OKC Medical Briefs Sept. 29, 2004

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has received a $13.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the toxin that causes anthrax. This award is the largest in OMRF's 58- year history and the second-largest NIH grant in state history.

With this grant, which will pay $2.76 million a year through 2009, nine scientists will explore natural immune responses to the infectious agent that causes anthrax. Officials from OMRF said the ultimate goal of these studies is to help develop more effective vaccines, diagnostic tools and treatments for those infected with the potentially lethal pathogen.

With this grant, OMRF President J. Donald Capra will coordinate various projects that include examining the body's production of antibodies in response to anthrax infection; examining why the body's natural defense mechanisms fail to neutralize or inhibit the toxin that causes inhalation anthrax; developing treatments that prevent the spores from attacking cells in the body; investigating the use of activated protein C to treat anthrax; and studying ways to make vaccines for anthrax safer.

Capra said all forms of anthrax used in this project would be strains that are not harmful to humans.

Rose State receives gift

The Rose State College Foundation recently received an anonymous $10,000 gift to boost the college's dental hygiene program.

The funds were donated in memory of Jan Burnham, director of the RSC dental hygiene program from 1971-1976, and are designated for equipment upgrades and special needs of the program. Donations ensure the program keeps abreast of leading-edge technology to prepare students for employment.

This is the second gift to the program in memory of Burnham. The first provided $500 awards for two graduating dental hygiene students each spring.

Diabetes seminar offered

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center's diabetes center will sponsor a seminar featuring internationally recognized diabetes experts on Friday and Saturday at the Cox Convention Center.

Timothy J. Lyons, Warren professor of diabetes and chief of the Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the OU College of Medicine, will lead Diabetes Update 2004. This update will focus on prevention and management of the complications of diabetes and is designed for healt care professionals and researchers concerned with the care of people with diabetes. …