Stowers Institute for Medical Research
1000 East 50th Street
Kansas City MO 64110
Stowers Institute Campus
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 926-4000
Fax 816- 926-2000
Mission Statement
Our Mission: To make a significant contribution to humanity through medical research by expanding our understanding of the secrets of life and by improving life's quality through innovative approaches to the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases.
CEO/Executive Director David M. Chao Ph.D.
Board Chair Mr. Richard W. Brown
Board Chair Company Affiliation Stowers Institute for Medical Research
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1994
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Hope Shares Endowment For Science   

  • The Stowers Institute accepts contributions to the Hope Shares Endowment, which helps grow our research programs and accelerate life-changing discoveries for the benefit of human health.
  • A tax-deductible contribution can be made in the donor's name or in memory or honor of someone they love.
  • Extraordinary gifts may be recognized with naming opportunities on our campus, or by associating the donor's name or the name of an honored individual, with a specific research project or lecture series. We also welcome interest in assisting the Institute through bequests, trusts or gifts of stock.
  • Contributions can be made by check or by a secure credit card donation online. Donors will receive a donor receipt from Network for Good on behalf of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. 

For more information please visit or contact:

Hope Shares Coordinator
No matter how large or small your gifts, you will be forever remembered for making possible the research that provides Hope for Life®.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Our Mission: To make a significant contribution to humanity through medical research by expanding our understanding of the secrets of life and by improving life's quality through innovative approaches to the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases.
Background Statement

In the early 1990s, Jim and Virginia Stowers realized that the mutual fund company Mr. Stowers had founded was making them wealthy far beyond their expectations. Motivated by a combination of their own experiences in surviving cancer (prostate and breast cancer, respectively) and their desire to give future generations better choices in the face of serious illness, the Stowers incorporated the Stowers Institute in 1994 to help humanity by supporting the basic research that promises long-term solutions to cancer and other gene-based diseases. The Stowers created a supporting endowment of $50 million, which through additional gifts and investment growth, have brought the value of the endowment to approximately $2 billion. Additionally, interested donors can support basic biomedical research through the Institute’s Hope Shares® Endowment.

The Institute has recruited distinguished laboratory leaders to pursue their research at the Stowers Institute. The Stowers Institute opened its doors on a 10-acre research campus in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri in November 2000. The $300 million facility houses laboratories, research support facilities and administrative services. The three-year renovation of the campus was financed by 40-year, tax-exempt medical research facilities revenue bonds. By 2010, the Institute housed 20 independent research programs and three technology development programs in bioinformatics, proteomics, and imaging. Stowers researchers hail from more than 20 countries, coming together each day to unravel the mysteries of human health.
Impact Statement

In 2018, the Institute continued its quest to improve human health through basic biomedical research and proudly reports another highly productive year. Members of the Institute made many important discoveries meriting publication in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals – 65 original research papers in all. Stowers Institute research teams also generated 36 other publications including reviews, commentaries, chapters, and books.

During 2018, Stowers scientists worked with the support of about 30 grants and fellowships from many different granting organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, March of Dimes, Hearing Health Foundation, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, and others. With new and recurring grant support, the Institute's external funding was more than $5.2 million in 2018, supplementing its endowment income and attesting to the high level of research productivity present at the Institute.
In the past 18 years, Stowers Investigators have made numerous pioneering contributions to our understanding of human health and continually pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge. Already the unique Stowers approach to science has produced landmark findings that mark the first step toward the development of drugs to treat osteoporosis, polycystic kidney disease, and childhood leukemia, among others.
Needs Statement The Institute has a need for additional endowed chairs, such as The Helen Nelson Distinguished Chair, established in 2005. The Chair is supported by the Helen Nelson Medical Research Fund, an endowment made possible by a bequest from the late Helen Nelson. Dr. Joan Conaway was appointed the first holder of the Nelson Chair. Funds from endowed chairs enable scientists to expand the scope of their existing research or to explore new directions or areas. 
Service Categories
Biomedicine & Bioengineering Research
Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases
Areas of Service
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement "When the Stowers Institute was under construction, Virginia and I would often visit the site. We were awed by the pace of the work and by the daily changes we witnessed. Today, as we walk the hallways of the Institute, those same feelings return. Stowers scientists are unraveling the mysteries of disease at a pace that surprises even us. From our earliest planning for the Institute, we were committed to offering scientists a unique environment for their work — one that relies on technology and collaboration to maximize scientific achievements. It is clear that this approach is succeeding. The Institute is recruiting esteemed principal investigators and publishing important data in peer-reviewed journals. Our dreams for the Stowers Institute are coming true. We are looking forward to more exciting scientific advancements from the gifted members who make up the Stowers Institute for Medical Research." - Co-Founder Jim Stowers, Jr. (1924-2014)
Description $Stowers scientists work in five to twenty-five member teams, each directed by a Principal Investigator (PI) of exceptional accomplishment and each studying fundamental questions of basic biomedical research.
Program Budget $82,267,000.00
Category Medical Research, General/Other Medical Genetics Research
Population Served People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Short-Term Success Short-term success is measured in terms of successfully recruiting leading researchers and consistently publishing important research results in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Long-Term Success The Stowers Institute conducts basic research aimed at understanding how the genes and proteins of multicellular organisms work. The Institute has focused its resources in this field of science because genes and their protein products determine the development and sustenance of normal life and hold the key to the origin of disease. The Institute’s long-term success will be defined by its contributions to the understanding of human health by discoveries that pave the way for the prevention, treatment, and curing of genetic disease.
Program Success Monitored By To ensure that the Stowers Institute meets its objective of conducting basic research of the highest quality, PIs are appointed with the approval of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which is made up of nine members of the National Academy of Sciences. The SAB works closely with Dave Chao, Ph.D., President and CEO, and Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., Scientific Director, to identify candidates who meet the rigorous scientific standards of the Stowers Institute. Additionally, at the end of each PI's six- to seven-year term, the SAB reviews his or her accomplishments and must unanimously approve renewal of his or her appointment in order for the PI to be retained.
Examples of Program Success

