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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation celebrates 68 years

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has grown into an internationally recognized institute since 1946.
By Shari Hawkins, For The Oklahoman Published: August 30, 2014

Thursday marked 68 years since Oklahoma’s secretary of state granted the charter of a new nonprofit institute: the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

But aside from a few birthday streamers and free cupcakes in the OMRF cafeteria, Thursday looked pretty much like any other at the Oklahoma City research institute.

“It was business as usual,” said President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “Which means that our scientists were working in their labs and clinics, searching for new ways to treat and prevent disease.”

What began as a two-person operation in 1946 has grown into an internationally recognized research institute. OMRF employs more than 400 staff members who study cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and diseases of aging. Their discoveries have yielded more than 600 U.S. and international patents and three life-saving drugs.

“OMRF has a long track record of transforming laboratory discoveries into treatments that impact patients’ lives,” said Prescott. “It’s what sets us apart from our peers, and it’s why we exist.”

But what also distinguishes OMRF, said Prescott, are its origins.

“Most other research institutes came about from the generosity of a single benefactor,” he said. “But OMRF is the child of an entire state.”

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