November 23, 2016 TSRI Scientists Develop Vaccine Against Fatal Prescription Opioid Overdose
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a vaccine that blocks the pain-numbing effects of the opioid drugs oxycodone (oxy) and hydrocodone (hydro) in animal models. The vaccine also appears to decrease the risk of fatal opioid overdose, a growing cause of death in the United States.
October 05, 2016 Grant to TSRI-Led Consortium Expands to $207 Million
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), as part of its national Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program, has expanded a five-year funding award to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) from $120 million to $207 million.
October 04, 2016 TSRI Scientists Receive Two New Grants to Explore 'Click Chemistry' Applications
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have received a grant of nearly $1.9 million from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and a grant of $640,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for two new projects that take advantage of "click chemistry."
September 28, 2016 News from the Primordial World
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers a twist on a popular theory for how life on Earth began about four billion years ago.
August 10, 2016 TSRI and NIH Scientists Show Molecule in Brain May Drive Cocaine Addiction
A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, suggests that increased levels of a molecule in the brain, called hypocretin, may contribute to cocaine addiction.
August 01, 2016 Found: A Potential New Way to Sway the Immune System
A new international collaboration involving scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) opens a door to influencing the immune system, which would be useful to boost the effectiveness of vaccines or to counter autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
June 03, 2016 Two TSRI Chemists Named Finalists for Blavatnik Awards
Matthew Disney, professor on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), and Phil Baran, Darlene Shiley Professor of Chemistry on the California campus of TSRI, have been named chemistry finalists for the 2016 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.
March 29, 2016 Perfecting a Viral Pack Mule
Viruses aren’t always bad. In fact, scientists can harness the capabilities of some viruses for good—modifying the viruses to carry drug molecules, for example.
March 07, 2016 Team Finds New Approach to Curbing Cancer Cell Growth
Using a new approach, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and collaborating institutions have discovered a novel drug candidate that could be used to treat certain types of breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.
February 19, 2016 TSRI and JCVI Scientists Find Popular Stem Cell Techniques Safe
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) shows that the act of creating pluripotent stem cells for clinical use is unlikely to pass on cancer-causing mutations to patients.
January 25, 2016 Crouching Protein, Hidden Enzyme
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley shows how a crucial molecular enzyme starts in a tucked-in somersault position and flips out when it encounters the right target.
December 01, 2015 TSRI Scientists Prolong 'Young Adult' State in Worms
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows that an antidepressant drug, called mianserin, can extend the “young adult” state in roundworms, a common model of aging.
November 20, 2015 Prominent Biochemist Peng Wu Joins TSRI
Peng Wu, formerly of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is joining The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) as an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Physiology, California campus.
October 21, 2015 New Study from TSRI and Salk Points to Cause of Debilitating Nerve Disease
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered how a mutant protein triggers nerve damage in a subtype of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) diseases, a group of currently untreatable conditions that cause loss of function in a person’s hands and feet.
October 20, 2015 San Diego Team Combats Memory Loss by Enhancing Brain Function
A new study, led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VA) and University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine shows that increasing a crucial cholesterol-binding membrane protein in nerve cells (neurons) within the brain can improve learning and memory in aged mice.
September 18, 2015 TSRI Study Identifies Novel Role of Mitochondria in Immune Function
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a new role for an enzyme involved in cell death. Their study shows how the enzyme, called RIPK3, relays signals between the cell’s mitochondria “powerhouses” and the immune system.
August 13, 2015 International Team Discovers the Ancient Origins of Deadly Lassa Virus
Working as part of an international team in North America and West Africa, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published new findings showing the ancient roots of the deadly Lassa virus, a relative of Ebola virus, and how Lassa virus has changed over time.
June 18, 2015 TSRI Research Leads to 3D Structures of Key Molecule Implicated in Diseases of the Brain
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have teamed up with several other institutions and pharmaceutical companies, including the University of Southern California (USC), San Diego’s Receptos Inc. and Japanese company Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., to publish the first 3D structures of a receptor implicated in many diseases of the brain and in normal physiology throughout the body.
February 25, 2015 New TSRI Study Shows Safer Methods for Stem Cell Culturing
A new study led by researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of California (UC), San Diego School of Medicine shows that certain stem cell culture methods are associated with increased DNA mutations.
February 06, 2015 Cow Immune System Inspires Potential New Therapies
To help people with hormone deficiencies, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a potential new therapy based on an unlikely model: immune molecules from cows.
December 22, 2014 TSRI Scientists Find Drug That Helps Huntington's Disease-Afflicted Mice-and Their Offspring
A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute suggests therapies that change gene expression in parents help their children. The research showed that the offspring of mice treated with a drug also had delayed onset and reduced symptoms of Huntington’s disease, an inherited, degenerative disease that causes a loss of motor skills, cognitive impairment and death.
December 18, 2014 Team Develops ‘Cool’ New Method for Probing How Molecules Fold
Collaborating scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of California (UC) San Diego have developed a powerful new system for studying how proteins and other biological molecules form and lose their natural folded structures.
December 17, 2014 Scientists Open New Frontier of Vast Chemical 'Space'
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a powerful method for joining complex organic molecules that is extraordinarily robust and can be used to make pharmaceuticals, fabrics, dyes, plastics and other materials previously inaccessible to chemists.
November 24, 2014 Pain and Itch in a Dish
A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has found a simple method to convert human skin cells into the specialized neurons that detect pain, itch, touch and other bodily sensations
August 11, 2014 Scripps Research Institute Announces Interim Leadership
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Board of Trustees today announced that James Paulson, chair of TSRI’s Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, has been appointed acting president and CEO as Michael Marletta’s presidency comes to a close.
July 09, 2014 Status Update
The nonbinding letter of intent about a broad partnership between TSRI and the University of Southern California (USC) has been terminated by mutual consent of both parties.
May 29, 2014 Scripps Research Institute Scientists Win $13 Million Grant in AIDS Vaccine Effort
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has received a grant of more than $13 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of the National Institutes of Health to study antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—which will play an essential role in the creation of any effective vaccine against HIV.
May 15, 2014 Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise for MS in Mouse Model
Mice crippled by an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) regained the ability to walk and run after a team of researchers led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), University of Utah and University of California (UC), Irvine implanted human stem cells into their injured spinal cords.
April 29, 2014 Two San Diego Scientists Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Two scientists from San Diego county—Dale Boger and Benjamin Cravatt of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)—have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,” the academy announced today.
April 24, 2014 To Mark Territory or Not to Mark Territory: Breaking the Pheromone Code
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has deciphered the surprisingly versatile code by which chemical cues help trigger some of the most basic behaviors in mice. The findings shed light on the evolution of mammalian behaviors—which include human behaviors—and their underlying brain mechanisms.
March 12, 2014 Building New Drugs Just Got Easier
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a method for modifying organic molecules that significantly expands the possibilities for developing new pharmaceuticals and improving old ones.
January 08, 2014 Nociceptin: Nature’s Balm for the Stressed Brain
Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Camerino in Italy have published new findings on a system in the brain that naturally moderates the effects of stress.
December 19, 2013 Team Finds New Way to Map Important Drug Targets
Researchers have used new techniques and one of the brightest X-ray sources on the planet to map the 3-D structure of an important cellular gatekeeper in a more natural state than possible before.
November 13, 2013 Solution to Immune Mystery Could Lead to Better Therapies
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved a long-standing conundrum about the immune system and in so doing may have found a new way to boost or reduce immunity therapeutically.
October 23, 2013 New Eye Treatment Effective in Laboratory Tests
A promising technique for treating human eye disease has proven effective in preclinical studies and may lead to new treatments to prevent blindness, according to experiments conducted at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California.
October 22, 2013 NIH Awards Scripps Translational Science Institute $29 Million Grant
The National Institutes of Health has renewed its prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) with the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) in the amount of $29 million over the next five years to support innovative research in genomics, wireless technology and bioinformatics toward individualizing medicine.
September 29, 2013 Scripps Research Institute Study Finds New Moves in Protein's Evolution
Highlighting an important but unexplored area of evolution, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found evidence that, over hundreds of millions of years, an essential protein has evolved chiefly by changing how it moves, rather than by changing its basic molecular structure.
September 12, 2013 Molecular Structure Reveals How HIV Infects Cells
In a long-awaited finding, a team of Chinese and US scientists has determined the high-resolution atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that most strains of HIV use to get into human immune cells.
June 17, 2013 New Compound Excels at Killing Persistent and Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
An international team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has identified a highly promising new anti-tuberculosis compound that attacks the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium in two different ways.
May 06, 2013 Preclinical Study Shows Heroin Vaccine Blocks Relapse
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have reported successful preclinical tests of a new vaccine against heroin. The vaccine targets heroin and its psychoactive breakdown products in the bloodstream, preventing them from reaching the brain.
March 25, 2013 New Lung Cancer Study Takes Page from Google’s Playbook
The same sort of mathematical model used to predict which websites people are most apt to visit is now showing promise in helping map how lung cancer spreads in the human body, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Research.
February 24, 2013 Scientists Find Surprising New Influence on Cancer Genes
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute shows how pseudogenes -- small stretches of DNA in the human genome thought to be non-coding “junk” DNA -- can regulate the activity of a cancer-related gene called PTEN.
January 03, 2013 Steroids that Only Nature Could Make on a Large Scale—Until Now
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have achieved a feat in synthetic chemistry by inventing a scalable method to make complex natural compounds known as “polyhydroxylated steroids.” These compounds, used in heart-failure medications and other drugs, have been notoriously problematic to synthesize in the laboratory.
August 01, 2012 Auditorium at TSRI Now Available for Event Booking
The Auditorium at TSRI, a 352-seat, acoustically renowned facility on the Torrey Pines Mesa, is now available to commercial, corporate, and nonprofit groups to rent for the upcoming season from October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013.
March 22, 2012 Scripps Research Institute High School Program Receives CIRM Grant
The Scripps Research Institute is one of the institutions that will receive funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)—the state stem cell agency created by proposition 71—to foster creativity and scientific innovation in high school students and fund basic stem cell discoveries, CIRM announced today.
