Tulsa’s J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation has given OMRF a $1.7 million challenge grant. The funds, and all gifts matched through it, will be used for construction of a new $8.48 million Cardiovascular Center at OMRF.
The Center will be a part of OMRF’s research tower, an 8-story facility that will add 186,000 square feet of clinical and research space to OMRF’s campus. The Cardiovascular Center will occupy one floor of the tower and be home to the laboratories of 8 principal scientists and more than 40 research and support staff. Construction is due for completion by early 2011.
“For more than three decades, the Mabee Foundation has been a vital contributor to OMRF and helped us become one of the leading independent research institutes in the U.S.,” said OMRF President Dr. Stephen Prescott. “We are thrilled with this new challenge grant, and we will use it to find new ways to combat heart disease.”
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in American adults, claiming more than 600,000 lives each year. According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, heart disease is also Oklahoma’s leading killer of both men and women.
OMRF has established itself as an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of heart and blood research, with discoveries that have led to three life-saving therapies on the market today.
The Cardiovascular Center will be home to the labs of five long-time OMRF researchers and three recently recruited faculty members. The scientists will pursue a wide spectrum of projects, including investigation of the root causes of atherosclerosis, the build-up of fats in the lining of the arteries that can lead to stroke and heart attack. They will also focus on understanding and controlling blood vessel development, which is crucial to stopping cancer and cardiovascular disease.
OMRF has initiated a special fundraising campaign to raise the required matching funds for the Mabee challenge grant. All gifts toward the Center construction project received between now and Oct. 1 will be matched with Mabee funds.
“The Mabee Foundation has given Oklahomans a great opportunity to leverage their charitable dollars,” said OMRF Vice President of Development Penny Voss. “We hope it will give donors one more reason to join OMRF scientists in stopping Oklahoma’s number one killer.”
For more information about the Mabee challenge grant and the OMRF Cardiovascular Center campaign, go to www.omrf.org/mabee.