MRIGlobal is an independent, not-for-profit, contract research organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, with regional offices in Virginia, Maryland and Florida. In addition to its own research laboratories, MRIGlobal operates research facilities for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. MRIGlobal conducts programs in the areas of molecular diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance, therapeutics, engineering, mobile laboratories, CBRNE technology development and countermeasures, chemical testing facilities, real-time biosurveillance, national security and defense, energy and the environment, and agriculture and food safety. The purpose of MRIGlobal is to provide solutions through scientific research, technology development, and technical services for the benefit of government, industry, and the public. Founded in 1944 during World War II as Midwest Research Institute, the organizations initial mission was to find a way to convert the ammonium nitrate military ordnance plants in Galena, Kansas, Parsons, Kansas, DeSoto, Kansas and El Dorado, Arkansas to peaceful uses of creating fertilizer. Among the nine founders was Kenneth A. Spencer who would make a fortune from the Jayhawk Plant in Galena. Spencer would be chairman of the Institute from 1954 to 1957, and donated money for the Kenneth A. Spencer Laboratories Building and the Spencer Auditorium at MRIGlobal.