Scripps Research Logo

News Release

Scripps Research Institute Professor Featured in Technology Review as Industry Pioneer in Glycomics, One of the Top Ten Technologies That Will Change the Future
James Paulson's Consortium for Functional Glycomics aims to figure out the functions of carbohydrates in the human body

La Jolla, CA. and Cambridge, MA. January 8, 2003 - The Scripps Research Institute today announced that Professor James Paulson, Ph.D., has been chosen as a global leader in the field of glycomics by Technology Review, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's magazine of innovation. The magazine's February 2003 issue identifies ten emerging technologies it says will change the world. It is on newsstands January 21 and online now at http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/emerging0203.asp?p=10.

The technologies featured in the special issue have little to do with the latest crop of gadgets and gizmos. Technology Review editors have searched university and corporate labs around the world to find new areas of technology that promise to transform industries such as computing, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, and energy. For each technology, Technology Review has profiled one researcher or research team whose work exemplifies the field's possibilities.

The field Paulson represents, "glycomics," is the scientific pursuit of identifying and studying all of the carbohydrate molecules produced by an organism such as a human or mouse. Like proteomics, the study of all the proteins produced by an organism, glycomics is important for unraveling the mysteries of the recently solved human genome because more than half of all the proteins in the human body have carbohydrate molecules attached.

The precise interactions between carbohydrates and proteins continue to mystify scientists, though, because carbohydrates have proven to be extremely difficult to study. Unlike proteins, which are produced for the most part from a single template - an individual gene transcript - carbohydrates are made by a cascade of chemical reactions inside our bodies. Many of these reactions are extremely hard to replicate in the lab.

"The complex, branched structures of carbohydrates have prevented the development of efficient and routine methods that are key to unraveling the rich information content and biological roles of sugar molecules," Paulson says. Paulson's "Consortium for Functional Glycomics" (see http://glycomics.scripps.edu) promises to change that by bringing together a large group of scientists from leading academic centers across the country. "[The Consortium] will dramatically accelerate progress in understanding the roles of carbohydrates in cell communication and lead to novel therapeutic approaches for treatment of human disease."

"The innovations - and innovators - profiled in our report are pointing the way to a future of new computing architectures, alternative energy sources, safer and more effective drugs, improved forms of transportation, and other underpinnings of a vibrant economy and better world," says Robert Buderi, editor of Technology Review.

In addition to glycomics, other featured technologies include injectable tissue engineering, molecular imaging, grid computing, ad hoc wireless networks, software verification, quantum communications, nanoimprinting, nanosolar energy, and mechatronics.

About Technology Review

Technology Review, Inc., an MIT Enterprise, delivers essential information about emerging technologies on the verge of commercialization. Since 1998, paid circulation for the company's magazine, Technology Review, has more than tripled, climbing from 92,000 to 315,000. Combined with its signature events, newsletters, and online businesses, Technology Review reaches over a million senior technology thinkers and influencers - including venture capitalists, chief scientists, MIT alumni and students, researchers, senior corporate executives, investors, and innovators - throughout the world each month.

The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the largest, private, nonprofit scientific research organizations in the world. It stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science, a vital segment of medical research that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life, and is recognized for its research in molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, immunology, the neurosciences, and molecular medicine.

_________________________________________________

For more information contact:
Office of Communications
10550 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, California 92037
press@scripps.edu