Stowers Institute scientists made substantial progress in 2018 as measured by discoveries published in leading scientific journals, by substantial peer-reviewed grant funding, and by the receipt of prestigious individual awards.

• Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, Ph.D., was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was selected to give the 2018 Stetten Lecture by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences
• Robert Krumlauf, Ph.D., was awarded the 2018 Edwin G. Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology
• Paul Trainor, Ph.D., was named a fellow of the American Association of Anatomists
• Sarah Zanders, Ph.D., was awarded a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, received a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and was named a 2018 Searle Scholar
• Nicolas Rohner, Ph.D., was the first Stowers researcher to receive a grant through the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation

CEO Comments The 18th full year of operations in Kansas City added to the distinctions achieved by scientists at the Stowers Institute. Institute scientists published 36 review articles, commentaries, chapters, and books; and 65 original research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director David M. Chao Ph.D.
Term Start July 2010
David M. Chao is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and Chief Executive Officer of BioMed Valley Discoveries, Inc, the organization responsible for the translation of the Institute’s basic biomedical discoveries into therapeutic applications. He was appointed President of the Stowers Institute in 2009 and added the role of Chief Executive Officer in July 2010. From 2008 to 2009, he was an Executive Vice President of the Stowers Institute. Dr. Chao worked previously as a licensing executive at Novartis, a co-founder and executive of two biotech start-ups and a consultant at McKinsey & Co. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a pre-doctoral fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also received a combined M.A. and B.A. in Biology from Harvard University.
Former CEOs
William B. Neaves Ph.D.June 2000 - June 2010
Senior Staff
Title Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Brent Kreider joins Stowers after serving as Vice President and Global Head of Scientific Operations at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he provided senior management oversight to scientific support functions at NIBR sites spread over North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Kreider received a B.S. in microbiology from Penn State University and a Ph.D., in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing postdoctoral studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, he held several positions at biotech companies, before joining NIBR as Director of Program Operations in Cardiovascular in 2004.

Title Scientific Director
Experience/Biography Dr. Krumlauf joined the Stowers Institute from England's National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, London, where he was head of the Division of Developmental Neurobiology. Dr. Krumlauf received a Ph.D. in developmental biology from Ohio State University. He is internationally known for his research discoveries involving the family of HOX genes that are responsible for brain development.
Title Executive Vice President of Administration
Mr. Satterlee is responsible for the administration of staffing, immigration, and member relations functions as well as recruitment and retention of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He joined the Stowers Institute in 2016 after serving in positions at two Kansas City area companies -- Missouri Bank (17 years) and Hallmark Cards, Inc (15 years). Mr. Satterlee received a B.A. degree in business administration and political science from Westminster College and a M.L.A. degree in philosophy from Baker University. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he completed a three-year program in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Wharton School Executive Leadership Program.
Title Chief Financial Officer
Experience/Biography Rod Sturgeon joined the Stowers Institute in Feb. 2007 from a position as Senior Vice President – Personal Expression Group Finance at Hallmark Cards, Inc. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Sturgeon is responsible for all financial operations for the Institute and its affiliated entities. He serves on the Kansas State University Business College Advisory Board, Community National Bank Board, and the Midwest Trust Board.
Title Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Experience/Biography David Welte was named the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Stowers Group of Companies on January 1, 2009. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Stowers Group of Companies and is a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to 2009, Mr. Welte spent nearly fifteen years serving as General Counsel for the Stowers Group of Companies, while in private practice. Previously, Mr. Welte was a partner at BryanCave, an international law firm, and at the Polsinelli law firm, which he co-founded and where he served as managing partner for fifteen years.
Paid Full-Time Staff 550
Paid Part-Time Staff 25
Paid Contractors 5
Volunteers 0
Retention Rate 87%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No

In 2018, Stowers scientists have collaborated with researchers at more than 100 national and more than 40 international institutions including dozens of hospitals, medical centers, and medical schools. Many of these collaborations resulted in discoveries that merited publication in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and/or successfully funded grant awards. Some examples of the Institute's collaborations included joint medical research in the following areas:

