At its semiannual board meeting yesterday, OMRF named Walt Duncan IV to its board of directors and honored three long-time directors.
Duncan, of Oklahoma City, is president of Duncan Oil Properties, and independent oil and gas exploration and production company. He has served on the boards of the Citizens League of Central Oklahoma and Calm Waters and currently serves on the board of the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.
OMRF also named Libby Blankenship, Gene Rainbolt and Bill Swisher, all of Oklahoma City, as life directors for their service on OMRF’s board. Each has served as an OMRF director for more than 30 years and made important commitments to the organization.
H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, chairman of BancFirst Corporation, has served on OMRF’s board of directors since 1970. From 1999 through 2004, he chaired OMRF’s “For the Future of Medical Research” fundraising campaign, which raised $101 million, He received the foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and in 2007, Rainbolt and his family gave a $1 million gift to OMRF to endow a chair in cancer research in honor of his late wife, Jeannine.
Blankenship, a community volunteer and philanthropist, has served on OMRF’s board of directors since 1980. As part of her service, she was a member of OMRF’s development, executive and investment committees. She and her husband, G.T., have been long-time supporters of OMRF’s Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar program, which trains high school and college students for careers in research and medicine.
Swisher, chairman emeritus of CMI, has served on OMRF’s executive and conflict-of-interest committees since joining OMRF’s board 35 years ago. His support of OMRF spin-off company InterGenetics was instrumental in making a risk assessment test for breast cancer available in clinics throughout the US.
“Gene Rainbolt, Libby Blankenship and Bill Swisher have all played pivotal roles in guiding and supporting OMRF,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, MD. “Each of them has devoted their talents and time to this foundation, and OMRF is a better place because of their service.”
Also at the meeting, OMRF’s scientific advisory board presented its evaluation of the Cardiovascular Biology Research Program. Comprised of six noted researchers from around the U.S., the board meets annually to conduct a thorough review of one of the foundation’s research programs.
Research in the Cardiovascular Biology program focuses on blood coagulation, atherosclerosis and the supplying of blood to cells, a process that is central not only to heart disease but also to cancer and a variety of other illnesses. Rodger McEver, M.D., chairs the program.
“This program is doing world-class research to understand the function of vascular biology,” said scientific advisory chair William Brinkley, Ph.D., who serves as Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. “These scientists are making new findings using the latest technology, from cellular biology to crystallography. I came away from this review extremely excited about the potential here.”