March 21, 2012 Interview and Photo Opportunity: The Scripps Research Institute Hosts NOBCChE Regional Meeting The Scripps Research Institute will host the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) West Regional meeting, March 23-25, featuring scientific presentations, a tour of Scripps Research laboratories, student poster session, science teacher workshop, and participant networking.
November 20, 2011 Scripps Research Team Finds a Weak Spot on Deadly Ebolavirus
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the US Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have isolated and analyzed an antibody that neutralizes Sudan virus, a major species of ebolavirus and one of the most dangerous human pathogens.
November 17, 2011 Scripps Research Scientists Identify New Class of Antimalarial Compounds
A international team led by scientists from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) and The Scripps Research Institute has discovered a family of chemical compounds that could lead to a new generation of antimalarial drugs capable of not only alleviating symptoms but also preventing the deadly disease.
September 01, 2011 Discovery Suggests Way to Block Fetal Brain Damage Produced By Oxygen Deprivation
Examining brain damage that occurs when fetuses in the womb are deprived of oxygen, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that damage does not occur randomly but is linked to the specific action of a naturally occurring fatty molecule called LPA, acting through a receptor that transfers information into young brain cells.
August 17, 2011 AIDS Researchers Isolate New Potent and Broadly Effective Antibodies Against HIV
A team of researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), The Scripps Research Institute, the biotechnology company Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences Inc., a LabCorp company, report in the current issue of Nature the isolation of 17 novel antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad spectrum of variants of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
June 21, 2011 Scripps Research Institute Scientist Knighted by Italian Republic
Scripps Research Institute Associate Professor Marisa Roberto has been awarded the Cavaliere (knight) degree of the Italian Republic’s highest honor, the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit), recognizing her scientific research in the neurobiology of addictive behavior.
March 27, 2011 Structure of DNA Repair Complex Reveals Workings of Powerful Cell Motor
Over the last years, two teams of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have steadily built a model of how a powerful DNA repair complex works. Now, their latest discovery provides revolutionary insights into the way the molecular motor inside the complex functions – findings they say may have implications for treatment of disorders ranging from cancer to cystic fibrosis.
March 09, 2011 New Lupus Drug Results from Scripps Research Technology
For Immediate Release – Scientific advances at The Scripps Research Institute were key to laying the foundation for the new drug Benlysta® (belimumab), approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
March 08, 2011 Scripps Research and MIT Scientists Discover Class of Potent Anti-Cancer Compounds
Working as part of a public program to screen compounds to find potential medicines and other biologically useful molecules, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have discovered an extremely potent class of potential anti-cancer and anti-neurodegenerative disorder compounds.
February 09, 2011 Scripps Research Study Presents Surprising View of Brain Formation
A study from The Scripps Research Institute has unveiled a surprising mechanism that controls brain formation. The findings have implications for understanding a host of diseases, including some forms of mental retardation, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.
January 26, 2011 Scripps Research Study Shows Map of Brain Connectivity Changes During Development
Connected highways of nerve cells carry information to and from different areas of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Scientists are trying to draw a complete atlas of these connections—sometimes referred to as the “connectome”—to gain a better understanding of how the brain functions in health and disease.
December 2, 2010 Scripps Research Scientists Home In on Chemicals Needed to Reprogram Cells
Scripps Research Institute scientists have made a significant leap forward in the drive to find a way to safely reprogram mature human cells and turn them into stem cells, which can then change into other cell types, such as nerve, heart, and liver cells. The ability to transform fully mature adult cells such as skin cells into stem cells has potentially profound implications for treating many diseases.
November 29, 2010
Scripps Research Scientists Redefine the Role of Plasma Cells in the Immune System
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a previously unknown regulatory mechanism in the body’s response to eliminate pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. The findings challenge a long-held dogma in the field of immunology and have potential implications for far-ranging topics from how vaccines should be administered to the origin of autoimmunity.
November 18, 2010 Scripps Research Scientists Report Molecular Structure of Dopamine Receptor
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has solved the structure of one of the receptors that responds to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Although dopamine transmission is essential to normal brain functioning, the biological assembly of the molecules involved in this crucial neuronal interplay had not been known—until now.
September 16, 2010 Scripps Research Team Wins $5.1 Million to Develop DNA Sequencing Technology
Scripps Research Institute Professor Reza Ghadiri, Ph.D., has been awarded a four-year, $5.1 million grant as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative to spur the development of the next generation of DNA sequencing technologies, which could enable biomedical researchers and health care workers to routinely sequence a person’s DNA.
May 26, 2010
Scripps Research Institute Dedicates Dorris Neuroscience Center
The Scripps Research Institute dedicated the Dorris Neuroscience Center today, officially launching the newly consolidated center and honoring the woman who has supported work at the institute for many years. Her gifts include an endowment to support neuroscience research.
April 13, 2010 New Nano-Tool Synthesized at Scripps Research Institute
Two chemists at The Scripps Research Institute have synthesized a new nano-scale scientific tool — a tiny molecular switch that turns itself on or off as it detects metallic ions in its immediate surroundings.
September 17, 2009 Rare Genetic Disease Successfully Reversed Using Stem Cell Transplantation
A recent study by Scripps Research Institute scientists offers good news for families of children afflicted with the rare genetic disorder, cystinosis. In research that holds out hope for one day developing a potential therapy to treat the fatal disorder, the study shows that the genetic defect in mice can be corrected with stem cell transplantation.
September 3, 2009 Two New Antibodies Found to Cripple HIV
Researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), at The Scripps Research Institute, and at the biotechnology companies Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences have discovered two powerful new antibodies to HIV that reveal what may be an Achilles heel on the virus.
September 3, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Identify Genetic Cause for Type of Deafness
A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has discovered a genetic cause of progressive hearing loss. The findings will help scientists better understand the nature of age-related decline in hearing and may lead to new therapies to prevent or treat the condition.
September 2, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Illuminate Structure of Circulating Lung Cancer Cells
Most cancer-related deaths are caused by metastases—the spread of cancer to other parts of the body—and tumor cells that circulate in the bloodstream are generally understood to be the cause of these dangerous secondary tumors. Now, for the first time, a collaboration led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has been able to determine the structural features of circulating tumor cells, which were collected from the blood of a woman with advanced lung cancer.
August 6, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Find Early Evolution Maximized the "Spellchecking" of Protein Sequences
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have examined how an enzyme responsible for adding one amino acid, alanine, to proteins has come to have its own spellchecker. Professor Paul Schimmel and colleagues show that two separate functions—alanine adding and editing—were joined together in a single enzyme during early evolution, in a way that greatly enhances these activities. The findings provide a glimpse into how enzyme functions have evolved.
August 3, 2009 Scripps Research Team Reports Breakthrough in Creating Live Mice from Skin Cells
Scripps Research Institute scientists are reporting a breakthrough in stem cell research in which they successfully created live mice from mouse skin cells, without using embryonic stem cells or cloning techniques that require eggs. This milestone opens the door to the development of exciting therapies, such as using a patient’s own cells to grow replacement organs.
July 31, 2009 Scripps Research Structure of Virus Protein Reveals How Viruses Hijack Cell Proteins
Viruses are masters at taking over a host cell’s machinery and using it to their own advantage. In doing so, they often disrupt the cell’s mechanisms for keeping cell growth and division in check, wreaking havoc. Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute describe for the first time the structure of a protein from a type of virus called adenovirus as it grabs hold of two cell proteins, preventing them from performing their normal jobs .
July 21, 2009 Scripps Research Studies Lead to a Promising First-in-Class Drug Candidate
Discoveries by Scripps Research Institute scientists have led to a promising new drug candidate—the first in its class—for patients with a genetic protein-misfolding disease. In results announced by the biopharmaceutical firm FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today, the new drug tafamidis significantly halts disease progression for patients with a disease called Transthyretin (TTR) amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTR-PN).
July 13, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Uncover a New Protein Necessary for the Proper Formation of the Immune System
Armies of immune cells patrol our blood, fending off invading viruses and bacteria, and even destroying cancer cells. Researchers have elucidated intricate cascades of signals that orchestrate the step-by-step development of different immune cells, endowing them with unique functions and specificities. Professor Nicholas R. J. Gascoigne, Ph.D., and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute have now discovered a critical signal that has remained elusive—until now.
July 10, 2009 Two Scripps Research Institute Scientists Win Prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards
Two scientists from The Scripps Research Institute—Associate Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Marisa Roberto, Ph.D.—have been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.
June 29, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Find Key Culprits in Lupus
The more than 1.5 million Americans with systemic lupus erythematosus (or lupus) suffer from a variety of symptoms that flare and subside, often including painful or swollen joints, extreme fatigue, skin rashes, fever, and kidney problems. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have now identified the main trigger for the development of this disease.
June 24, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Observe Human Neurodegenerative Disorder in Fruit Flies
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, and the University of Antwerp, Belgium, among other institutions, has created a genetically modified fruit fly that mimics key features of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a common neurodegenerative disorder that strikes about one out of every 2,500 people in the United States.
June 19, 2009 Researchers Observe Single Protein Dimers Wavering Between Two Symmetrically Opposed Structures
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute, the University of California, San Diego, and Ohio State University have used a very sensitive fluorescence technique to find that a bacterial protein thought to exist in one "natural" three-dimensional structure (shape), can actually twist itself into a second form, depending on the protein’s chemical environment. One folded form is active and the other is inactive, but the protein can easily morph from one state to another.
June 12, 2009 New Study Reveals Structure of the HIV Protein Shell
New research by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and other institutions provides a close-up look at the cone-shaped shell that is the hallmark of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), revealing how it is held together—and possible ways to break it apart.
June 11, 2009 Scripps Research Team Creates Simple Chemical System that Mimics DNA
A team of Scripps Research scientists has created a new analog to DNA that assembles and disassembles itself without the need for enzymes. Because the new system comprises components that might reasonably be expected in a primordial world, the new chemical system could answer questions about how life could emerge.