  • Characterization of intestinal stem cells — The Linheng Li Lab with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • Origins and treatment of orofacial clefting — The Paul Trainor Lab with the University of California Davis School of Medicine
  • Mechanisms of neurodegenerative amyloid diseases — The Kausik Si Lab with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Mechanisms underlying neuroblastoma development — The Paul Kulesa Lab with the University of Kansas Medical Center and University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • New approaches for treating leukemia — The Linheng Li Lab with Children's Mercy Hospital and University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • Action of cancer therapeutics on protein networks — The Michael Washburn Lab with University of Kansas Medical Center and University of Kansas Cancer Center
Kausik Si - Klingenstein Fellowship in the NeurosciencesEsther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund2008
Julia Zeitlinger - Pew ScholarPew Charitable Trust2008
Peter Baumann - Early Career InvestigatorHoward Hughes Medical Institute2009
Kausik Si - McKnight Scholar AwardMcKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience2009
Julia Zeitlinger - New Innovator AwardNational Institutes of Health2008
Linheng Li - Fellowship in Medical SciencesAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science2010
William Neaves - FellowAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences2011
R. Scott Hawley - Elected MemberNational Academy of Sciences2011
R. Scott Hawley - Excellence in Education AwardGenetics Society of America2009
Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado - InvestigatorHoward Hughes Medical Institute2005
Matt Gibson - Career Award in the Biomedical SciencesBurroughs Wellcome Fund2006
Jerry Workman - FellowAmerican Association of Arts and Sciences2013
R. Scott Hawley - George W. Beadle AwardGenetics Society of America2012
Peter Baumann - Howard Hughes Medical Institute InvestigatorHoward Hughes Medical Institute2013
Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado - FellowAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences2015
Jennifer Gerton - Center for ExcellenceCornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation2014
Robert Krumlauf - Elected MemberNational Academy of Sciences2015
R. Scott Hawley - Research Service AwardAmerican Cancer Society2015
Sue Jaspersen - FellowAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science2016
Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado - Elected MemberLatin American Academy of Sciences2017
Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado - Elected MemberNational Academy of Sciences2018
Paul Trainor - FellowAmerican Association of Anatomists2018
Robert Krumlauf - Edwin G. Conklin MedalSociety for Developmental Biology2018
Diana Baumann - George R. Collins Education and Training AwardAmerican Association for Laboratory Animal Science2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments Jim and Virginia Stowers articulated a clear vision for the Stowers Institute more than a decade ago: it would improve human health by conducting basic biomedical research of high quality and fundamental importance – research that would point the way to more effective means of preventing and treating disease. Eighteen years later, evidence shows how well this vision has guided the Institute’s growth to date. With increasing momentum, discoveries are emerging from the Institute’s labs that may lead to cures for diseases that cause much human suffering.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Richard Brown
Company Affiliation Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Term Jan 2004 to Jan 2020
Board Members
Richard W. BrownStowers Institute for Medical Research
David ChaoStowers Institute for Medical Research
Abby FreemanStowers Institute for Medical Research
Robert KrumlaufStowers Institute for Medical Research
Virginia Stowers
Roderick SturgeonStowers Institute for Medical Research
Jonathan ThomasAmerican Century Investments
David WelteStowers Institute for Medical Research
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Standing Committees
CEO Comments Jim and Virginia Stowers articulated a clear vision for the Stowers Institute more than a decade ago: it would improve human health by conducting basic biomedical research of high quality and fundamental importance – research that would point the way to more effective means of preventing and treating disease. Eighteen years later, evidence shows how well this vision has guided the Institute’s growth to date. With increasing momentum, discoveries are emerging from the Institute’s labs that may lead to cures for diseases that cause much human suffering.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $114,000,000
Projected Expenses $136,000,000
Endowment Value $1,483,000,000
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990's for SIMR and SRM, along with organization's audited financial statements.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$3,335,213$4,477,124
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$77,542,275$1,002,150$377,075
Membership Dues--$0$0
Special Events--$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$61,514,383$55,213,530$173,283,450
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$184,797,536$68,954,154$67,167,319
Administration Expense$12,137,270$6,680,936$7,082,027
Fundraising Expense$691,548$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.870.802.42
Program Expense/Total Expenses94%91%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,973,340,356$361,530,633$390,227,160
Current Assets$112,088,975$113,329,028$129,173,493
Long-Term Liabilities$223,932,481$115,222,801$128,409,997
Current Liabilities$304,814,103$7,339,611$7,232,716
Total Net Assets$1,444,593,772$238,968,221$254,584,447
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.3715.4417.86
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets11%32%33%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments The reported endowment value reflects the combined endowments of all entities affiliated with the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
Other Documents
Stowers Report2018View
Stowers Report - Spring/Summer2017View
Stowers Report - Fall/Winter2017View
Stowers Report - Spring/Summer2016View
Stowers Report - Fall/Winter2016View
Organization Name Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Address 1000 East 50th Street
Kansas City, MO 64110
Primary Phone (816) 926-4000
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director David M. Chao Ph.D.
Board Chair Mr. Richard W. Brown
Board Chair Company Affiliation Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Year of Incorporation 1994