OMRF scientist Patrick Gaffney, M.D., has been named the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research.
As an endowed chair, Gaffney receives an annual stipend to fund innovative new research. The funds were most recently used to help find the genetic roots of a rare disease called Adams-Oliver Syndrome.
One of OMRF’s founders and greatest champions, J.G. Puterbaugh served as chairman of the board and president of the foundation from 1947 to 1950. Though he made his name and fortune in coal as owner of the McAlester Fuel Company in McAlester, Okla., Puterbaugh was equally known for his philanthropy and public service. In 1950, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
The Puterbaugh Foundation recently donated funds to purchase and install 18 Venger Wind Model 2 vertical turbines on top of OMRF’s new research tower.
“The Puterbaugh Foundation is very pleased that Dr. Gaffney has accepted the Puterbaugh Chair appointment,” said Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor, who serves as chairman of The Puterbaugh Foundation. “His medical research is exactly in keeping with the mission of The Puterbaugh Foundation. We know of no better investment of foundation funds than the work of OMRF in saving lives and making a difference. Oklahoma is becoming the center of the world in medical research, and Dr. Gaffney will keep that goal alive with his great work.”
Gaffney, a member of OMRF’s Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program, is an expert in the genetics of autoimmune diseases. His lab is the site of several genome-wide associations studies (or GWAS), which have expanded the understanding of genes associated with lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome.
Recently he partnered with scientists at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to study the genetic basis of rare diseases using a new process called exome sequencing.
“It is certainly an honor to be awarded the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Biomedical Research, the first endowed chair given at OMRF,” Gaffney said. “It is also an honor to be following in the footsteps of Dr. Jordan Tang, the previous chair holder for 31 years. With the support of The Puterbaugh Foundation, I’ll move my research in directions that would not otherwise be possible.”