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Two TSRI Scientists Elected Members of the National Academy of Sciences

La Jolla, CA. April 30, 2002 - Two professors from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) - Drs. Francis V. Chisari and Chi-Huey Wong - were elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences today in recognition of "their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research."

The election was held this morning during the 139th annual meeting of the Academy. Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 1,907. The number of National Academy of Sciences members at TSRI now totals 14.

Francis V. Chisari, M.D., Professor, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, and Director, General Clinical Research Center, is known for his work on hepatitis B and C virus infections and carcinogenesis. He is widely recognized for a series of discoveries that defined the immunological basis for HBV clearance, persistence and disease; demonstrated that the immune response can terminate HBV replication without killing infected cells; established the basis of hepatocarcinogenesis during chronic HBV infection; and laid the foundation for the development of therapeutic vaccines to cure chronic hepatitis, the leading cause of liver cancer throughout the world.

Dr. Chisari was born in New York, NY and graduated in 1968 from the Cornell University Medical College. He completed postdoctoral training at Cornell, Dartmouth, NIH, the Mayo Clinic and the Pasteur Institute. Dr. Chisari has been on the faculty at Scripps since 1973, and serves as Adjunct Professor, in the Department of Pathology, University of California School of Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honors, including the 1999 Rous-Whipple Award and the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, and the author of more than 200 research articles.

Chi-Huey Wong, Ph.D., Professor, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Ernest W. Hahn Professor and Chair in Chemistry, has developed methods that have made possible the synthesis of classes of compounds - especially those related to carbohydrates - important in biology and medicine and have pointed the way to "green" methodologies for uses in large scale chemistry. He has developed a number of enzymatic and chemical-enzymatic methods for the synthesis of carbohydrates, as well as contributions to the synthesis of novel peptides, glycopeptides and glycoproteins. Dr. Wong's work in the area of RNA recognition and carbohydrate-selectin interaction has led, in part, to the development of compounds to combat the problem of antibiotic resistance. Other research may lead the way to the development of new anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents.

Dr. Wong received a B.S. in chemistry and biochemical science as well as a master's degree in biochemical science from National Taiwan University. In 1982, he received a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral studies there. He then joined the chemistry faculty at Texas A&M University until he was named to his faculty appointments at The Scripps Research Institute in 1989. Dr. Wong is the recipient of many awards and honors and was named one of the 100 most cited chemists in the world from 1981-1999, comprising less than one half of one percent of all publishing researchers.


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