Photo courtesy of Southern ResearchBirmingham’s Robert R. Meyer Foundation is supporting Southern Research’s Drug Discovery program with a $500,000 gift that aims to accelerate efforts to find new treatments for unmet medical conditions and rare and neglected diseases.
The contribution renews close ties between the Birmingham-based non-profit research organization and a charitable trust that became an important backer of its scientific work more than 60 years ago.
Southern Research has earned a solid reputation in drug discovery, with seven FDA-approved anticancer drugs, a number that ranks it among the most prolific in the field. In addition, Southern Research’s labs have screened many other potential medicines, and its researchers have developed a robust pipeline of promising therapeutics.
“The Robert R. Meyer Foundation’s longstanding support of Southern Research has been fruitful, contributing to many discoveries made by the organization’s scientists that have improved the lives of people battling cancer and other serious diseases,” said Beverly Baker, an Advisory Committee member for the foundation.
“The foundation’s leadership is confident that this gift will facilitate additional insights that lead the way to new treatments,” Baker added.
The Meyer Foundation has supported Southern Research since 1953, when it provided $100,000 to match funding from the Charles F. Kettering Foundation for the construction of the Kettering-Meyer Laboratory. The Meyer Foundation made another significant contribution in 1957 to facilitate construction of a second Kettering-Meyer Lab.
In addition, the foundation has supported Southern Research’s cancer programs with other donations over the years.
“Significant gifts from the Robert R. Meyer Foundation in the 1950s enabled Southern Research to make important advances in drug discovery and have contributed to the impact our research and drugs have made on patients around the world,” said Art Tipton, PhD, president and CEO of Southern Research.
“The foundation’s latest gift will allow us to continue to explore important scientific breakthroughs that are high-risk, high-reward endeavors, rarely funded through government grants,” Tipton added. “This is the kind of research that results in the discovery of new drugs.”
Southern Research’s Drug Discovery division focuses on identifying novel treatments for serious conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and viral and bacterial infections.
The division works as a partner of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, among others. It also collaborates with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, and other non-profit organizations and research institutions.
“Southern Research has the unparalleled capacity to investigate a wide range of potential treatments for complicated conditions,” said Mark J. Suto, PhD, vice president of the Drug Discovery division.
“Our innovative research programs and unique technological capabilities position the scientists at Southern Research to investigate possibilities and achieve meaningful outcomes.”