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Program Director, NextGen MURR

University of Missouri - Columbia
Missouri, United States
Salary Not specified
Start date
Nov 30, 2023

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Health & Medicine, Medicine
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

University of Missouri – Columbia
Program Director, NextGen MURR

The University of Missouri – Columbia (MU) recently announced a transformational initiative to build a one-of-a-kind, brand new research reactor that will expand critical cancer-fighting research, medical isotope production, and nuclear science research programs – the NextGen MURR. This industry-changing project will build upon the internationally recognized excellence of the existing MU Research Reactor (MURR), which is already a leader in developing and producing nuclear medicine isotopes, a capability unrivalled anywhere else in the nation. The University of Missouri is seeking a collaborative and visionary leader to serve as the inaugural Program Director of NextGen MURR initiative to realize the University's bold vision and execute its plans. Applications, inquiries and nominations are invited.

For more than 50 years, the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) has operated reliably and is universally respected as a leader in producing medical isotopes for use in nuclear medicine and research. The University of Missouri is expanding its leadership in the field with the NextGen MURR initiative, which will ensure a domestic supply of critical radioisotopes for U.S. patients in the future.

MU is uniquely positioned to construct the new reactor and the time to do so is now. MURR's around-the-clock operation makes it a top choice for global radiopharmaceutical companies, particularly since short-lived radioisotopes cannot be stockpiled and any supply stoppage immediately impacts patients. Also, top physicians and radiopharmaceutical researchers have and continue to join MU because of the world-class capabilities of MURR, NextGen Precision Health, the academic health care system and the university's schools and colleges of medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture, engineering and arts and science. The University of Missouri has a proven combination of people, experience, and infrastructure to operate and maximize the potential of a high-performance reactor for research and isotope production.

NextGen MURR is foreseen as an approximately 20 MW research reactor providing a world-class environment for education, research, development, and realization of major advances in nuclear science, medicine and engineering. It will be specifically designed and constructed to produce critical short-lived medical radioisotopes for use in diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and to support ongoing research and education programs at the University of Missouri. NextGen MURR's planned design, higher power and isotope production capacity will ensure national security of supply for existing health care products and serve as a reliable research platform for innovation of new cancer drugs and nuclear sciences innovations.

Since August 2022, a 12-member committee has collaborated on a roadmap to launch NextGen MURR. Its primary recommendation is to hire a program director to oversee this ambitious project, estimated to cost in the order of $1B and take approximately 8 to 10 years to complete. Reporting to the executive director of MURR and working closely with the university president and a majority of the university's executive cabinet across research, healthcare and more, the program director of NextGen MURR will provide leadership and vision to further develop and successfully execute the university's plan to build the NextGen MURR. The program director will work collaboratively with the MURR executive director and leadership team as well as the Core Executive Team – consisting of the president, vice president for strategic initiatives and the chief financial officer – to advance the project and ensure the new reactor gets built on time and within budget. They will also partner closely with a strategic advisory board of academic, government and industry leaders. The program director will represent and build extensive relationships on behalf of NextGen MURR with myriad individuals and stakeholder groups at the campus, local, state and national levels.

The program director will have the opportunity to build a core leadership team to help oversee the construction management of the project as well as the communications and external engagement plan. Working in close collaboration with the soon to be selected contractor, the program director and their team will oversee the conceptual design of the new reactor as well as a sustainable business plan and funding model for the initiative and for the reactor.

The successful candidate will have a record of substantive and progressively responsible leadership in a complex organization. Superior project management skills, especially in capital construction projects that require deliverables within a tight timeline and budget are also a requirement. The program director must also be a skilled communicator as they will serve as the primary spokesperson for NextGen MURR. An advanced degree in the sciences is preferred.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the leadership profile.

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Missouri in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 22, 2024.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Jessica Herrington, Suzanne Teer and Sarah Seavey at

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.

The University of Missouri is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. To request ADA accommodations, please contact our ADA Coordinator at (573) 884-7278 (V/TTY). Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


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