Kikkoman Foods’ gift funds environmental health research

Kikkoman Foods has announced a $1 million gift to the School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) that supports ecosystem health research and clean water.

This gift, announced by Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary CEO and chairman of Kikkoman’s board of directors, honors the 40th anniversary of the opening of Kikkoman’s soy sauce plant in Walworth, Wis. It is the largest factory in the world producing naturally brewed soy sauce.

Part of the funding will allow the build-out of the Kikkoman Healthy Waters Environmental Health Laboratories. Totaling more than 4,500 square feet and located in the $53 million addition to the SFS, currently under construction, this suite of four labs will be home to the environmental health research conducted by the school.

Faculty in these labs and their research teams conduct fundamental and applied research in ecosystem health, pathogen detection and source tracking, environmental toxicology and environmental impacts on human health.

The gift will also allow the purchase of the latest in molecular assessment technologies. For the Great Lakes Genomics Center at SFS, the funding fulfills a challenge grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan to purchase a state-of-the-art DNA sequencer. In the aquatic chemistry lab, the gift matches funds provided by the UWM Graduate School to add a mass spectrometer.