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ORAU History - 1988

In June 1988, scientists at the University Isotope Separator at Oak Ridge successfully tested the new Nuclear Orientation Facility known as the Fridge. One of only three facilities of its kind in the world, the Fridge enabled researchers to orient unstable atomic nuclei to better study their nuclear properties.

Dr. William E. Felling, Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ (ORAU) executive director, retired in July 1988, and Dr. Jon M. Veigel, former president of the North Carolina Alternative Energy Corp., was appointed president and chief executive officer.

Medical research at ORAU led to the discovery of two enzymatic pathways for platelet-activating factor (PAF) production, and it appeared that the PAF involved in pathological versus physiological processes was derived by very different biosynthetic pathways. Clues as to how these two routes are controlled and means of pharmacological intervention at specific reaction steps of PAF biosynthesis were investigated.

To allow more collaboration with university and private sector researchers on colon cancer, ORAU took the lead in 1988 in forming the Marmoset Research Center of Oak Ridge (MARCOR), a consortium of universities and industries interested in conducting biological research in marmosets and tamarins.

Tamarins were of interest to ORAU researchers because they are the only animal other than humans that develop colon cancer spontaneously.