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Presbyterian Health Foundation awards $3.9 million in research grants

Oklahoma City, July 24, 2019

The Presbyterian Health Foundation is awarding research grants totaling $3.9 million to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Funding was awarded for 64 new grants for cancer, diabetes, heart, aging and pediatrics research.

Since revitalizing funding of medical research in Oklahoma, PHF has funded more than $20 million to the two research organizations.

“We are committed to funding the best, cutting-edge science to secure life-enhancing treatments for people in Oklahoma, across the country, and world,” said PHF’s President Tom R. Gray III. “Getting scientists together who can combine their know-how in a collaborative way plays a critical role in achieving meaningful results. “

PHF team science grants focus on collaborative relationships with at least two or more investigators on each project.

A collaborative project funded at OMRF will continue its investigation on therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Scientists Holly Van Remmen and Rheal Towner will work to test a new compound designed to ameliorate the effects of the disease.

One team of scientists at OUHSC will focus its efforts on pancreatic cancer. The team, including Courtney Houchen and CV Rao, is exploring how to improve treatment methods with this diagnosis.

“Pancreatic cancer is a very tough disease, and novel therapies like treating cachexia are the only way we’re going to make progress because the traditional approach of trying to destroy the tumor isn’t enough,” Houchen said.


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