June 8, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Uncover a Novel Mechanism Controlling Tumor Growth in the Brain
As survival rates among some patients with cancer continue to rise, so does the spread of these cancers to the brain—as much as 40 percent of all diagnosed brain cancers are considered metastatic, having spread from a primary cancer elsewhere in the body. Now, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a molecular mechanism that plays a pivotal role in controlling cancer growth in the brain. The discovery could provide a basis for potentially effective therapies for the treatment of brain metastasis.
May 13, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Devise New Strategy for Simplifying the Synthesis of Important Chemical Class
Terpenes are a massive class of chemicals that includes numerous biological and commercial products, from vitamin A to the successful cancer drug TaxolTM. But, despite widespread use, chemists have remained frustrated in their attempts to synthesize terpenes in the laboratory at sufficient scale for commercial or, in many cases, even research purposes. But at last, a Scripps Research Institute team has devised a terpene production method that could prove widely applicable to even the most sought-after molecules, opening a range of new drug development and other possibilities.
May 13, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Discover Molecular Defect Involved in Hearing Loss
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have elucidated the action of a protein, harmonin, which is involved in the mechanics of hearing. This finding sheds new light on the workings of mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into electrical activity. Defects in mechanotransduction genes can cause devastating diseases, such as Usher’s syndrome, which is characterized by deafness, gradual vision loss, and kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure.
April 30, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Determine Workings of Potentially Useful Virus
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute hope to enlist the help of one particular virus to treat disease. Their discovery that the tiny plant virus, cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), attaches itself to a specific protein on mammalian cells brings them closer to achieving this mission.
April 29, 2009 Darwin in a Test Tube
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has set up the microscopic equivalent of the Galapagos Islands -- an artificial ecosystem inside a test tube where molecules evolve to exploit distinct ecological niches, similar to the finches that Charles Darwin famously described in The Origin of the Species 150 years ago.
April 23, 2009 Scripps Research/Pfizer Team Produces a Potential New Painkiller
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and Pfizer, Inc. have discovered an exquisitely potent new chemical compound that harnesses the endocannabinoid system—a natural pain-controlling pathway—to deliver profound pain reduction. The compound, called PF-3845, could be pursued as a lead for a drug candidate and should prove an invaluable tool for researchers studying how the endocannabinoid system functions.
April 23, 2009 A Major Breakthrough in Generating Safer, Therapeutic Stem Cells from Adult Cells
A group of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute and other institutions have achieved a breakthrough in converting adult cells all the way back to the most primitive embryonic-like cells without using the dangerous genetic manipulations associated with previous methods. The new technique solves one of the most challenging safety hurdles associated with personalized stem cell-based medicine because for the first time it enables scientists to make stem cells in the laboratory from adult cells without genetically altering them. This discovery has the potential to spark the development of many new types of therapies for humans, for diseases that range from Type 1 diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.
April 17, 2009 Scripps Research Team Invents First Technique for Producing Promising Anti-Leukemia Agent
Kapakahines, marine-derived natural products isolated from a South Pacific sponge in trace quantities, have shown anti-leukemia potential, but studies have been all but stalled by kapakahines’ lack of availability. A team from The Scripps Research Institute has established the first technique to synthesize kapakahines in the laboratory in large quantities. With supplies now in hand, and unlimited production potential established, research on the compound can proceed and may eventually lead to new drug treatments.
March 16, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists "Watch" as Individual Alpha-Synuclein Proteins Change Shape
Much remains to be understood about what role alpha-synuclein, a protein mostly associated with Parkinson’s disease, plays in the brain, either in a normal or diseased state. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have now used high-sensitivity single-molecule methods to show that it is a highly mobile protein, and can rapidly switch shapes depending on its environment.
March 2, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Engineer New Type of Vaccination that Provides Instant Immunity
A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found a way to use specially programmed chemicals to elicit an immediate immune response in laboratory animals against two types of cancer. The experiments, thus far performed only in mice, appear to overcome a major drawback of vaccinations—the lag time of days, or even weeks, that it normally takes for immunity to build against a pathogen. This new method of vaccination could potentially be used to provide instantaneous protection against diseases caused by viruses and bacteria, cancers, and even virulent toxins.
February 24, 2009 Scripps Research Team Finds Immune Molecule that Attacks Wide Range of Flu Viruses
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute report the characterization of an immune system molecule that targets what appears to be an "Achilles heel" of a wide range of influenza viruses—including the viruses responsible for past global pandemics, those causing current common infections, and strains of bird flu believed to pose future world threats.
February 17, 2009 Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees Elects Mark Pearson as Newest Member
The Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees has elected philanthropist and entrepreneur Mark Pearson as its newest member. "We warmly welcome Mark to the board," says Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner, M.D. "Mark’s business acumen and extensive leadership experience will be a great asset to the continuing success of the institute."
February 13, 2009 New Scripps Research Technique Clears Path for Developing Drugs and Vaccines for Hemorrhagic Fever Diseases
A team from the Scripps Research Institute has developed a novel method for studying arenaviruses, rodent-borne viruses that can cause hemorrhagic fever diseases. Currently, no licensed vaccines are available against arenaviruses and drug therapies are extremely limited. This development opens new avenues for vaccine development and identification of anti-viral drugs to combat human pathogenic arenaviruses.
February 9, 2009 Scientists at Scripps Research Identify a Mutation that Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has linked a mouse mutation to an increased susceptibility for developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—represented in humans as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which together are estimated to affect more than a million people in the United States. The findings may one day lead to new and better treatments for the disease.
February 2, 2009 Team Led by Scripps Research Scientists Increases Understanding of Two Types of Blindness, Bolsters Simple Prevention Strategy, and Develops Gene Therapy Option
A collaborative team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions has shed light on the causes of and potential treatment for two blinding conditions known as macular telangiectasia (MacTel) and retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP), types of macular degeneration. Though based on mouse studies, the research bolsters the idea that humans suffering from these and other eye conditions may be able to help preserve function by adding antioxidants to their diet, and explains why this would work. The team also devised a new cell-based gene therapy technique that could eventually offer another option for arresting vision loss from these diseases.
January 13, 2009 Scripps Research Team Develops New Technique to Tap Full Potential of Antibody Libraries
Antibodies are the attack dogs of the immune system, fighting off bacterial and other invaders. Massive libraries of synthetic antibodies that mimic this natural response, for instance to attack proteins critical to a particular cancer, are also available, but current techniques have allowed scientists to screen these antibodies for effectiveness against only a very limited number of disease-causing agents.
January 9, 2009 Scripps Research Scientists Find Cause of Cartilage Degeneration in Osteoarthritis
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has found an important link between a protein that declines with age and the development of osteoarthritis, the most common disease of aging affecting nearly 27 million Americans. The finding opens the door to developing effective new treatments for osteoarthritis. Currently, no treatment for this degenerative disease exists apart from palliative drugs for pain and inflammation.
January 8, 2009 The Immortal Molecule: Scripps Research Scientists Develop First Examples of RNA that Replicates Itself Indefinitely Without Any Help from Biology
One of the most enduring questions is how life could have begun on Earth. Molecules that can make copies of themselves are thought to be crucial to understanding this process as they provide the basis for heritability, a critical characteristic of living systems. Now, a pair of Scripps Research Institute scientists has taken a significant step toward answering that question. The scientists have synthesized for the first time RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins or other cellular components, and the process proceeds indefinitely.
December 22, 2008 New Technique is Quantum Leap Forward in Understanding Proteins
Proteins drive critical functioning in the cells of everything from bacteria to humans. But deciphering genomic data to discover just how the thousands upon thousands of proteins in a given organism interact has emerged as one of the most confounding biological challenges of the new century. In this ongoing quest, a group of Scripps Research Institute scientists, along with colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) have borrowed from physics to deliver one of those research rarities—an unmitigated success. The group has devised a computational method that, with remarkable accuracy, predicts how bacterial proteins fold and interact.
December 18, 2008 Team Led by Scripps Research Scientists Develop Method for Generating Novel Types of Stem Cells
A team led by Scripps Research Institute scientists has for the first time developed a technique for generating novel types of rat and human stem cells with characteristics similar to mouse embryonic stem cells, currently the predominant type of stem cells used for creating animal models of human diseases in research. The technique potentially provides scientists with new sources of stem cells to develop drugs and treatments for human diseases.
November 14 , 2008 San Diego Philanthropist John Moores Gives $2.1 Million to Scripps Research Institute
San Diego philanthropist, businessman, and community leader John J. Moores has contributed the first gift of $2.1 million to The Scripps Research Institute’s new $50 million initiative to recruit new world-class researchers and sustain and expand the work of current scientists at the renowned La Jolla- and Florida-based biomedical organization, the Institute announced.
October 27, 2008 Scripps Research Scientists Develop A New Strategy to Fight Obesity
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a catalytic antibody that degrades a known appetite stimulant. The antibody works against the gastric hormone ghrelin, which has been linked to weight gain and fat storage through its metabolic actions. These findings point towards a potentially novel treatment for obesity that would interfere directly with the some of the biological mechanisms determining weight.
October 21, 2008 Scripps Research Scientists Enhance Immune System Attacks on Cancer
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have tweaked, prodded, and pushed immune system cells into successfully attacking tumors in laboratory and animal studies. They say their new strategy could prove to be safer than some treatments now being used to stimulate cancer immunity in humans.
October 17, 2008 Scripps Research Team Sheds Light on Immune System Suppression
Diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and measles claim countless lives by weakening immune systems in ways that have remained unclear. But a team from The Scripps Research Institute has for the first time pinpointed a clear mechanism for immunosuppression. They have shown how an initial viral infection can block production of critical immune system proteins known as type I interferons, leading to susceptibility to other, potentially deadly infections.
October 12, 2008 Team Led by Scripps Research Scientists Uncovers New Way to Limit Damaging Production of Nitric Oxide
Excess nitric oxide production by one enzyme has been tied to human illnesses ranging from inflammation to cancer, but adequate treatments for the problem have been elusive. Now, work led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has revealed a new method for chemically targeting this single enzyme to block troubling nitric oxide production, without limiting its beneficial production by other closely related enzymes.
