Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman visited OMRF today.
Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, toured foundation laboratories and met with OMRF scientists. He was in Oklahoma to raise funds and support for his campaign.
At OMRF, he spoke with researchers about their work seeking new treatments for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He also spent time in OMRF’s research tower, a newly opened laboratory and clinical facility that will enable the foundation to expand its 500-person workforce and broaden its research and clinical initiatives.
“We must reignite the powerful job creating engine of our economy—the industry, innovation, reliability and trailblazing genius of Americans and their enterprises,” said Huntsman. “Medical research and biotechnology can be catalysts for these efforts.”
Huntsman spent time learning about the work of cardiovascular biologist Lijun Xia, M.D., Ph.D., and immunobiologist Weidong Wang, Ph.D. The former ambassador to China, Huntsman spoke to the researchers, both natives of China, in Mandarin Chinese.
“I never imagined I’d get to talk about my research with someone who might one day be president of the United States,” said Xia, who studies complex sugars and their roles in illnesses such as cancer and liver disease. “And if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed we’d be speaking Chinese.”