Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation celebrates 70 yearsPublished: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 By: Adam Cohen Source: NewsOK
In 1946, DNA was just a collection of letters. Genes were nicknames for those with the given name Eugene. And the first biotechnology company wouldn't be born for another three decades.
But in Oklahoma, a group of physicians and business leaders saw the potential that biomedical research held. Sunday marks the 70th anniversary of that moment, when Oklahoma's secretary of state granted a charter to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
“Oklahoma is a young state, so we're often relatively late to the dance when it comes to historic developments,” said Dr. Stephen Prescott, OMRF president. “But we were really on the cutting edge when it came to creating OMRF.”
To fund construction of OMRF, Gov. Roy J. Turner led a drive that spanned all 77 of the state's counties. The state's physicians organized one fundraising campaign, and pharmacists, dentists and nurses followed suit with their own efforts. When Turner declared a statewide “Research Week,” organizers held 137 meetings in 42 cities and towns during a seven-day period.