October 8, 2008 Scripps Research Team Solves Structure of "Beneficial" Virus
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have, for the first time, solved the structure of a virus that can infect specific cancer cells. This new knowledge may help drug designers tweak the pathogen enough so that it can attack other tumor subtypes.
October 3, 2008 Study Unveils Structural Details of Enzyme Vital to DNA Repair
Working in close collaboration, two groups of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have revealed for the first time details of the crucial role played by the enzyme Mre11 in DNA repair, a process critical to cell survival and good health.
September 15, 2008 Team Led by Scripps Research Scientists Finds Gene Critical to Normal Hearing
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a new gene they say is essential for both hearing and balance in mice and humans. They found that a mutation in this gene causes a form of deafness that has nothing to do with structural proteins in the inner ear—commonly altered in hereditary deafness. On the contrary, the mutation affects an enzyme with a known catalytic function, which gives hints as to how the problem might be preventable with novel drug therapy.
September 15, 2008 Scripps Research Team Reverses Huntington’s Disease Symptoms in Mice
There is no cure for Huntington’s disease, or even treatments that can reverse or slow progression of the devastating movement deficits and cognitive dysfunction that occur with the condition. But, now, an agent developed by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has shown dramatic therapeutic efficacy in experimental mice, and did so with minimal toxicity.
August 25, 2008 Scripps Research Scientists Find Gene Expression Profile Shared by Pluripotent Stem Cells
An international team of researchers led by Professor Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., of The Scripps Research Institute has developed a novel method to identify pluripotent stem cells--cells that can differentiate into multiple distinct cell types. These pluripotent cells hold great promise for drug development and treatment of many devastating disorders.
August 21, 2008 New Protein Survey by Scripps Research Scientists Upends Understanding of Cell Death Process
Results from a Scripps Research Institute study have nearly tripled the number of proteins known to be involved in the critical process of programmed cell death, and have shot down a long-held idea about the life cycle of proteins. The work opens doors for potential new drug discoveries, and may open countless more as the new technique that enabled the work, dubbed the PROTOMAP, is applied to studies of other cellular functions.
August 8, 2008 New Scripps Research Study Solves Structural Mystery of Cellular Protein Transport
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the structure of the protective protein coat surrounding intracellular vesicles or sacs that are needed to transport proteins out of the cell. Understanding this structure could shed critically needed light on many loss-of-function diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and cystic fibrosis and lead to potential new therapies.
June 27, 2008 Scripps Research Study of Disease-Causing Mutations Uncovers Surprising Pattern
A new Scripps Research Institute survey of genetic mutations definitively tied to diseases has revealed clustering in a specific region of an important class of enzymes. The pattern was so clear it suggests that other mutations contributing to a wide range of diseases are likely to be tied to the region. New searches focused there may therefore lead to a wealth of new targets for drug treatments.
May 29, 2008 NIH awards $20 million CTSA grant to Scripps Translational Science Institute
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) is one of 14 research centers to receive a highly competitive $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) this year. STSI, led by Eric J. Topol, M.D., is a collaborative program between The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Health, partnering with a number of institutions in San Diego.
May 29, 2008 Scripps Research Crystal Structure Reveals Mystery Behind Three Rare Childhood Disorders
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have figured out how it is that tiny mutations in a single gene can produce three strikingly different childhood diseases—disorders that increase cancer risk thousands of times in some young patients and premature aging or a complete failure to develop in others. Investigators say that knowing more about the mechanisms of these diseases may provide insights into how therapeutic drugs can be designed.
May 20, 2008 Scripps Research Institute Awarded Patent for Remarkable Chemical Technology
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded U.S. Patent No. US 7,375,234 B2, which covers a broad class of chemical reactions that mimic biological efficiency and opens the door to a new world of chemistry. The patent’s diverse potential applications include the development of new drugs, bioactive nanomaterials, anti-bacterial and non-immunogenic coatings for medical implants, coatings for semiconductors, coatings and adhesives for ships’ hulls, self-healing materials, microelectronics and responsive nanomaterials, and surface-sensitive adhesives, to name a few.
May 15, 2008 Scripps Research Team Devises Innovative Method to Produce Highly Sought-After Drug
A team of Scripps Research Institute scientists has developed an inexpensive and in many ways astonishing new method for economically producing a promising pharmaceutical steroid. The molecule, called cortistatin A, which was isolated in 2006 from a marine sponge discovered over 100 years ago, has shown huge promise for treating conditions ranging from macular degeneration to cancer.
May 7, 2008 New International Agreement Advances Scripps Research Study of Alcoholism
The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and the Institut de Génétique et Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC) in Strasbourg, France, have entered into an agreement that aims to advance research on the biological basis of alcohol abuse. The research may uncover keys to vulnerability to alcoholism and help to develop new approaches for treating the condition.
May 1, 2008 Scripps Research Study Identifies Protein Critical for Iron Absorption
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have pinpointed an important protein that is essential for the normal absorption of iron in the body. The discovery could lead to novel therapies to block anemia during chronic diseases or to treat hemochromatosis, a genetic disease caused by an overabundance of iron.
April 14, 2008 Scientists Create First Successful Libraries of Avian Flu Virus Antibodies
An international group of American and Turkish research scientists, led by Sea Lane Biotechnologies, has created the first comprehensive monoclonal antibody libraries against avian influenza (H5N1) using samples from survivors of the 2005/2006 "bird flu" outbreak in Turkey. These antibody libraries hold the promise for developing a therapy that could stop a pandemic in its tracks and provide treatment to those infected, as well as potentially pointing the way towards the development of a universal flu vaccine. The expanded treatment and containment options offered by Sea Lane’s antibody libraries could help provide healthcare officials, researchers, and governments with unprecedented resources to combat this serious global health threat.
April 10, 2008 Small RNAs May Play Big Role in Embryonic Stem Cells
An international team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has used a new method to discover an unusual molecular signature in human embryonic stem cells that may lead to development of new cell-based therapeutics.
April 8, 2008 Scripps Research Scientists Automate Molecular Evolution
Under the control of a computer at The Scripps Research Institute, a population of billions of genes morphed through 500 cycles of forced adaptation to emerge as molecules that could grow faster and faster on a continually dwindling source of chemical fuel—a feat that researchers describe as an example of "Darwinian evolution on a chip."
March 14, 2008 Scripps Research Team Wins $4 Million Grant to Study Effects of Chronic Marijuana Use
A group of investigators led by The Scripps Research Institute’s Professor Barbara Mason has won a $4 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of chronic marijuana use, including influence on brain function and the consequences of withdrawal.
March 10, 2008 Scripps Research Scientists Identify Potential New Target for Treating Metastatic Cancer
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified a human protein that may be a new target for future cancer therapies. By experimentally blocking the action of this protein, called CD151, the team showed they could stop cancer cells from metastasizing, or spreading from one tumor to establish new tumors elsewhere.
February 28, 2008 Bright Lights: Mystery of Glowing Antibody Solved by Scripps Research Scientists
A chance discovery of a uniquely luminescent monoclonal antibody nearly ten years ago has proven to be far more interesting—and far more tenacious—than anyone might have suspected. Now, a group of Scripps Research scientists have shown that EP2-19G2, one of a panel of fluorescent monoclonal antibodies that were first reported in 2000, produces its distinctive bright blue glow through a rare and highly complex recombination of electrical charge.
February 8, 2008 In Memoriam: Frank J. Dixon, 1920-2008
Frank J. Dixon, pioneering immunologist and founder of The Scripps Research Institute, died in San Diego, California, on Friday, February 08, 2008. He was 87.
December 5, 2007 Richard Lerner to Receive Research!America Advocacy Award
Richard A. Lerner, MD, president of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, has been named Research!America’s 2008 Builders of Science award recipient. He will accept the award at Research!America’s 12th Annual Advocacy Awards Gala on March 18, 2008, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.
October 30, 2007 Scripps Research Team Blocks Bacterial Communication System to Prevent Deadly Staph Infections
In hopes of combating the growing scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in particular drug-resistant staph bacteria, a team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has designed a new type of vaccine that could one day be used in humans to block the onset of infection. The advantage of the new vaccine is that it would work not only on current bacterial resistant stains but also would not induce the potential for new bacterial resistance because, rather than killing bacterial cells, it blocks their communication system, preventing the shift from harmless to virulent, thus allowing the body’s natural defenses to combat the bacteria.
October 30, 2007 Mass Spectrometry Metabolomics Unveils Unique Markers for Childhood Disorders
For the first time, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have applied untargeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to uncover a number of unique molecular markers in two inherited childhood metabolic disorders. This new method could prove useful in diagnosis and patient clinical evaluation.
October 26, 2007 Scripps Research Wins $51 Million Contract to Study Critical Immune Response Mechanisms
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $51 million five-year contract to The Scripps Research Institute to study innate and adaptive immune responses to a number of pathogens, including the influenza virus. Richard Ulevitch, Scripps Research professor and chairman of the Department of Immunology, will lead the project as principal investigator.
October 25, 2007 New Scripps Research Mass Spectrometry NanoTechnology Delivers Significant Advances
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new mass spectrometry technology for studying small biomolecules. The new highly sensitive and robust technology, called Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS), enables the analysis of single cells, tissue imaging, and rapid blood and urine analysis with no advanced sample preparation.
October 11, 2007 Novel Yeast Protein Plays a Key Role in Repairing Double-Strand DNA Breaks
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a novel protein in yeast that plays a key role in controlling the repair of double-strand breaks in DNA. The discovery of the protein, Ctp1, and its role, strongly suggests that the same mechanism works in regulating DNA damage repair in human cells and may point the way to future cancer therapies.
October 4, 2007 Structure of HIV Capsid Protein Reveals Potential Weakness at Inner Core of Virus
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have published a detailed molecular model of the full-length HIV CA protein—a viral protein that forms a cone-shaped shell around the genome of HIV. This structure reveals a never-before-seen molecular interaction that may be a weakness at the core of the virus.
