Pretty big news came recently from Oklahoma's growing scientific research community. No surprise, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation was at the heart of it.
Since 1946, the scientists and researchers at OMRF have worked, as its mission statement says, “So that more may live longer, healthier lives.” These men and women spend their time trying to crack the body's complicated codes in an effort to tackle such things as cardiovascular disease, lupus, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
To that end, OMRF scientists will partner for the first time with doctors at the University of Oklahoma's Stephenson Cancer Center on the first phase of clinical trials to treat glioblastomas, the most aggressive type of primary brain tumors. An experimental treatment developed at OMRF will be used by doctors at the cancer center, providing for a wonderful local collaboration that might one day produce a cure for these deadly tumors.
Discoveries at OMRF led to a treatment for a blood infection that kills 200,000 Americans annually. OMRF researchers discovered the enzyme believed responsible for Alzheimer's; an experimental drug to treat the disease is undergoing human clinical trials. The National Institutes of Health named OMRF one of just nine “autoimmunity centers of excellence” for its work on lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. With 700-plus U.S. and international patents, OMRF is among the national leaders in patents per scientist.
As an independent, nonprofit institute, OMRF gets about half its budget from competitive federal grants awarded to its researchers. A charitable trust helps fund administrative expenses, which means all donations to OMRF go toward scientific research.
Scientists and researchers come from around the globe to work at OMRF, and like it. For the past three years, it's been named one of the 20 “Best Places to Work in Academia” by The Scientist magazine.
Oklahoma City has been lucky to have OMRF for nearly 70 years. Here's to another 70, and then some!