Research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) will receive a major boost with a $6 million gift from Eli Lilly and Company. OMRF will use the gift from the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company to create a pair of endowed faculty chairs – the Eli Lilly Chairs in Biomedical Research.
For more than two decades, Lilly and OMRF have worked together researching blood and cardiovascular diseases. The collaboration focused on finding a cure for sepsis, a life-threatening blood disease that claims 1,400 lives every day. In 2001, Lilly’s drug Xigris became the first and only FDA-approved treatment for adult severe sepsis patients who are at a high risk of death.
“This gift is an extraordinary investment in OMRF and in medical research,” said OMRF President J. Donald Capra, M.D. “Lilly and OMRF have enjoyed a long and successful partnership, and we are deeply grateful to Lilly for its generous support of OMRF’s efforts to recruit and retain world-class scientists.”
At its annual honors and awards dinner later this month, OMRF will install Rodger McEver, M.D., as one of the Eli Lilly Chairs. McEver’s research focuses on diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular system, including heart attack, thrombosis, stroke, sepsis and hemophilia. OMRF has not yet determined who will occupy the other chair, which will be the 14th endowed chair at the foundation.
“Lilly’s collaboration with OMRF has yielded many important discoveries during the more than 20 years we have worked together,” said J. Anthony Ware, M.D., Lilly’s Vice President for Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Investigation. “This gift salutes our teamwork, and we are confident it will help find treatments and cures for some of today’s most challenging medical problems.”
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.
OMRF (www.omrf.org) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and curing human disease. Its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. OMRF is home to Oklahoma’s only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and only member of the National Academy of Sciences in the area of biomedical research.