October 1, 2007 Scripps Research Study Reveals Mechanism Behind Nicotine Dependency
Many more people try to quit smoking than succeed in giving up this nicotine-delivering habit. Now, a group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has identified one neurobiological mechanism that contributes to nicotine dependence, and to the anxiety and craving experienced upon withdrawal. The findings also suggest a new approach to developing drugs that could help smokers quit.
September 5, 2007 Scripps Research Scientists Shed New Light on How Antibodies Fight HIV
Leading an international team of scientists, immunologists at The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered the first evidence that an HIV antibody is most effective when it binds not only to the virus, but also to host immune cells. The findings suggest that antibody efficiency depends on both directly neutralizing the virus and activating the host immune response.
September 5, 2007 Scripps Research Scientists Reveal Pivotal Hearing Structure
A team of scientists made up of two laboratory groups from The Scripps Research Institute and one from the National Institutes of Health has shed light on how our bodies convert vibrations entering the ear into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. Exactly how the electrical signal is generated has been the subject of ongoing research interest.
August 30, 2007 New Study Pinpoints Specific Neurons Involved In Memory Formation
In a remarkable new study, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have unlocked one of the secrets of how memory is formed. Working with a unique breed of transgenic mice, the new study has shown for the first time that the same neurons activated during fear conditioning are, in fact, reactivated during memory retrieval.
June 19, 2007 Kristin Baldwin of Scripps Research Institute Named To Highly Selective Pew Scholars Program
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) announced today that Kristin K. Baldwin, Ph.D., was named one of 20 exceptional researchers selected as 2007 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. As a Pew Scholar, each scientist will receive a $240,000 award over four years to help support his or her research, as well as gain inclusion into a unique community of scientists that encourages collaboration and the exchange of ideas. The program is funded by Pew through a grant to UCSF.
June 19, 2007 Scripps Research Scientists Show Protein Accelerates Breast Cancer Progression in Animal Models
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown for the first time that a cytokine called pleiotrophin stimulates the progression of breast cancer in both animal and cell culture models. The study, which tested three separate models to determine the role of inappropriate expression of pleiotrophin, found that it produced striking increases in aggressiveness of the breast cancer cells themselves.
June 18, 2007 Scripps Research Scientists Discover Mouse Appetite Suppressant
A protein called interleukin-18 (IL-18), previously known mainly for its role in the immune system, is also a powerful appetite suppressant for mice once they reach the equivalent of adulthood, according to scientists at The Scripps Research Institute. Members of the research team hope the work will eventually lead to the development of new treatments for preventing obesity in humans. Unlike similar proteins, IL-18 suppresses appetite without unwanted side effects such as fever or sickness behavior, suggesting it might be a particularly good target for further study.
May 23, 2007 Study Reveals Process Linking Disordered Protein Folding and Binding
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology have uncovered one of the processes by which disordered or unstructured proteins become bound to specific cellular sites. The findings offer valuable insights into how proteins carry out their genetically encoded functions, and may provide promising new targets for future drug development.
May 3, 2007 Study Led by Scripps Research Scientist Reveals Little-Known Cell Networks Vital to Circadian Rhythm
In a wide-ranging systems biology study of circadian rhythm, a multi-institutional collaboration led by Scripps Research Institute Professor Steve Kay has uncovered some little-known cellular mechanisms for sustaining circadian rhythm and limiting the impact of genetic clock mutations in mammals. The new findings could have important implications for future circadian studies, and point researchers toward new ways to manipulate human circadian rhythm at the molecular level to treat diseases such as bipolar disorder.
May 2, 2007 Scripps Research Team Sheds Light on Long-Sought Cold Sensation Gene
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Novartis Research Foundation have shown that a gene called TRPM8 is responsible for the bulk of this ability in mice. The discovery, reported in the May 3 issue of the journal Neuron, might one day lead to the development of drugs that induce cold sensation as an analgesic, or block it to prevent certain forms of chronic pain associated with cold sensation.
April 10, 2007 Scripps Research Team Unravels Drug Target for Parasitic Diseases
The ongoing search for better treatments for devastating parasitic diseases such as Chagas’ disease and African sleeping sickness now has a new target, thanks to research by a team from The Scripps Research Institute. The group now understands better a critical DNA-protein binding event that, if blocked, can kill the parasites that cause the diseases. The researchers are already working to screen drugs that will block this mechanism.
April 9, 2007 Study Shows Humans and Plants Share Common Regulatory Pathway
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown for the first time that humans and plants share a common pathogen recognition pathway as part of their innate immune systems. The data could help shed fresh light on how pathogen recognition proteins function and the role they play in certain chronic inflammatory diseases.
April 5, 2007 Scripps Research Scientists Identify New Regulatory Mechanism for Critical Protein Signaling Domain
In a study with far-reaching implications, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and other institutions have for the first time identified a new in vivo regulatory mechanism for the PH Domain, a component of many proteins that allows them to move from a cell’s interior to the cell membrane in response to stimulation of cell surface receptors. The findings offer a promising avenue for the development of novel therapies for immunodeficiency or autoimmune diseases.
April 4, 2007 Scripps Research Team Reveals Major Role for Novel Neurotransmitter System in Regulating Drug Intake
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute has provided strong new evidence that a novel neurotransmitter system in the brain is involved in alcohol and opiate addiction. The group found that levels of endogenous cannabinoids increase or decrease in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol or opiates consumed. By providing insight into possible new targets for drug therapy, this work opens up novel avenues for regulating addiction.
March 19, 2007 Synthetic Production of Potential Pharmaceuticals Dramatically Simplified by Scripps Research Team
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute has developed new techniques that dramatically reduce the time, complexity, and cost of synthesizing natural products with pharmaceutical potential. The work dislodges previously entrenched beliefs in the organic chemistry field about how such products must be produced, and could help to advance and expand the use of natural products in drug discovery programs.
February 12, 2007 Scripps Research Study Reveals Structural Dynamics of Single Prion Molecules
Using a combination of novel technologies, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have revealed for the first time a dynamic molecular portrait of individual unfolded yeast prions that form the compound amyloid, a fibrous protein aggregate associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease—the human version of mad cow disease.
February 12, 2007 Scripps Research Team Discovers a Chemical Pathway that Causes Mice to Overeat and Gain Weight
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute who are studying how body temperature and energy metabolism are regulated have discovered a pathway that appears to play a critical role in the onset of obesity. Further study of the pathway could lead to better understanding of the physiological foundation of obesity in humans and even the discovery of new treatments for the condition.
January 4, 2007 Study Reveals Dynamic Interface of Molecular Clutch in Cell Migration
Using a remarkable new technology, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified a number of key protein interactions that allow cells to migrate throughout the body. These findings, which describe in detail how cells transmit molecular information into physical movement, provide the first direct analysis of cellular movement and may point the way to potential treatments for a variety of diseases including cancer.
December 26, 2006 Study Identifies Glucose "Sensor" That Plays Dual Role in Glucose Metabolism and Fat Synthesis
In a new study, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have described for the first time a glucose activated sensor that acts as a switch to decrease production of endogenous glucose in the liver, and increase conversion of glucose to fat for storage in adipose tissue. This dual action makes the sensor, Liver X Receptor, a potential target for new therapies aimed at obesity and diabetes. The research may also have implications for heart disease and stroke.
December 20, 2006 Scripps Research Study Questions Need for Potential Vaccine Additive
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has published a study that questions the need for incorporating an ingredient—TLR ligands— in vaccines to increase their effectiveness. Excluding TLR ligands would help keep down manufacturing costs and would avoid this ingredient’s potential side effects, such as inflammation and autoimmune syndromes.
November 17, 2006 Scientists Identify Cells That Promote Repair of Blood Vessels in the Eye
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a method of repairing and normalizing blood vessels in the eye through the use of stem cells derived from bone marrow. These findings may point to a new approach for developing treatments for a certain type of eye diseases.
October 31, 2006 Scientists Identify Synthetic Compound That Keeps Stem Cells Young
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine has discovered a new synthetic compound that can support growth and self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells, offering a simple alternative to current growth conditions that may vary batch-to-batch and confuse experimental results.
October 20, 2006 Study Offers Innovative Profile of Enzyme That Aids Tumor Growth
Using an innovative profiling strategy, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have characterized an enzyme that is "highly elevated" in aggressive human tumor cells. When the enzyme, KIAA1363, was inactivated, it impaired tumor growth and migration in both ovarian and breast cancer cells, suggesting that inhibitors of this enzyme may prove valuable in the treatment of multiple types of cancer.
October 19, 2006 New Study Shows How Genetic Repair Mechanism Helps Seal DNA Breaks
A new study by researchers from The Scripps Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Washington University School of Medicine, and the University of Maryland has provided a clearer picture of the final steps of a critical DNA repair process. When these repair processes go awry, cells can malfunction, die, or become cancerous.
September 19, 2006 Study Details Structural Changes of a Key Catalytic Enzyme
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have detailed a new hypothesis of how a key catalytic enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR)--which is the target of several anticancer and antibiotic therapies--cycles through structural changes as it plays a critical role in promoting cell growth and proliferation.
September 14, 2006 New Study Pinpoints Unique Genetic Susceptibility for Viral Encephalitis
Working in close collaboration with a group of French researchers, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have helped uncover a unique genetic immunodeficiency that leaves patients vulnerable to herpes simplex encephalitis, a rare yet devastating infection of the brain that affects a small minority of people infected with a common virus.
September 8, 2006 Study Shows Enzyme Builds Neurotransmitters Via Newly Discovered Pathway
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a previously unknown function of an enzyme that appears to play a primary role in the biosynthesis of a large class of lipids that help modulate diverse physiological processes, including anxiety, inflammation, learning and memory, and appetite.
September 7, 2006 Consortium for Functional Glycomics Awarded $40.7 Million "Glue" Grant
The Scripps Research Institute’s Consortium for Functional Glycomics has received a $40.7 million "glue" grant for the international group of some 300 participating scientists to continue collaborative study of the complex dynamics of protein-carbohydrate interactions. The five-year grant, provided by The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), is the second NIGMS grant the consortium has received. The first, awarded in 2001, was a five-year grant of $34 million.
