UW News

October 13, 1997

UW cystic fibrosis researcher receives 928-ton accolade – an oil barge christened in her name

It may well be the “biggest” honor ever bestowed upon a UW researcher: A Seattle-based shipping company will christen its newest vessel, a 25,000-barrel oil barge, the “Bonnie R.” in honor of Dr. Bonnie Ramsey, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center.
Official christening ceremonies, complete with breaking of a champagne bottle, formal blessing and music, will take place 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Olympic Tug & Barge, 910 S.W. Spokane St. in Seattle.

The Bonnie R. is the latest addition to the fleet of Olympic Tug Barge, Inc., a Seattle-based marine transport company and a supporter of cystic fibrosis research. The Bonnie R will join seven Olympic Tug & Barge vessels that have been named after children with cystic fibrosis.

“Dr. Ramsey’s hard work and dedication have helped improve the quality of life and given hope to children suffering from cystic fibrosis both here in Seattle and throughout the world,” said Harley Franco, president of Olympic Tug & Barge, Inc. “We are very committed to supporting the children with cystic fibrosis and wanted to honor someone who is looking after them. Bonnie is a motivation to all of us to continue raising awareness of cystic fibrosis and to gather support to find a cure.”

For the past 15 years, Ramsey has devoted her research work to developing better therapies to treat lower airway bacterial infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. The majority of her work has been directed toward inhaled therapies. In this area, she and fellow researchers have made strides in developing optimal delivery systems for medications and understanding the absorption and toxicity of inhaled antibiotics. Most recently, Ramsey was involved in a trial of more than 600 patients with cystic fibrosis at 69 U.S. centers, one of the largest clinical trials in the field of cystic fibrosis.

The Bonnie R is a sister to the company’s other ocean-classed 23,500 barrel barges, the Max 111 and the Bernie 112. She is 230 ft. by 60 ft., and was built in 1982.

With a company motto “Cruisin’ for a Cure,” Olympic Tug & Barge has been an active supporter of cystic fibrosis research in the local community and Franco serves as a member of the Patrons of Cystic Fibrosis.