The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Kerr-McGee Corp. to establish the Kerr-McGee Biomedical Research Education Endowment at OMRF. The endowment will help fund a pair of educational programs — OMRF’s Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar Program and its Graduate Student Scholarship Program.
“Our sons and daughters shouldn’t have to leave Oklahoma to receive a top-flight science education,” said OMRF President J. Donald Capra, M.D. “Thanks to the generosity of Kerr-McGee, OMRF can now provide more of the state’s brightest young minds with a chance to flourish—right here in Oklahoma.”
Through its Fleming Scholar Program, OMRF offers Oklahoma high school and college students the chance to develop their research skills by working alongside some of the nation’s leading immunologists and cardiovascular biologists in OMRF’s labs. The eight-week program, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer, is named for the British scientist who discovered penicillin and in 1949 came to Oklahoma City to formally dedicate OMRF’s first building.
In partnership with the University of Oklahoma Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, OMRF’s Graduate Student Scholarship Program offers scholarships and mentoring for doctoral students. OMRF currently counts more than 30 Ph.D. students working toward their degrees under the mentorship of OMRF scientists. The students’ work covers a wide spectrum of research areas, from Alzheimer’s disease to the development of the immune system.
“Kerr-McGee is proud to actively support our community and educational programs that make our state a better place to live and work,” said Luke R. Corbett, Kerr-McGee chairman and chief executive officer. “We also are proud to support OMRF as it provides exceptional educational opportunities for students and ultimately hope for patients in need of a cure.”
Celebrating its 60th birthday in 2006, 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. It is home to Oklahoma’s only member of the National Academy of Sciences.