OMRF has named Rodger McEver, M.D., as Vice President of Research and Lijun Xia, M.D., Ph.D., as chair of the Cardiovascular Biology Research Program.
A native of Oklahoma City and graduate of John Marshall High School, McEver earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. He began doing research at OMRF in 1987 and joined the scientific staff full-time in 2002.
A cardiovascular biologist, McEver’s research focuses on how circulating blood cells attach to blood vessels at the sites of tissue injury or infection. He has headed OMRF’s Cardiovascular Biology Research Program since 2007, and his research has led to an experimental drug for the treatment of sickle cell disease that is currently undergoing clinical trials in patients.
For his work, McEver has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award and election as a Fellow of the American Heart Association.
McEver will succeed Paul Kincade, Ph.D., who is retiring from as Vice President of Research. Kincade joined OMRF in 1982 and has served as the foundation’s Vice President of Research since 2010. A noted immunologist, Kincade has served as President of both the American Association of Immunologists and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He is also the founding Scientific Director of the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research, a position he will continue to hold.
Xia will succeed McEver as chair of OMRF’s Cardiovascular Biology Program, which researches heart and blood disorders. Xia, who holds the Merrick Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research at OMRF, has been on OMRF’s scientific faculty for the past 14 years. His work has focused on a group of sugars known as O-glycans, yielding important information about fatty liver disease, cancer and other illnesses.
“Drs. McEver and Xia have proven themselves both as talented scientists and leaders at OMRF,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “I am confident they will both shine in their new roles.”