August 31, 2006 New Study Unveils Structure of Key Component of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Working in close collaboration with other researchers, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered for the first time the structural chemistry behind the "astonishing multi-functionality" of the bacterial GC (for gonococcal) Type IV pilus filament, which plays an essential role in Neisseria gonorrhoeae pathogenesis. The Type IV pili allow antibiotic-resistant strains of N. gonorrhoeae to escape the immune system and cause persistent and recurrent gonorrhea infections.
August 20, 2006 Scripps Research Team Reverses Friedreich’s Ataxia Defect in Cell Culture
A team from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California School of Medicine has developed compounds that reactivate the gene responsible for the neurodegenerative disease Friedreich’s ataxia, offering hope for an effective treatment for this devastating and often deadly condition.
August 10, 2006 Scientists Discover Age-Regulated Cellular Activities That Protect Against Protein Aggregation
By disrupting the aging process in an organism, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered two mechanisms in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease that protect cells against protein aggregation that leads to damage called "proteotoxicity." Since proteotoxicity appears to cause the neurodegeneration in disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, these findings have important therapeutic implications.
August 9, 2006 Marijuana’s Active Ingredient Shown to Inhibit Primary Marker of Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque, the primary pathological marker for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the study said, THC is "a considerably superior inhibitor of [amyloid plaque] aggregation" to several currently approved drugs for treating the disease.
July 30, 2006 Newly Discovered Genetic Abnormality Shown to Cause Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Working in collaboration with international researchers, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a new genetic abnormality that results in the rapid development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in animal models. These findings could lead to new ways of diagnosing and controlling development of a variety of human diseases, including leukemia and other cancers that result from certain types of genetic defects.
July 24, 2006 "An Intimate Evening with Craig Chaquico"
Craig Chaquico, the renowned lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane/Starship and highly acclaimed contemporary instrumental artist, will perform at a dinner on August 13 to benefit the Molly Baber Research Fund at The Scripps Research Institute. The intimate event, from 6 to 10 PM, will feature a multi-station dinner under the stars at the Bernardo Heights Country Club, as well as an auction of a Craig Chaquico Model Carvin Guitar.
July 10, 2006 Researchers Unveil Strategy for Creating Actively Programmed Anti-Cancer Molecules
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology have developed a unique assembly strategy to produce an anti-cancer targeting antibody, an approach that combines the merits of small molecule drug design with immunotherapy. Among the potential therapeutic advantages is a dramatically increased circulatory half-life of the compound, which could give patients greater exposure to the benefits of any treatment.
July 9, 2006 Researchers Use New Chemical Probe to Manipulate Protective Inner Barriers
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, Irvine, have developed a chemical tool that allows them to manipulate control of the passage of substances through the barriers between blood and organ tissues. The findings have important therapeutic implications for a range of conditions, including organ transplants, autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, and adult respiratory distress syndrome.
July 6, 2006 Prion Disease Agent Causes Heart Damage in Mouse Study
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has shown for the first time that laboratory mice infected with the agent of scrapie—a brain-wasting disease of sheep—demonstrate high levels of the scrapie agent in their heart 300 days after being infected in the brain. These findings raise the possibility that heart infection could be a new aspect of prion diseases, including those that affect humans and livestock, and that these diseases could travel through the blood.
June 22, 2006 Researchers Map Infectious Hepatitis B Virus
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have analyzed the structure of hepatitis B virus and found that it has unique features that distinguish it from other enveloped viruses such as influenza and herpes virus.
May 31, 2006 Study Links Effects of Withdrawal to Compulsive Drug Use and Craving
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute; the National Institutes of Health Animal Center; and the University of Tokushima Graduate School (Japan) has provided some of the first evidence that compulsive drug use stems not from obtaining a drug’s pleasurable effects, but from an aversion to drug withdrawal. The finding could be used to help develop human therapies to block aspects of drug craving.
May 18, 2006 New Study Suggests Virus Uses Pressure to Sense when Full of DNA
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, the University of Alabama, and the University of Utah have created a three-dimensional reconstruction of the complete structure of the virus P22. This structure suggests that the virus uses a pressure mechanism to stop DNA loading, a mechanism that offers a potential drug target. Although P22 only infects bacteria, its structure is similar to the herpes virus, types of which cause oral and genital herpes, chicken pox, and mononucleosis.
May 17, 2006 Study Details Hepatitis C Ability to Block Immune System Response
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has shed light on one mechanism the hepatitis C virus uses to inhibit the immune system and promote its own survival. Results of the study may help in the development of new approaches to the treatment of hepatitis C virus.
April 26, 2006 Immune Response to HIV in the Brain a "Double-Edged Sword"
A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute has shed new light on the molecular basis of problems with brain function in models chronically infected with an immune deficiency virus similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The findings may ultimately lead to new therapeutic interventions to prevent or reverse nervous system disorders in HIV-infected individuals.
April 25, 2006 Revealing the Secrets of WRN
A team of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Scripps Research Institute has determined the crystal structure and molecular mechanisms of a key part of WRN, a protein that protects humans from premature aging and cancer.
April 20, 2006 Lack of a Key Enzyme Dramatically Increases Resistance to Sepsis
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, The La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, and Merck Research Laboratories have uncovered a "fundamentally new role" for an enzyme that when present in vivo in certain forms impedes the immune response to bacterial infection. According to the new study, the presence of caspase-12, which appears to modulate inflammation and innate immunity in humans, increases the body’s "vulnerability to bacterial infection and septic shock" while a deficiency confers strong resistance to sepsis. This new discovery suggests that caspase-12 antagonists could be a potentially useful in the treatment of sepsis and other inflammatory and immune disorders.
April 18, 2006 Study Shows Gene Candidates for Predisposition to Alcohol Abuse
A collaborative study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute as part of the Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism Consortium (INIA) have identified some 3,800 "unique genes" that may determine a predisposition for a high degree of alcohol intake. The meta analysis, which examined more than 4.5 million data points on more than 100 microarrays from mouse models, also identified more than 1,300 functional groups, including signaling and transcription pathways, which may also play an important role in establishing a capacity for a "high level of alcohol consumption."
April 6, 2006 Enzyme Crystal Structure Reveals "Unexpected" Genome Repair Functions
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have determined the crystal structure of an enzyme called xeroderma pigmentosum group B (XPB) helicase, identifying several unexpected functions and helping to address important questions about the enzyme’s role in DNA transcription and repair. The research illuminated, for the first time, the roles played by the important XPB protein in recognizing blockages in reading the DNA code and in initiating an efficient method of repair. The discovery may be useful in the quest to develop new forms of chemotherapy.
March 31, 2006 Dyadic Partners with Scripps Florida to Annotate Dyadic's Proprietary Cl Genome
Dyadic International, Inc. (AMEX: OIL), a biotechnology company, announced today that it has engaged The Scripps Research Institute to work with Dyadic scientists to provide a complete annotation of the genome of Dyadic's proprietary fungal organism, Chrysosporium lucknowense ("Cl"), which was sequenced by another vendor last year.
March 24, 2006 "Accelerated Evolution" Converts RNA Enzyme to DNA Enzyme In Vitro
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have successfully converted an RNA enzyme (ribozyme) into a DNA enzyme (deoxyribozyme) through a process of accelerated in vitro evolution. The molecular conversion or transfer of both genetic information and catalytic function between these two different genetic systems, which are both based on nucleic acid-like molecules, is exactly what many scientists believe occurred during the very earliest period of earth’s existence.
March 16, 2006 Minor Mutations in Avian Flu Virus Increase Chances of Human Infection
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology have identified what the researchers described as a possible pathway for a particularly virulent strain of the avian flu virus H5N1 "to gain a foothold in the human population."
March 14, 2006 Newly Discovered Small Molecules "Superactivate" Botox
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered several small molecules that can "superactivate" the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the commonly used cosmetic treatment for wrinkles known as Botox that has a number of therapeutic uses.
March 9, 2006 Novel Method Reveals How Menthol Creates Cold Sensations
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have developed a method that can aid in understanding how certain proteins can be activated. The group used this new methodology to study the molecular mechanism by which menthol, the cooling compound derived from mint leaves, enhances the activity of TRPM8, an ion channel protein involved in our ability to feel cold temperature through the skin.
February 27, 2006 Fluorescent Viral Nanoparticles Permit High Resolution In Vivo Vascular Imaging
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown that cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) can be used as an "exceptionally bright" imaging agent that permits high resolution in vivo visualization of the vascular endothelium, the cells that line the inside of blood vessels, for as long as 72 hours. These results strongly suggest that fluorescently dyed CPMV nanoparticles could become a "powerful tool" to image tissues deep inside living organisms in the laboratory and, potentially, in a clinical setting as well.
February 20, 2006 New Study Shows Antibody-Interleukin Complexes Stimulate Immune Responses
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown that injections of a certain cytokine together with the right monoclonal antibody increases white blood cells that coordinate immune responses to tumor and infected cells. These results may point the way to an improved cancer therapy that helps patients boost their own immune response to the disease. The findings could also be significant for developing new ways to help patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or juvenile diabetes.
February 7, 2006 High Resolution "Snapshots" Detail Dynamics of a Cocaine Antibody
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have revealed for the first time a series of molecular structures of a specific cocaine-degrading monoclonal antibody Fab’ fragment during the complete catalytic process—a chain of events that breaks the drug into nontoxic pieces. Understanding these significant structural changes of the antibody 7A1 could help in the development of a treatment for cocaine addiction. A monoclonal antibody is cloned from a single type of immune cell.
January 31, 2006 Protein Found to Control Tumor Growth in Certain Breast Cancers
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Xiamen University School of Life Sciences, Fujian, People’s Republic of China, have uncovered a new and potentially important function for the protein Nod1, inhibiting the growth of estrogen sensitive human breast cancer cells.
January 13, 2006 Study Reveals Unusual Structure of Cellular Transport Nanocage
A new study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has revealed for the first time the structure of Sec13/31, a "nanocage" that transports a large body of proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which makes up more than half the total internal cell membrane, to other regions of the cell.
