Operating both in La Jolla, California, and Jupiter, Florida, the Department of Chemistry of The Scripps Research Institute has a strong representation on the Scripps Florida campus. This bi-coastal presence of chemistry stems from its ubiquitous and indispensible nature within biomedical research and other disciplines within the life and material sciences. Furthermore, the establishment of chemistry and biology laboratories within close proximity is recognized as an essential component of interdisciplinary research aiming at major biomedical breakthroughs and their translation into medicines. (For more on the history of the chemistry department and the impact of chemistry on science and society, see the Chairman’s Overview.)
Chemistry at Scripps Florida focuses on chemical synthesis, natural products chemistry, chemical biology, biochemistry and medicinal chemistry, the fields of research most relevant to biomedical research and the drug discovery and development process. Research efforts have also been initiated in the area of C-H activation in search of new technologies. Such research involves the discovery of new catalysts and has major implications for new energy sources and their cost-effective production (e.g. methane to methanol conversion). While scientists in the department are pursuing and advancing their own fields, they have also established numerous interdisciplinary collaborations with several investigators in the biology departments both at the Jupiter and the La Jolla campuses as well as in the Translational Research Institute. The environment at Scripps Florida is particularly conducive to such collaborations, which focus on both basic biomedical research and the drug discovery process. With regards to the latter initiative, chemistry faculty are working with colleagues from other departments on discovery biology, lead identification and optimization, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics in their efforts to discover new drug candidates. Targeted areas include cancer, glaucoma, and Parkinson’s and parasitic diseases.
For more details on individual faculty and their projects, see the faculty webpages.