Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) joined leaders from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Monday to announce two major federal grants totaling as much as $48 million to OMRF. The National Institutes of Health awarded the grants, which will fund research on autoimmune diseases and human exposure to anthrax.

Dr. Judith James, an Oklahoma Baptist University graduate, was one of two scientists to receive substantial grants.

“The new grants are the product of a robust partnership between the federal government and Oklahoma’s biomedical research community,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D.

“Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Cole on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies that oversees funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health’s budget has grown almost $8 billion over the past five years,” said Prescott. “He’s been a champion for medical research, and those efforts are paying dividends in the form of new grants, a boost for our state’s economy, and advances in treatments for Oklahoma’s patients.”

Each grant will cover a five-year period. The funding will support laboratory projects as well as clinical studies to help Oklahomans suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.

“I am proud to congratulate these impressive Oklahoma based researchers who set themselves apart in nationwide competitions,” said Cole, who serves as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. “The grant funding awarded will not only open doors to new treatments for Oklahoma patients, but the projects will also deliver significant economic benefits by creating and supporting jobs in the research sector and helping identify future biotechnology opportunities in our state.”