December 2, 2005 Researchers Map a Complex Molecular Assembly "Landscape" For the First Time
For the first time, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a highly detailed kinetic and thermodynamic landscape that describes the mechanisms of macromolecular synthesis, findings that may help spur advances in the global challenges of antibiotic drug resistance. In their study, the researchers showed that assembly of the 30S ribosomal subunit is a "complex dance" in which 20 smaller proteins bind to ribosomal RNA (rRNA) as it folds, allowing it to play a major role in the translation of messenger RNA (mRNA), which encodes and carries information from DNA to protein synthesis sites.
November 29, 2005 "Unprecedented" Functional Amyloid Found to Play Beneficial Role In Human Cells
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown that the amyloid protein structure, which has been linked to neurodegeneration in diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, carries out an important functional role in human physiology. The discovery raises the possibility that current research into curtailing amylolid formation to treat these diseases might ultimately do as much harm as good. The discovery of functional amyloid in a range of organisms, which now includes humans, suggests that it was present early in evolution, and was retained for a fundamental role in normal mammalian cell physiology.
November 22, 2005 Scripps Research Institute Team Shows Chemical Chaperones Help Increase Deficient Enzyme Activity in Gaucher Disease
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that certain chemical chaperones help increase the activity of various types of glucocerebrosidase, the enzyme lacking in patients with Gaucher (go-SHAY) disease. This discovery suggests that the active levels of glucocerebrosidase can be improved through the use of select site-directed small molecules or chemical chaperones, which bind and stabilize proteins and prevent their degradation. These findings could lead to the development of first-in-class drugs for the treatment of the disease.
November 21, 2005 World Community Grid Targets AIDS in Giant Research Effort
IBM today launched a new research effort to help battle AIDS using the massive computational power of World Community Grid, a global community of computer users who have joined the philanthropic technology initiative by simply donating unused time on their personal computers. With computational power already placing it among the top 10 supercomputers in the world, World Community Grid will be the first virtual supercomputer devoted specifically to AIDS research. Working with the renowned Scripps Research Institute, a private, non-profit research organization engaged in basic biomedical science based in San Diego, World Community Grid will host its second major project—the Internet-based FightAIDS@Home, an evolutionary research project dedicated to finding new AIDS therapies.
October 26, 2005 Multi-Million Dollar Deal to Benefit Medical Research
The Medical Research Council is to receive US$191m as part of one of the biggest deals to come out of breakthroughs by British scientists. The money comes from the development of a drug created using patented technology which arose from research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and The Scripps Research Institute.
September 30, 2005 Scripps Research Scientist Wins 2005 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
Clare Waterman-Storer, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, has been named one of the winners of the National Institutes of Health’s 2005 NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards, which includes a research budget of up to $500,000 in direct costs per year for five years.
September 28, 2005 "Memory" of Nicotine Lingers in the Brain, Say Scripps Research Scientists
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida are reporting the results of one of the first studies looking at the long-term neurological effects of nicotine addiction on the brain’s reward system. Their findings may have significant implications for people who are trying to quit smoking.
September 1, 2005 Mysterious Molecules Begin to Yield Their Secrets
A team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have discovered a way to screen hundreds and potentially thousands of "noncoding" RNA molecules to discover their functions within cells.
July 1, 2005 Scripps Research Institute-Based Center Awarded More than $50 Million by NIH in Massive Effort to Solve Protein Structures
A consortium of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and several other California institutions has been awarded a $52.7 million grant by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is part of the second phase of a $600 million national effort called the Protein Structure Initiative that ultimately seeks to find the three-dimensional shapes of all types of proteins. This structural information will help reveal the roles that proteins play in health and disease and will help point the way to designing new medicines.
June 16, 2005 National Institutes of Health Awards $10.4 Million to Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida
First grant for research at both campuses is part of NIH effort to speed the progress of discoveries from lab bench to patient bedside
A group of researchers at the La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, campuses of The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $10.4 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish The Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center. This is a pilot program to discover small molecule tools for translating basic biomedical discoveries more quickly into medically relevant applications.
June 6, 2005 The Scripps Research Institute is Recipient of Clubmom Dollar Drive For Charity
The Scripps Research Institute has been selected as one of the leading nonprofit organizations in the United States to participate in the ClubMom Dollar Drive for Charity initiative. For every mom recruited by Scripps Research to join ClubMom between now and March 31, 2006, ClubMom will donate $1 to the Institute.
March 3, 2005 Molecular Thermometers on Skin Cells Detect Heat and Camphor
In recent years, biologists and neuroscientists have been trying to discover the basic molecules and mechanisms that underlie this complicated communication system that is our senses, and one group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), has been making headway in trying to understand those that mediate our sense of touch.
November 19, 2004 Detecting the Genes That Contribute to Transplant Rejection
A group of physicians and scientists led by Associate Professor Daniel Salomon, M.D., of the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute, has been awarded a new federal research grant of more than $12 million over five years to apply cutting-edge genomic technologies to advance our understanding of kidney transplantation.
October 1, 2004 NIH Awards New $14.5 Million, Five-year Grant to The Scripps Research Institute
The Scripps Research Institute announced today that it has been awarded a $14.5 million, five-year grant from The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, which is titled "JCSG Center for Innovative Membrane Protein Technologies," funds structural biology research on membrane proteins - an area of immense medical potential.
September 14, 2004 Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees Elects Three New Members
The Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees has elected three new members, two recommended by the Scripps Florida Funding Corporation, which oversees state funding for the Institute’s new operations in Palm Beach County, and the third a prominent Florida business leader.
August 20, 2004 Scripps Research Institute Scientists Describe How Chemical Turns Progenitor Stem Cells into Bone Cells
A group of researchers from The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have described how a small synthetic molecule called "purmorphamine" causes a type of stem cell to selectively differentiate into adult bone cells. Purmorphamine, or a similar compound that has the same effect, may have significant clinical value someday for treating the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis.
August 18, 2004 New "Clock Gene" Uncovered
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), led by Steve Kay, Ph.D., and John Hogenesch, Ph.D., recently revealed a new genetic component of the mammalian clock—a protein known as "Rora." This discovery may someday help people with jet lag, shift workers who feel wiped out after working a night shift, and people with more serious sleep disorders, many of which are related to circadian rhythms.
July 7, 2004 The Impact of Backbone Hydrogen Bonds
In 1973, Christian Anfinsen shook the biology world with a simple but powerful experiment involving protein folding. He unfolded a protein called RNase A by placing it in a solution of 8 M urea.
July 1, 2004 Renowned Physician and Biochemist Bernard M. Babior Dies at 69
Bernard M. Babior, a distinguished medical scientist, died in San Diego, California on June 29, 2004, after a long battle with prostate cancer. For the past 18 years, he was a Professor and Head of the Division of Biochemistry at The Scripps Research Institute and a Staff Physician at the Scripps Clinic, both in La Jolla.
July 1, 2004 The Key to Cell Motility
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have described the regulatory mechanism of an important human protein called Rac that controls a number of biological processes and is directly implicated in several human diseases.
June 21, 2004 Treating Cocaine Addiction with Viruses
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have designed a potentially valuable tool for treating cocaine addiction by creating a modified "phage" virus that soaks up the drug inside the brain.
April 19, 2004 The Palo Alto Research Center and The Scripps Research Institute Partner
The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a subsidiary of Xerox Corporation, and The Scripps Research Institute today announced their partnership to form the Scripps-PARC Institute for Advanced Biomedical Studies with the intent to accelerate discovery processes in the life sciences.
April 2, 2004 Scripps Research Scientist Wins 2004 Koch Prize
Professor Bruce Beutler, M.D., of The Scripps Research Institute has won the 2004 Robert Koch Award together with Professor Shizuo Akira of Osaka, Japan and Professor Jules A. Hoffmann of Strasbourg, France, the Robert Koch Foundation has announced.
March 29, 2004 Scripps Research Scientists Find Deafness Gene’s Function
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, at the University of California, San Diego, and at the Oregon Hearing Research Center and Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a key molecule that is part of the machinery that mediates the sense of hearing.
March 15, 2004 A New Hypothesis about Alzheimer’s Disease
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has proposed a new theory about the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the progressive neurodegenerative disorder that currently afflicts some 4.5 million Americans.
December 18, 2003 Linking the Immune System with Lipid Metabolism
A team of researchers led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has discovered a family of proteins that connect the immune system to the body’s lipids—the fat molecules that are a major building block of the human body.
November 14, 2003 Filmmaker Warren Beatty and Mervyn’s Mervin Morris Join TSRI Board
Actor and Academy Award-winning director and producer Warren Beatty and California businessman Mervin G. Morris, the founder of the Mervyn’s chain of retail stores, have been elected to the Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
November 7, 2003 Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute Discover a Genetic Cause for Primary Iron Overload
Three new studies describe the discovery of a genetic mutation that could be responsible for causing the metabolic disorder, primary iron overload, common among people of African descent. Professor Ernest Beutler, M.D., in The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI led one of the studies and is coauthor of another.
November 4, 2002 Potential New Treatment for Gaucher Disease Developed by Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a compound that could potentially be used as a new treatment for Gaucher disease, the most common genetic disorder affecting Jewish people of Eastern European ancestry. Although not tested in humans, the compound has shown great promise in human cell lines cultured from patients who suffer from the disease.
October 9, 2002 Kurt Wüthrich of The Scripps Research Institute Wins 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Second Nobel Prize in a Row for TSRI Kurt Wüthrich, Ph.D., who is Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Visiting Professor of Structural Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and a member of TSRI’s Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology; and Professor of Biophysics at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), Switzerland, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry today for applying the technique of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to solving the structures of biological macromolecules.
June 14, 2002 TSRI Graduate and Postdoc Wins Prestigious Career Award
Stephen W. Santoro, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has been selected as a recipient of a 2002 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. The awards provide $500,000 over five years for young scientists, spanning the period that includes their advanced postdoctoral training and their early years as a faculty member of an academic research institution.
May 31, 2002 Lerner to Receive UC Presidential Medal
Richard A. Lerner, M.D., president of The Scripps Research Institute, will receive the University of California Presidential Medal on Friday, May 31. The medal is the highest award the university can bestow.
