New Source Energy dedicates cancer lab at OMRF

On Tuesday, officials with New Source Energy visited OMRF to formally dedicate a new cancer research laboratory. The lab, named the New Source Energy Laboratory, was funded through a gift from New Source Energy Corporation of $1 million to OMRF.

“Oklahoma City is gaining traction nationwide as a city heavily supporting and investing in the medical arena,” said New Source Chairman and Senior Geologist David Chernicky. “We see OMRF as a leader in the industry.”

The gift is part of OMRF’s $12 million cancer campaign, which will help expand the foundation’s research staff and update labs and equipment focused on advancing cancer research.

“New Source wants to support OMRF and the hope it brings to those affected by disease,” said Kristian Kos, New Source President and Chief Executive Officer. “The ground-breaking research conducted at this facility is of vital importance and benefit to possible future treatments and cures.”

“We still have a lot to learn about cancer and how it works,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott. “This generous gift from New Source will help OMRF focus on developing novel approaches to cancer treatment and management. It allows us to remodel some outdated labs and will help us recruit some of the country’s best cancer researchers to join OMRF’s expanding cancer team.”

New Source guests attending were Kristian and Debra Kos.

During the visit, New Source representatives visited with David Jones, Ph.D., chair of OMRF’s Immunobiology and Cancer Research Program, whose research team is housed in the new laboratory. Jones, who came to Oklahoma from the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute in July, is building OMRF’s cancer research program and recruiting scientists who will transform discoveries into working therapies for the disease.

“This gift really gives us flexibility to expand our studies on personalized medicine,” said Jones, who holds the Jeannine Tuttle Rainbolt Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at OMRF and also serves as Deputy Director for Translational Research at the University of Oklahoma’s Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center. “We are excited to move forward on a number of projects that will allow us to tailor treatments to the specific causes of cancer.”

Jones and his colleagues explore cancer in entirely new ways, focusing on the genetic and molecular mechanisms that trigger the disease, on “rehabilitating” cancer cells and redirecting them toward a less harmful path.

Over the last 30 years, OMRF has established a nationally recognized research program in the field of immunobiology and cancer. OMRF researchers have made important contributions to scientists’ and physicians’ understanding of the development and function of cells in the immune system and shed light on errors in the process that lead to cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas. Under Jones’ leadership, the program will examine the molecular pathways that cause colon cancer and develop strategies for altering these pathways to prevent or treat this and other cancers. With a concentration on translational research, he and his colleagues will focus on transforming new ideas derived from laboratory experiments into cancer treatments for patients.