The excursion to St. Louis was an unforgettable experience. Between the generous hospitality of the McKearn Family and the informative explanations of the booming BioTechnology industry, there was never a dull moment. The first night we arrived we visted the McKearn’s beautiful home and had St. Louis specialties. This included, various Italian dishes, butter cake and locally brewed root beer. Throughout the evening we were provided with may opportunities to talk about our research projects and get to know Cassandra and John better as well. The next morning we went on a tour of the Danforth Center, which is a premier plant engineering facility. The Danforth Center is attempting to fight not only world-wide hunger but to improve sustainability and increase production yields as well. After this we had a wonderful lunch and we were off to the BioGenerator. Similar to RiverVest the BioGenerator invests in companies who are developing various products in the BioMedical, pharmaseutical and BioTechnology fields. The BioGenerator normally invests earlier on than most Venture Capitol firms. They however still make an average of 19 dollars for every one dollar they invest. After the tours we went to the alumni reception and Cardinals Game at Busch Stadium. It was an amazingly hot day, but Busch Stadium was alive with the spirit of St. Louis.

I was primarily nervous to meet the McKearns themselves. But after only a few minutes I felt relaxed and at ease in their home. I was also most excited to meet the McKearns so I could finally express all my gratitude for everything they have provided to me personally and this University.

I want to thank the McKearns, Joe Matty, Dr. Birberick, Dr. Freeman and Jason Goode, for making this wonderful weekend a reality.

Keep Calm and Research On!