At its annual honors and awards banquet this evening, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will name a pair of scientists as endowed chairs and add two new members to its board of directors.
Xiao-Hong Sun, Ph.D., will be installed as the Eli Lilly Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research, while Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D., will become the W.H. and Betty Phelps Chair in Developmental Biology. Joining the board of directors will be William Hawley, M.D., of Oklahoma City and Bretton Jameson, M.D., of Stillwater.
Sun received her Ph.D. from Cornell University and came to OMRF in 1999 from New York University, where she was an associate professor. A molecular biologist, Sun studies the formation of blood cells and vessels, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying leukemia.
Gorbsky heads OMRF’s Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Research Program. formerly a professor at the University of Virginia Medical School and, later, at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, his research focuses on the study of cell division in normal cells and how aberrations in the process contribute to cancer. Gorbsky earned his doctorate at Princeton University.
Hawley and Jameson will join a board of directors that is chaired by Len Cason and counts almost 100 members from across the state. Both new board members are physicians.
Hawley, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, chaired the department of cardiothoracic surgery at Integris Health in Oklahoma City for a decade. During that time, he also served as senior and managing partner of Oklahoma Cardiovascular Surgery Associates. he recently completed his term as president of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
Jameson, who also earned his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, is an orthopedic surgeon in Stillwater.
Also at the dinner, OMRF cardiovascular biologist Kevin Moore, M.D., will be named Fred Jones Distinguished Scientist. X. Cai Zhang, Ph.D., an X-ray crystallographer, will become OMRF’s S. Graham Smith Distinguished Scientist. OMRF President J. Donald Capra, M.D., will present the President’s Service Award to Lisa Day, OMRF’s director of government affairs.
The dinner will be capped by a presentation from Jeanne Morgan, Ph.D., an Oklahoma City clinical psychologist whose life was saved when she was treated for a deadly blood infection with Xigris, a drug that has its roots in the OMRF laboratories of Fletcher Taylor, M.D., and Charles Esmon, Ph.D.
“This evening gives us the chance to welcome new members to the OMRF family and celebrate the excellence of our scientists,” said OMRF President Capra. “It is always a high point of our year.”
Chartered in 1946, 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, lupus and cardiovascular disease. OMRF is home to Oklahoma’s only member of the National Academy of Sciences.