Don and Patti Leeman have donated $100,000 to OMRF. The couple, who live in Nichols Hills, own Leeman Minerals, an Oklahoma City oil and gas business.
“We’ve long known about the quality of OMRF’s research,” said Patti Leeman. “When we realized how little of the country’s resources go to battle Alzheimer’s disease, we wanted to do something that would make an impact.”
The funds were given through OMRF’s Discoveries Campaign and are designated for a new Alzheimer’s research center in the foundation’s new research tower. The tower is currently under construction and is slated to open in early 2011.
The Leemans visited OMRF Tuesday to meet with foundation officials and Dr. Jordan Tang, who discovered the enzyme believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. A treatment based on Tang’s work is currently undergoing human clinical trials.
“Research is where breakthroughs occur,” said Valerie Craig, Leeman’s daughter. “OMRF is aiming at the heart of Alzheimer’s disease and by directing this gift to the foundation, it keeps the money in Oklahoma.”
“The Leemans’ gift will help OMRF scientists continue to explore new paths for treating Alzheimer’s,” said Will Merrick, OMRF director of development. “It’s a devastating disease that affects 5 million Americans, and we can’t move forward fast enough.”
OMRF is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human diseases. Chartered in 1946, its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease.