Crop Science

Kiersten E. Stead, PhD

Managing Partner, DCVC Bio

Peter S. Wyse Jackson, PhD

President, Missouri Botanical Garden

John F. McDonnell

Emeritus Director and Immediate Past Chair | Retired Chairman of the Board, McDonnell Douglas Corporation

Philip Needleman, PhD

Emeritus Director | Former Chief Scientist and Head of R&D, Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia; Former Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine

Board of Directors

Todd R. Schnuck

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

Penny Pennington

Vice Chair | Managing Partner, Edward Jones

Lisa Ainsworth, PhD

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

Teddy Bekele

SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Land O’ Lakes, Inc.

Sara Yang Bosco

Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Emerson

Blackford F. “Beau” Brauer

President, Hunter Engineering Company

Lee Broughton

Broughton Brand Company

Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD

Chief Visionary Officer and Founder, Impossible Foods

Mun Y. Choi, PhD

President, University of Missouri System; Chancellor, University of Missouri-Columbia

Desiree S. Coleman-Fry

Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, OMWI Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Christopher B. Danforth

President, Kennelwood Pet Resort

Steven M. Fox

Private Investor, Fox Family Office, Inc.

James L. Johnson, III

Partner, 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

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Olympian, Founder and CEO of Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation

Ruth E. Kim, JD

Corporate Secretary | General Counsel, Senior Vice President and Senior Partner, Fleishman-Hillard

Sanjeev Krishnan

Chief Investment Officer, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures

Ann C. Marr

Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources, World Wide Technology, LLC; President, WWT Foundation

Andrew D. Martin, PhD

Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis

Anna E. McKelvey, LLM

Community Volunteer

Thomas C. Melzer

Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners

William L. Polk, Jr.

Managing Partner, Egis Capital Partners

Robert Reiter, PhD

Head of R&D, Executive Vice President, Bayer Crop Science

Kiersten E. Stead, PhD

Managing Partner, DCVC Bio

Peter S. Wyse Jackson, PhD

President, Missouri Botanical Garden

John F. McDonnell

Emeritus Director and Immediate Past Chair | Retired Chairman of the Board, McDonnell Douglas Corporation

Philip Needleman, PhD

Emeritus Director | Former Chief Scientist and Head of R&D, Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia; Former Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine

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

Eric Ward, PhD

Chair | President, AgBiome, Inc.

David Braun, PhD

Director, Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), Professor in the Division of Plant Science and Technology, and the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri – Columbia

Natalia de Leon, PhD

Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jen Heemstra, PhD

Charles Allen Thomas Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis

Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, PhD

Associate Dean, Research and Discovery, CALS, and Professor, Agronomy & Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, Iowa State University

Jennifer Nemhauser, PhD

Professorship for Excellence in Biology, Department of Biology, University of Washington

Scientific Advisory Board

Eric Ward, PhD

Chair | President, AgBiome, Inc.

David Braun, PhD

Director, Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), Professor in the Division of Plant Science and Technology, and the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri – Columbia

Natalia de Leon, PhD

Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jen Heemstra, PhD

Charles Allen Thomas Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis

Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, PhD

Associate Dean, Research and Discovery, CALS, and Professor, Agronomy & Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, Iowa State University

Jennifer Nemhauser, PhD

Professorship for Excellence in Biology, Department of Biology, University of Washington