May 16, 2002 "Warm to the Touch" Gene Found
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have identified and cloned the first-known gene that makes skin cells able to sense warm temperatures.
October 12, 2001 Molecules Caught in the Act-- Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute Solve Elusive Enzyme Mechanism
A collaboration between Professors Ian A. Wilson, Ph.D., Chi-Huey Wong, Ph.D., and their colleagues in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has yielded one of the best views ever of an enzyme caught in the act of catalyzing a reaction on its substrate. This research should prove invaluable as a tool for drug synthesis.
October 5, 2001 NIGMS Awards "Glue Grant" to Study Cell Talk
To begin to untangle huge biomedical problems like teasing apart the roles carbohydrates and proteins play in cellular communication, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has provided a "glue grant" of $7.4 million (for the first year of funding) to a consortium of basic scientists dedicated to studying carbohydrate function.
April 20, 2001 Simultaneous Reports by Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute Show How they Made Bacteria Do What Nature Doesn’t
Scientists at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have published two separate papers in the current issue of the journal Science in which they describe two different ways of engineering bacterial cells to encode "unnatural" proteins. Principal Investigators Peter Schultz, Ph.D., Scripps Family Chair, The Skaggs Institute and Department of Chemistry; and Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor and Chair, The Skaggs Institute, and Departments of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, led the two separate efforts.
April 12, 2001 Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute Develop a New "Kit" to Screen Mercury in Fish
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have developed a screening method, similar to a home pregnancy test, that can detect mercury contamination in fish. According to Kim D. Janda, Ph.D., Eli R. Callaway Chair in Chemistry and Professor, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, the strategy could be used both by consumers and environmental professionals.
March 26, 2001 President of The Scripps Research Institute to Receive Honorary Degree
Richard A. Lerner, M.D., President of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named a recipient of an honorary degree from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel. The conferral ceremony will be held in June, 2001, to coincide with the Technion’s annual International Board of Governors meeting.
January 24, 2001 Sharpless Named Recipient of 2001 Benjamin Franklin Medal
K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D., W.M. Keck Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, has been named the recipient of a 2001 Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
January 16, 2001 Sharpless Wins Wolf Prize
K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D., W.M. Keck Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, has won the 2001 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. Sharpless, who has been with TSRI since 1990, is cited by the Wolf Prize jury for his "pioneering, creative, and crucial work in developing asymmetric catalysis for the synthesis of chiral molecules, greatly increasing mankind’s ability to create new products of fundamental and practical importance."
October 26, 2000 TSRI Scientist Wins Presidential Early Career Award
Geoffrey Chang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, was named by President Clinton as one of the recipients of the fifth annual Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.
September 26, 2000 New Genomic Center Funded To Advance HighThroughput Protein Structure Determination
The Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), a consortium of California scientific research organizations, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant of $24 million over a five- year period to expand on the body of knowledge made av ailable by the completion of the human and other genome sequencing projects.
August 4, 2000 TSRI Scientists Clone Gene that Regulates Circadian Rhythms in Plants
Scientists at TSRI have cloned a gene that regulates circadian rhythms in plants, providing an increased understanding -- on a molecular level -- of the processes that enable organisms to anticipate and adapt to daily variations in the environment. Further, researchers believe that understanding internal "clocks" in plants might also elucidate how clocks work in other species, including humans.
July 6, 2000 Chi-Huey Wong, Ph.D., Receives 2000 Presidential Green Chemistry Award
Chi-Huey Wong, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been selected to receive a 2000 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, jointly presented by the Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology and President of the American Chemical Society.
June 1, 2000 Sandra L. Schmid, Ph.D., Named to Head Department of Cell Biology
Professor Sandra L. Schmid, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology, effective July 1, 2000, according to Richard A. Lerner, M.D., TSRI President. She will replace Norton B. Gilula, Ph.D., current Department Chairman and Dean of Graduate Studies. While he will continue to head the graduate program, he also recently was named Vice President, Scientific Affairs.
May 25, 2000 Ian A. Wilson, D.Phil., Elected to Royal Society
Ian A. Wilson, D.Phil., Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been elected to fellowship in the Royal Society, the independent scientific academy of the United Kingdom, dedicated to promoting excellence in science.
March 31, 2000 The Genetics of Aging
Gradual genetic changes may be the source of many, if not all illnesses of aging, including breast cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
January 28, 2000 Software for the Genome Created by TSRI Scientists
Scientists at TSRI have developed a method of producing and combining proteins as modular building blocks capable of functioning as genetic switches to turn on or off genes on demand.
January 26, 2000 Scientists Discover Evolutionary Adaptation to DNA Repair in Human Cells
Researchers studying a key human DNA repair enzyme have discovered an evolutionary adaptation that highlights a fundamental advantage in the way human cells repair damage to their DNA. The study, "DNA-Bound Structure and Mutants Reveal A Basic DNA Binding by APE1 Coordinates DNA Repair," appears in the January 27 issue of Nature.
December 9, 1999 Scientists Discover New Approach to Inhibiting Integrins
TSRI scientists and their colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, have discovered a protein-protein interaction important for the function of a class of integrin cell surface receptors that are involved in migration of cells which contribute to chronic inflammation.
August 24, 1999 Role of Genetics in Narcolepsy
Scientists at TSRI and their colleagues at several other medical research institutions have received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the genetic basis for narcolepsy, a potentially disabling, life-long condition estimated to afflict about one in every 1,000 people in this country.
June 28, 1999 K.C. Nicolaou Wins International Aspirin Prize for Solidarity Through Chemistry
K.C. Nicolaou, Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Chemistry and Professor, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the first International Aspirin Prize for Solidarity Through Chemistry by Quimica Farmaceutica Bayer, S.A. (Barcelona).
June 14, 1999 Poison Gas Test That Fits in Your Pocket
(Angewandte Chemie press release)
They are feared as the "poor country’s nuclear weapon": the chemical weapons - also known as nerve gasses - sarin and soman. They are easy to produce, and the necessary starting materials are cheap and relatively easy to obtain. Sarin and its relatives are deadly and internationally monitored.
April 30, 1999 New Study by TSRI Scientists Sheds Light
on Viral Clearance in Acute Hepatitis B Infection
A study published this week in Science by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute demonstrates a new paradigm in viral immunology, that the immune system can cure viral infections without destroying the infected cells. They conclude that nondestructive antiviral mechanisms can contribute to viral clearance by eliminating a virus from inside the cell without killing it.
January 12, 1999 TSRI Scientist Named Recipient of Rous-Whipple Award
Francis V. Chisari, M.D., Professor and Head of the Division of Experimental Pathology at The Scripps Research Institute, has been named winner of the 1999 Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology.
January 1, 1999 Novel Therapeutic Approach to Treatment of Arthritic Disease
is Explored by Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute
TSRI scientists have studied an investigational anti-angiogenesis treatment -- previously employed against various forms of cancer -- to assess its impact on arthritic disease in an animal model. Their results, published in the January 1, 1999, issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, provides evidence for a central pathogenic contribution of angiogenic blood vessels to the maintenance and severity of arthritic disease, and the potential viability of anti-angiogenic therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
October 16, 1998 TSRI Chemists Expand the DNA Alphabet to Build Protein-Like DNA Enzymes.
TSRI chemists Carlos F. Barbas, III, Ph.D., and Kandasamy Sakthivel, Ph.D., have added to the four letters making up the simple chemical alphabet of DNA. The purpose of the work is to make DNA derivatives that would be able to carry out various chemical processes in the laboratory in one go, similar to natural enzymes.
March 27, 1998 Structure of active form of the enzyme producing nitric oxide
TSRI scientists and their colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic have determined the molecular structures of the complete active site of the enzyme responsible for generating nitric oxide (NO). Knowledge of these structures advances understanding of how NO is produced and regulated in mammalian cells.
March 13, 1998 A glimpse of the earliest events in biological light sensing
A team of TSRI scientists, led by Elizabeth Getzoff, Ph.D., has succeeded in freezing a light sensing protein less than one billionth of a second after it absorbed a light particle. The researchers comment that this discovery has opened the pathway to a detailed understanding of the properties of biological light sensors.
February 6, 1998 Disruption of angiogenesis by PEX
Angiogenesis, the process whereby new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing ones, plays a key role in a number of diseases including cancer, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and arthritis.
December 19, 1997 Antibody aldolases with enzymic rates but broader scope
For the first time, scientists have developed a catalytic antibody with an efficiency rate and mechanism equal to that of a natural enzyme essential to life. They compared aldolases that use the same chemical mechanisms but differ in their origin.
November 28, 1997 Biological clocks no longer found only in the brain
A discovery by a team of scientists at TSRI and Brandeis University challenges the belief that 24-hour rhythms, or biological clocks, are centrally controlled from the brain. Using the fruit fly as a genetic model system, the research sought to determine if individual body parts would respond to changes in the light/dark cycle without any help from the head.
November 19, 1997 Total synthesis of eleutherobin and...
The first total chemical synthesis of a number of promising new anticancer compounds, first isolated from a rare species of corals, has been performed by a scientific team at TSRI. The group assembled the compounds by designing a multistep strategy using simple chemical building blocks such as carvone, an oil readily available from caraway or dill seeds, frequently used as a commodity chemical in perfumes and foods.
November 10, 1997 Prominent scientists join TSRI
TSRI has recruited a number of prominent scientists to its staff, all of whom hold dual appointments in The Skaggs Institute for Chemical biology as well as in other institutional departments. They are Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., former John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at MIT; Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D., Former Professor, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M; Martha J. Fedor, Ph.D., former Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center; and James R. Williamson, Ph.D., former Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, MIT.
October 31, 1997 Affordable, hand-held biosensor for diagnostics
A portable, hand-held biosensor capable of detecting a wide range of medically important chemical compounds has been created by a team of researchers from TSRI and University of California, San Diego.
October 17, 1997 Structure of Nitric Oxide Synthase...
Researchers at TSRI and the Cleveland Clinic have solved the structure of the active site of the enzyme that regulates the activity of nitric oxide (NO).