Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation presents awardsPublished: Friday, April 13, 2018 By: Staff Reports Source: NewsOK
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation presented Christy Everest with its Board of Directors Distinguished Service Award at its annual honors and awards ceremony Thursday.
“Christy Everest has been a tremendous advocate for medical research and OMRF,” OMRF President Dr. Stephen Prescott said. “OMRF is a better place because of her service.” Everest joined the OMRF board in 2008. In the ensuing decade, she served on OMRF's Executive, Development, Technology Ventures and Governance committees and co-chaired a fundraising effort that collected more than $10 million for cancer research at the foundation. She also contributed considerable financial support for research and capital expansion projects through the Gaylord Foundation and personal giving. Everest's father, the late Edward L. Gaylord, served as OMRF's board chairman from 1983-1996. Also at the meeting, OMRF presented scientific honors to three researchers. Darise Farris, Ph.D., received the Merrick Award for Outstanding Medical Research. Her work in the lab focuses on the roles of immune cells in autoimmune diseases, conditions in which the body mistakenly attacks its own cells and tissues. Scott Plafker, Ph.D., was given the J. Donald & Patricia H. Capra Award for Scientific Achievement for his field-leading studies of vision loss. Last month he received a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate whether a compound found in leafy vegetables could protect against age-related macular degeneration. Christopher Sansam, Ph.D., received the Fred Jones Award for Scientific Achievement for his innovative research on how DNA accurately copies itself during cell division, work that holds important implications for treating cancer and preventing birth defects. Also at the meeting, a pair of OMRF scientists were named to endowed chair positions.
Swapan Nath, Ph.D., was named the William H. & Rita Bell Chair in Biomedical Research. Nath is an internationally respected leader in the study of genetic risk factors for lupus and other autoimmune diseases.