OMRF receives grant to support Alzheimer's disease research

Tuesday, February 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The owner and operator of six skilled nursing facilities in Tulsa and Oklahoma City has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

The grant from ManorCare Health Services will support Alzheimer's disease research. It was presented to the foundation on Monday, officials said.

HCR Manor Care Foundation sets aside money each year to assist non-profit organizations that conduct research and education related to issues affecting the elderly. Organizations providing community-based services that address the needs of the elderly also are helped, officials said.

"Since OMRF is a private, non-profit, biomedical research institute, we are dependent upon the philanthropy of individuals and foundations like HCR Manor Care," said Art Cotton, OMRF's vice president for development.

Last year, Jordan Tang and a team of researchers at OMRF identified memapsin 2, a key enzyme that contributes to Alzheimer's disease, and created an inhibitor to stop its activity.

The discovery was considered a significant step toward understanding, treating and controlling Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, irreversible neurological disorder that primarly affects the elderly.

OMRF employs more than 400 scientists, physicians, technicians and administrative and support personnel.

OMRF focuses on research in cancer; heart disease; diabetes; Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases; lupus and other autoimmune diseases; stroke; AIDS; children's diseases and genetic disorders.