Oklahoma City, OK – Today U.S. Senator Don Nickles visited the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation for a tour of OMRF’s newly renovated Chapman Research Building and Pavilion.
During the tour, Senator Nickles met with OMRF president J. Donald Capra, M.D., and Jordan Tang, Ph.D., head of the Protein Studies Department. After a tour of the Molecular Immunogenetics laboratories, Dr. Tang showed Senator Nickles a three-dimensional crystal structure of memapsin 2, an enzyme scientists believe is responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tang and his team of researchers discovered the enzyme, whose cutting action creates a by-product which creates senile plaques and tangles in Alzheimer’s brains. The OMRF researchers then created an inhibitor – a chemical decoy – to stop the enzyme’s cutting action and stop Alzheimer’s disease at its genesis.
In addition, Nickles met with OMRF board members Dr. David Brown, Chairman of the Board, and H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, Chairman of OMRF’s “For the Future of Medical Research” capital campaign.
Senator Nickles is the Assistant Senate Majority Leader and a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care matters. A native of Ponca City, Nickles was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980.
Chartered in 1946, OMRF is a private, non-profit biomedical research institution which employs over 400 scientists, physicians, technicians, and administrative and support personnel, including Oklahoma’s only two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. OMRF focuses on several critical areas of research: Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, stroke, AIDS, children’s diseases and genetic disorders.
|Dr. David Brown (Chairman, OMRF Board of Directors), Senator Don Nickles, OMRF President Dr. J. Donald Capra and H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, (OMRF Board member and Chairman, comprehensive Campaign).|
|Senator Don Nickles, second from left, visits with technical assistant Joelle Zavzavadjian and OMRF President Dr. J. Donald Capra in a Molecular Immunology Research Program laboratory.|
|Dr. Jordan Tang explains the significance of the Alzheimer’s discovery made in his lab to Senator Don Nickles.|