Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a global vision to improve the human condition. Research at the Danforth Center strives to enhance the nutritional content of plants to improve human health, increase agricultural production to create a sustainable food supply, and decrease dependency on petroleum to preserve the environment.

The Danforth Center was founded in 1998 through gifts from the St. Louis-based Danforth Foundation, the Monsanto Fund (a philanthropic foundation), and a tax credit from the State of Missouri. Among the distinct features of the Center is the unique and innovative alliance joining the Danforth Center in collaborative research with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Monsanto Company, Purdue University, and Washington University in St. Louis.


Located in Creve Coeur, Missouri, a suburb of Saint Louis, the Danforth Center is situated near the Monsanto Company, Washington University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Because fifty percent of U.S. agriculture is located within a 500 mile radius of Saint Louis, the Danforth Center is well placed as a hub of plant science research.

Facilities and Specialization

The Danforth Center building opened in October 2001 and houses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment including those required for protein crystallography, proteomics and mass spectrometry, microscopy and imaging of live cells, cell and tissue culture, and for control and maintenance of plants.


Research team leaders, referred to as Principal Investigators, have strong interdisciplinary research skills with diverse training and are committed to collaborations between research groups within the Danforth Center, among the Danforth Center Alliance, as well as with other researchers across the globe.

Research at the Center is organized around four research focus areas to efficiently deliver plant science solutions to meet the global needs of agriculture and human health and nutrition. These four areas include: developing new materials and products in plants; enriching the nutritional value of foods; adapting plants for environmental stresses; and controlling plants pests and pathogens.

AWARD Fellowships

Since 1999 the Danforth Center has offered training to more than 50 scientists from 22 countries around the world and hosted MS and PhD students from regional, national, and international institutions. Opportunities for three to nine month research placements are available in the fields of biochemistry and plant cell culture, with specialized training in plant metabolism, gene expression, and transformation. The initial contact person for AWARD research placements is Dr. Paul Anderson, Executive Director of the Danforth Center’s International Programs. After the AWARD fellow has been identified and assigned to a laboratory, the research scientist will be the primary focal point for communications and coordination.

AWARD fellows will be expected to provide monthly summaries of progress and a written summary of achievements at the end of the placement. These achievements should also be the focus of a seminar presented to the Danforth Center community at large. If appropriate, the research scientists who oversee the placements will offer assistance in the development of papers for publication.



%d bloggers like this: