McLaughlin Institute
  1. McLaughlin Research Institute Welcomes New Finance Officer

    July 3, 2017 by admin

    McLaughlin Research Institute has appointed Candace Beery as finance officer to replace Andrew Zimmerman, who served in the position for three years with MRI.

    “Candace brings extensive knowledge to her new role as finance officer,’” said Michael Kavanaugh, director of McLaughlin Research Institute. “Her financial acumen and experience will be invaluable to the Institute as we continue our mission to improve human health through innovative genetic research and education.”

    Beery worked in Alaska as finance manager for the Municipality of Anchorage Solid Waste Services utility and as land manager for Cook Inlet Region, Inc.  Beery worked in Montana for the Public Service Commission in Helena as an electric policy analyst.  Her grandfather homesteaded in northeastern Montana.

    She holds two master’s degrees in finance from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business and a bachelor degree in policy analysis from the University of California-Davis.

    In her new role at McLaughlin Research Institute, she will help plan and oversee the Institute’s financial operations and investment. “Finance is a critical support to McLaughlin’s mission,” Beery says.  “I am excited to build upon the past efforts through planning and development to lead the finance team to provide long-term stability and success to McLaughlin’s research in neurological brain disease.”


  2. McLaughlin Research Institute Receives Two Significant Donations

    by admin

    Great Falls, Montana – June 1, 2017 – McLaughlin Research Institute (MRI) recently received two donations totaling nearly $1,000,000. The first gift is a charitable remainder trust established by Irving Weissman and the second is a bequest made by the late Leroy Strand. “This is a real vote of confidence in MRI,” said Randy Gray, Chair of the Board of Directors. Dr. Michael Kavanaugh, the director of MRI, said “The generous contributions from Irv Weissman and Leroy Strand to the McLaughlin Research Institute will help us move forward with a number of innovative and exciting neurodegenerative disease research projects, including a new clinical research site at the Institute.”

    Although these donors led very different lives, both have been committed to the innovative biomedical research and education carried out at the Institute. Here are their stories.

    In 1956, an eager high school sophomore, Irving Weissman, approached MRI director Dr. Ernst Eichwald about the possibility of working in the lab. Irv was persistent and, after he made it clear that he didn’t expect to be paid, was allowed to help change mouse cages after school. He quickly became more and more involved in the lab and the excitement of research, and spent most of his high school, college, and medical school summer vacations working on research projects at MRI. These experiences inspired him and helped launch a distinguished career which included his pioneering work in the discovery and clinical applications of stem cells. Dr. Weissman currently serves as Director of Stanford University’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and he chairs the McLaughlin Research Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee. His experience inspired the summer intern program which is still in existence today.

    Leroy Strand spent his lifetime working around cattle and horses. As a boy he helped with his father’s livestock business and also fed beef calves to show for 4-H. In 1940 he became a partner with his father in the Oswald Strand & Son livestock business in Manly, Iowa where large cattle auctions were held annually for many years. Four years later Leroy entered into a partnership with his parents and brother in purchasing a cattle ranch near Geyser, Montana. He became sole owner of the Strand Ranch in 1964, and operated and managed it until 1998. He continued to live on the ranch and enjoyed coming down to the corrals to evaluate the cattle, watching the hay operation, and driving around showing visitors the beauty of the land. Leroy was a generous and consistent friend of the Institute since 2005.

    The McLaughlin Research Institute is an internationally recognized center for research on degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, MS, and prion diseases. The Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization that develops and maintains genetically engineered cell lines and mice that model human disease. Research with these model at MRI and in collaborators’ labs throughout the world is focused on developing and testing new therapies to prevent and cure these devastating diseases. The Institute is also committed to outreach and education for young Montanans.


  3. Mike Kavanaugh Takes the Helm at McLaughlin Research

    March 17, 2017 by admin

    Michael Kavanaugh, PhD, Director of the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience at the University of Montana since 2003, is McLaughlin Research Institute’s new director. Dr. Kavanaugh replaced outgoing director George Carlson in December. “Mike Kavanaugh’s scientific expertise, energy, and desire will make for a powerful leader of this long-historied Montana science institution,” said
    Dr. Leroy Hood, a longtime member of McLaughlin’s Scientific Advisory Committee and, among many other superlative titles, a winner of the National Medal of Science for his outstanding contributions to science and medicine…

    Click here to read entire MRI Spring 2017 Newsletter


  4. Annual Report: July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2016

    September 2, 2016 by admin

    MRI-Cover-R1We are pleased to present McLaughlin Research Institute’s Annual Report: July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2016. You’ll be interested to learn about new approaches used in the lab to further understand neurodegenerative brain diseases, and the efforts to create alternative funding sources to secure our future.

    Click here to view the report


  5. Initiative 181 Qualifies for November 8th, 2016 ballot

    July 18, 2016 by admin

    Article in Great Falls Tribune, July 14, 2016 – Ballot Initiative 181, the Montanans for Research and Cures Initiative


  6. Governor Bullock introduces Montana Alzheimer’s & Dementia State Plan

    June 28, 2016 by admin

    June 20, 2016 marked the beginning of a new day for families suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In introducing the Montana Alzheimer’s Plan with Governor Bullock, we paid tribute to all those we’ve lost to this disease and all those left in its wake.

    “We have numerous resources at the ready but have lacked an organized inventory and efficient way to deliver them throughout the state to those in need,” said Lynn Mullowney, executive director of the Montana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

    With that in mind, Gov. Steve Bullock and the Montana Alzheimer’s/Dementia Work Group rolled out on June 20, 2016, the Montana Alzheimer’s State Plan, Montana’s first-ever plan to prepare for and deal with the disease and similar conditions.

    Click here for the full article by Zack Benoit, Helena Independent Record

    (more…)


  7. Signature Collecting Going Well for I-181

    June 3, 2016 by admin

    the Montana Biomedical Research, Veterans Care and Cure Act

    Montanans – wherever you live – read this and go to:  www.montanacures.org

    As of May 31, 2016, 20,994 out of a required 24,175 signatures have been collected in an effort to place citizen’s initiative I-181, otherwise known as the Montana Biomedical Research, Veterans Care and Cure Act, on the November ballot. Signed petition sheets are due by 5:00 p.m. on June 17, 2016. If you are a registered voter in Montana and haven’t had the opportunity to sign the petition, please do so.

    If the initiative is passed, the state will be authorized to issue $20 million in general obligation bonds every year for 10 years to fund Montana-based biomedical research on brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, concussive injuries, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), depression, addictive disorders, and schizophrenia.

    The initiative will create the Montana Biomedical Research Authority, governed by a panel of doctors, scientists, nurses, and patient advocates. This independent panel of leading scientists from out-of-state will review the applications and recommend the best for funding. MRI and other Montana based research facilities, including the University of Montana, Montana State University, Shodair, Benefis, and others, may apply. Based on the quality of our research projects here at MRI, we believe that our applications will be among the best. Annual financial audits from an independent, certified public accounting firm will be made publicly available to ensure financial accountability.

    McLaughlin Research Institute is part of a broad, state-wide, bi-partisan coalition supporting this initiative. Creating a new funding stream will help alleviate the 25 percent reduction in funding at the National Institutes of Health that has disproportionately impacted Montana’s scientists, and will enable Montana’s researchers to compete at the highest level.

    In 2016 it will cost the nation $236 billion to treat patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias alone. If no breakthrough discoveries are made by 2050, it will cost the nation $1 trillion. The Montana Biomedical Research, Veterans Care and Cure Act will ensure that research by Montanans will contribute to preventing or curing Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders.

    Regardless of the result of this initiative, McLaughlin Research Institute is committed to continuing innovative research toward helping Montana seniors, veterans, and kids live healthier and longer lives. For more information, please click on the link to Montanans for Research and Cures, the nonprofit organization behind I-181.  http://montanacures.org

    Click here for the Signature Gathering article


  8. FRONT PAGE NEWS – Great Falls Tribune 4/14/2016

    April 14, 2016 by admin

    MRI supports initiative to create a Montana Biomedical Research Authority. The initiative will bring hope to hundreds of thousands of Montanans and create new jobs.

    Click on link for full article.

    Montanans for Research and Cures


  9. McLaughlin exploring diseases for 60 years – Great Falls Tribune article

    October 20, 2015 by admin

    McLaughlin exploring diseases for 60 years


  10. After 60 years of research, McLaughlin faces a new challenge

    October 12, 2015 by admin

    In honor of MRI’s 60th Anniversary, the Great Falls Tribune recently published an article on the Institute’s past, present and future, including the 60th Anniversary Celebration, which was held at Great Falls College, MSU on August 27th.

    Click on the link below to read the article.

    After 60 years of research, McLaughlin faces a new challenge


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