The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation welcomed members of The Oklahoma Nonagenarian Society this month for a talk and tour of the Oklahoma City nonprofit biomedical research institute.
The society was founded by longtime OMRF board member H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt. His goal was to encourage Oklahomans between the ages of 90 and 99 to learn from physicians and scientists about current medical research at OMRF and the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center.
“OMRF and Stephenson are two internationally recognized institutions who do groundbreaking work and have made a tremendous impact on Oklahoma,” said Rainbolt, who is 93. “My ambition with this society is for people in this age group to get together, participate, learn and support the research being done to help us all live longer and healthier lives.”
At the meeting, OMRF cancer researcher Jake Kirkland, Ph.D., shared his work on how DNA determines whether certain chemotherapies are effective in each person. This knowledge may someday help doctors use genetics to identify personalized treatment for individuals with cancer. Attendees also met with OMRF scientist Scott Plafker, Ph.D., whose work focuses on nutrition and vision loss.
“I take notes and pay close attention so I can go home and learn more about it,” said nonagenarian June Parry, who, alongside husband William Parry, joined the society at its inception in 2019. “My husband is 98 and I’m 96, so we like to know what’s going on.”
The society has 68 members. Those who attended the meeting included Kay Goebel, Mary Frances Michaelis, Paul Odom Jr., William and June Parry, Joe Dan Trigg Sr., and Coler and Joan Yoakam.
For more information on membership to The Oklahoma Nonagenarian Society, contact OMRF at 405-271-7400.