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Scripps Seminars to Feature Florida Researchers as Part of Collaboration-Building

La Jolla, CA, February 22, 2005—Scripps Florida, a division of The Scripps Research Institute, will soon begin hosting a series of high-level biomedical science seminars—The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars—featuring a prominent Florida-based speaker from the academic, biotechnology or pharmaceutical communities at each session.

“These seminars will serve as one of the major foundations for creating knowledge- and technology-sharing opportunities, team building, and in-laboratory and other collaborations among biomedical researchers at Scripps Florida and other Florida research institutions, universities and companies,” said Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner, M.D., in announcing the seminar series.

The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars presentations will focus on topics within the broad fields of biomedical science, advanced technologies applied to biomedical research, and drug discovery.  The sessions will be open to interested professionals within the Scripps Florida and Florida scientific communities. They will begin in March on the Florida Atlantic University Jupiter campus where Scripps Florida is currently operating. Details of the first seminar will be announced shortly.

“Collaborations among researchers are the lifeblood of contemporary biomedical science” according to Lerner. “Science today is so complex, detailed, interdisciplinary, and expensive to accomplish that rarely can one researcher work effectively alone.”

At The Scripps Research Institute (and in the scientific research community in general), these collaborations are a “bottom up” process. When an individual biomedical researcher begins to define a project that he/she deems necessary and important to advance knowledge, the researcher will look to a network of colleagues in various relevant fields, developed over years of professional interactions such those to be provided by The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars. A team whose expertise and experience match the work to be undertaken is assembled that then seeks funds to support the proposed project.

To ensure essential academic and scientific freedom at Scripps Research, the individual researcher generally initiates these collaborations, not the Institute. Scripps Research does not dictate or pressure the scientist to pursue any particular project. Rather, Scripps Research encourages the scientist to push against the boundaries of what is known in his/her field in a quest to discover something new and important to the benefit of human health. For this reason, The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars are an essential step in fostering interaction among individual scientist at Scripps Florida and Florida research-focused institutions.

Scripps Research scientists are involved in collaborations with researchers at other institutions worldwide, working as team leaders and members.  With the recent development of its temporary campus in Palm Beach County, Florida, the institute has already initiated collaborative arrangements with the University of Florida for the shared use of magnetic resonance imaging technology and with Florida State University for mass spectrometry technology. The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars will provide another opportunity for science information-sharing, team building, and collaborations in proposal preparation, technology usage, laboratory work, data analysis, and many other areas.

“As the Scripps Florida research staff gradually grows, its collaborations with Florida scientists will grow,” Lerner said. “The Scripps Florida Collaborative Seminars are one necessary first step in that process.”

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute, headquartered in La Jolla, California, is one of the world's largest, private, non-profit biomedical research organizations.  It stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development.

The Scripps Research Institute, established in its current configuration in 1961, employs approximately 2,900 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel in 14 buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the northernmost neighborhood of the City of San Diego.

Scripps Florida, a 364,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility, is expected to be built in the near future in Palm Beach County.  The facility will focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Palm Beach County and the State of Florida have provided start-up economic packages for development, building, staffing, and equipping the campus.
 
Scripps Florida is now operating out of 40,000 square-foot lab facilities on the Florida Atlantic University Jupiter campus. 


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