Foundation Gears Up for Scientific Research Lecture Series

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is preparing the second in a series of free public lectures demonstrating how scientific research results in new and more effective drugs, treatments and medical procedures.

Entitled "From Bench to Bedside: Biomedicine at the New Millennium," the lectures will feature nationally and internationally recognized biomedical research scientists on such topics as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, genetic and autoimmune diseases, diabetes and others.

Dr. Brian Sauer, the new head of OMRF's Developmental Biology Research Program, will present "Genetic Engineering: Clues to Human Disease" on April 29. One of the world's leading genetic engineers, the former National Institutes of Health scientist will discuss how learning the entire sequence of human DNA -- a large part of the Human Genome Project, which will be completed in a few years -- will help determine the basis of human genetic diseases and lead to the development of effective therapeutic remedies. The Developmental Biology Research Program is the first new research program at OMRF in more than a decade, and has been funded in part by a $3 million grant from the Noble Foundation of Ardmore. On May 13, Dr. Linda Thompson, a leader in cancer research and a scientific member of the Immunobiology and Cancer Research Program at OMRF, will present "Breakthrough Discoveries in Breast Cancer Research." She will center on how a new gene discovery in her laboratory is leading to potential new ways of assessing breast cancer risk and providing insight into developing new treatments. She will also talk about the importance of genes Her-2/neu and BRCA1 and 2 and how major advances are now being made in molecular biology in the study of breast cancer. Dr. Jordan Tang, the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research -- world renowned for his research on human proteins and important AIDS discoveries -- will present "AIDS: The Race for Treatment or Cure" on May 25. Tang will provide a world-view update on the disease, and look at new therapies that may emerge from current research, including his own discoveries. "The idea for this lecture series was conceived for two purposes," said Dr. J. Donald Capra, OMRF president. "One, so that the public can become more aware of the biomedical research activities going on in Oklahoma, and two, to give back in some small measure to the people throughout the state who have so generously given to OMRF over the years." All lectures will be presented at 4 p.m. in the Wileman Auditorium at OMRF, 825 NE 25th St. Founded in 1949 as a private, nonprofit biomedical research institute, the OMRF employs about 38 scientists and more than 350 scientific staff, administrative and other support personnel. People Dr. Robert A. Wild, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Oklahoma Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been named to the National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee on Research on Women's Health. Dr. Thomas R. Coughlin Jr. has been appointed medical director of Maxxon, the Tulsa company developing a one-handed disposable safety syringe with a retracting needle to prevent accidental needlestick injuries. Coughlin, a graduate of Seton Hall and the University of Rochester School of Medicine, came to Maxxon from serving as an associate of Dr. Bill Loughridge. Maxxon expects to have the initial pilot production run of its syringe in a few weeks. Business The Oklahoma State Department of Health has proposed new rules on such areas as body piercing, food service establishments, fee schedules for environmental health services, adult day care and nursing center pets, health maintenance organization physician review, hospice fees, continuum of care and assisted living center fees and Alzheimer's Disease disclosure rules. …