It was a day away from school, but not a day off from learning when students from Tulsa’s Edison Preparatory High School visited the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
About 40 students, part of Edison’s advanced science classes, spent Wednesday afternoon touring OMRF’s world-class facilities and got a closer look at the science that takes a closer look at us.
The connection between research and medical treatment became clear after a trip through OMRF’s clinic.
Edison junior Evan White, 17, said he was fascinated by the cooperation between lupus researchers and OMRF’s clinical pharmacology program, where patients participate in clinical trials of experimental lupus drugs.
“They were monitoring and treating patients in one room and just down the hall they’re studying the disease,” he said. “This is basically what I want to do with my life.”
The students, many from Advanced Placement Biology and Anatomy and Physiology classes, also got a look at OMRF’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging facility and the lab where researchers work with C elegans—tiny worms used by many scientists to study genetics.
Junior Hannah Jelley, 17, said OMRF’s mission of finding better treatments for disease is also her lifetime goal. “I want to be a doctor, but I also want to do some research,” she said.
Jelley was particularly intrigued by OMRF’s Fleming Scholar program, where high school and college students spend a summer working alongside OMRF researchers. “I’m looking at colleges right now, with an eye on medical schools, and the program would be a great opportunity to get some real-world lab experience before then.”
OMRF (omrf.org) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human disease. Chartered in 1946, its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease.