News9.com

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation donated $6 million to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, read a press release on Tuesday.

The donation, to be paid out in three annual installments of $2 million through 2010, will go toward construction of a new research tower at OMRF. Construction is expected to begin in the next year, and when completed, the tower will nearly double OMRF's current square footage. The tower will increase OMRF's staff from 50 principal investigators and roughly 500 employees to about 80 investigators and 800 employees.

The tower will stand eight stories high and add approximately 180,000 square feet of scientific and administrative space to OMRF's campus. The tower will be built at the center of OMRF's campus and will house dozens of new laboratories and several new core technology facilities. The estimated total cost of the project is $125 million.

"The Noble Foundation is pleased to make this investment in OMRF, and we hope the dividends it pays will be longer, healthier lives for Oklahomans and mankind," said Michael A. Cawley, president and CEO of the Noble Foundation, in a press release.