Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Nima.JPG

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute. Established in 1946, OMRF is dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human disease. Stephen M. Prescott[1] serves as president of OMRF, which employs more than 500 scientific and administrative staff members.

OMRF’s scientists, who include a member of the National Academy of Sciences, hold more than 700 U.S. and international patents and have spun off 11 biotech companies. Discoveries at OMRF led to Xigris, the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of severe sepsis, and Ceprotin, a therapy for people suffering from a rare and life-threatening blood disorder known as protein C deficiency. Research at OMRF also identified the enzyme believed responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and laid the groundwork for OncoVue,[2] a breast cancer risk assessment test.

History[edit]

OMRF was chartered in 1946. The next year, Oklahoma Gov. Roy J. Turner launched a fund drive for OMRF that spanned all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties. By May 1949, 7,000 Oklahomans had donated and pledged $2.35 million, and construction of OMRF began.

In the summer of 1949, Sir Alexander Fleming made his first visit to the United States to dedicate OMRF’s yet-to-be-completed building. An estimated 2,500 people attended the ceremonies on July 4 of that year, where Fleming pronounced the future "bright" for what was then, in the Nobel laureate’s words, "just a big hole in the ground."

OMRF opened its doors on Dec. 17, 1950. Since that time, OMRF has grown from 5 principal scientists to 50, and its staff has grown from roughly two dozen employees to more than 500. Securing more than $30 million annually in competitive research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other granting agencies, OMRF is a member of the Association of Independent Research Institutes.[3] Its scientists focus on research in the areas of immunology, cardiovascular biology and diseases of aging.

Research[edit]

Alzheimer’s and Brain Diseases[edit]

In 2000, Jordan J.N. Tang[4] and colleagues created an inhibitor that, in vitro, stopped the enzyme thought to cause Alzheimer's disease. The biotechnology company CoMentis[5] has since built on that discovery to create an experimental drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. In 2007, Tang uncovered a molecular mechanism that links an Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene (known as E4) to the process of disease onset. In OMRF’s free radical biology and aging research program, Robert A. Floyd[6] leads a team of scientists who focus on the mechanisms that cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Parkinson's disease, Huntington's Huntington's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Cancer and Immunobiology[edit]

Technology developed in the laboratories of Eldon Jupe[7] and Linda F. Thompson[8] led to the creation of a test for assessing breast cancer risk in women. Marketed as OncoVue, the test is produced by Intergenetics, Inc.,[9] and available in clinics the U.S. Paul W. Kincade[10] leads a group of immunologists in the study of the causes of lymphomas, leukemias and myelomas. With a research-grade magnetic resonance imaging facility, OMRF scientists are developing methods of using MRI to speed the process of identifying and treating brain, liver and bladder cancers. In 2006, molecular biologist Gary J. Gorbsky[11] and his lab were the first to reverse the process of cell division, a discovery detailed in the journal Nature that may have implications for the prevention and treatment of cancer and birth defects.

Heart and Blood Diseases[edit]

Led by Rodger P. McEver[12] and Charles T. Esmon[13] OMRF’s cardiovascular biology research program works to pinpoint the origins of cardiovascular disease. Esmon’s research has led to the development of two FDA-approved drugs: Xigris, a treatment for severe sepsis (blood poisoning), and Ceprotin, a therapy for children suffering from life-threatening blood-clotting complications.

Lupus and Autoimmune Diseases[edit]

OMRF’s largest research program is dedicated to the study and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases Autoimmune disease. Led by physician-researchers Judith A. James[14] Robert Scofield[15] and Morris Reichlin[16] this group has identified antibodies that appear in the blood years before the clinical onset of lupus. They also are studying the role a common virus may play in triggering lupus. Their work led the National Institutes of Health to establish the Lupus Family Registry and Repository[17] at OMRF. The LFRR is a resource that scientists worldwide can use in their own lupus research. The collection includes DNA, sera, plasma, and data from systemic lupus patients, first degree relatives, and healthy volunteers. Study participation involves completing paperwork and donating a one-time blood sample.

Education programs[edit]

In 1956, OMRF established its Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar Program,[18] a summer research training program for Oklahoma high school and college students. Since then, more than 400 students have been named Fleming Scholars. OMRF’s Foundation Scholar Program[19] provides Oklahoma’s high school science teachers with novel tools and instructional techniques to take back to their classrooms. Founded in 1988, the program has since trained more than 75 educators. Many laboratories at OMRF also provide the training ground for graduate and postdoctoral students through fellowships, as well as M.D./Ph.D.,[20] graduate,[21] and post-baccalaureate research programs.[22]

Core facilities[edit]

OMRF maintains numerous core facilities, including:

  • A 7-tesla MRI,[23] which uses a 10,000-pound magnet to generate a magnetic field that is 140,000 times stronger than the earth’s and allows researchers to study the cells and organs of genetically engineered living mice and rats at microscopic levels without harming the animals;
  • BIACore[24] to measure affinity and binding kinetics of macromolecular interactions;
  • DNA Sequencing,[25] with the daily capacity to run 90 sequences;
  • Flow Cytometry,[26] with three instruments: the FACScan and FACSCalibur cytometers, capable of three and four color fluorescence analyses, and the MoFlo cytometer capable of high throughput cell sorting.;
  • Imaging,[27] to assist researchers with imaging needs ranging from basic light and electron microscopy to digital image processing and analysis;
  • In Situ Hybridization,[28] including tissue sectioning, slide mounting, and hybridization histochemistry;
  • Mouse Genome Manipulation Facility,[29] providing microinjection services of DNA into zygotes for the generation of transgenic mice, and of ES cells into blastocysts for the generation of knockout mice;
  • Molecular Biology Resource Facility, for protein and peptide sequencing and mass spectrometry analysis; and
  • Signal Transduction Core,[30] to assist research involving intracellular Ca2+ measurements and protein-protein interactions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prescott, Stephen M.". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. 
  2. ^ "Not found". Intergenetics Inc. Archived from the original on April 26, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  3. ^ "AIRI". Association of Independent Research Institutes. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Tang, Jordan J.N.". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. 
  5. ^ "Comentis Home". Comentis, Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  7. ^ "Not found". Intergenetics, Inc. 
  8. ^ "Thompson, Linda F.". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. 
  9. ^ "Not found". Intergenetics, Inc. Archived from the original on February 13, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  10. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on January 14, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  11. ^ "Gorbsky, Gary J.". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. 
  12. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  13. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on January 15, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  14. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  15. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on June 23, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  16. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  17. ^ "Lupus Family Registry and Repository". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  18. ^ "Fleming Scholar Program". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  19. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  20. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  21. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  22. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  23. ^ "Not found". Unknown. Archived from the original on December 18, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  24. ^ "BIACore". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  25. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  26. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  27. ^ "Imaging Core Facility". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  28. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on May 23, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  29. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  30. ^ "Not found". Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°28′58″N 97°29′50″W / 35.48278°N 97.49722°W / 35.48278; -97.49722