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Scientists from St Louis and Mountain Grove came together today in Springfield to discuss research funded by the first round of grants from the Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
When Missouri received several hundreds of thousands of dollars through the tobacco settlement several years ago, lawmakers decided that some of that money ought to fund life sciences research. Just this year, that money is making its way into the hands of researchers across the state. Among the grant recipients are scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis and researchers at the Missouri State University Mountain Grove campus. They've been collaborating on a grape research project.
Laszlo Kovacs is a research professor at Missouri State's Mountain Grove campus. He says the grant allowed him and others to look not only at how plants defend themselves from disease but how those defense-related compounds could benefit humans. He says there are potential health benefits for people who consume grapes and grape products that have an abundance of these plant defense-associated compounds.
This research project received just under 900 thousand dollars from the Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund. Roger Beachy is President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis. He says it makes sense to do research on grapes that are native to Missouri because varieties like the Norton grape are well known for their heartiness and resistance to disease.
The next phase of the research project will involve a Missouri State University scientist examining how the defense-related compounds in grapes can provide pain management to people.
We've got a link on our website to information about Missouri State's Mountain Grove campus...just go to KSMU.org