Oklahoma City, OK – Despite the wintry weather, OMRF held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony to mark the construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Genetic Research. The center, funded in part by a $5 million grant by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, will help scientists develop a clearer understanding of DNA. The event, held inside the foyer of the William H. Bell Building, included a ribbon cutting ceremony, which was substituted for the traditional groundbreaking because of inclement weather.
OMRF President J. Donald Capra opened with remarks, calling the newest center at OMRF “a key component in our ability to conduct cutting-edge research.” Capra continued, saying that “developing a clearer understanding of DNA, we will acquire a better understanding of human disease and the factors involved in the regulation of gene expression.”
Other speakers included H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, who serves on the OMRF Board as Chairman of the “For the Future of Medical Research” campaign, Linda Lambert, representing the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, and Dr. Jordan Tang, on behalf of OMRF’s scientific staff.
The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Genetic Research will be built as a separate institute, but will join both the Bell and Massman Buildings, which currently stand as separate structures. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Mr. Reynolds was the founder and principal owner of the Donrey Media Group, which he started in 1940 with the purchase of the Okmulgee Daily (OK) Times and the Southwest (AR) Times Record.
At the time of Mr. Reynolds’ death in 1993, his organization had grown to include 52 daily newspapers, 10 outdoor advertising companies, five cable television companies and one television station. The sale of the Donrey Media Group in 1993 provided for the Foundation’s endowment, making it one of the largest private foundations in the United States. It is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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.
|OMRF President Dr. J. Donald Capra, Reynolds Foundation Trustee Linda Lambert and OMRF Board member H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt pose for the “groundbreaking” for the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Genetic Research. The ceremony was moved indoors due to inclement weather.|
|Reynolds Foundation Trustee Linda Lambert cuts the ribbon to officially signify the commencement of construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Genetic Research. Ms. Lambert was assisted by OMRF President Dr. J. Donald Capra and OMRF Board member H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt.|
|Reynolds Foundation Trustee Linda Lambert addresses the crowd.|
|Dr. Jordan Tang, J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research, Dr. Brian Sauer and Dr. Paul Kincade, William H. and Rita Bell Chair in Biomedical Research, after the groundbreaking ceremony.|