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JEFFERSON CITY - University of Missouri System leaders and representatives from each of its four campuses gathered at the state Capitol Thursday during their annual legislative day.

Faculty and students presented a range of new projects and initiatives created to benefit Missourians. They included helping to better educate students for jobs in STEM-related fields, coordinating efforts to stop the use of opioids and investing in health care throughout the state.

UM System president Mun Choi said the university is strategic in the ways it grows and allocates new funds.

“We want to ensure that our scholarship programs for need-based students continue and continue to grow,” he said.

Choi said, along with student aid, the univeresity's mission includes hiring more faculty and staff. He said making sure the Columbia campus maintains a good number of staff in “critical.” 

A main goal is to increase support for the Translational Precision Medicine Complex. Choi said the building will cost around $220 million, and UM will request about $35 million per year over the next several years.

Rich McKowen, who is the director of healthcare for Burns and McDonnell, said precision medicine is the next phase of advanced medicine.

“This would make the University of Missouri, really, the number one research facility in the country for this type of medical research. It’s really bringing together the engineering college, the vet med college, the school of medicine all into one facility so they can collaborate,” he said.

Choi told lawmakers the Translational Precision Medicine Complex would have an impact in every county in Missouri and increase the quality of healthcare Missouri residents receive.