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News & Publications Press Release Richard Lerner to Receive Research!America Advocacy Award

2008 Builders of Science Award

WASHINGTON, DC, December 5, 2007—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.

Lerner has served as president of Scripps since 1986, and today, it is one of the largest private non-profit research organizations in the nation. Its sister institute opened in Jupiter, Florida, in 2004. Lerner also is known as one of the world’s experts in the field of catalytic antibodies, which is based on understanding the binding energy of proteins and how that energy can be used to facilitate chemical transformations. His scientific research helped lead to the discovery that ozone, a metabolic product of inflammation, may play a role in atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to assuming his current role at Scripps, Lerner served as chair of the institute's department of molecular biology. In addition to directing the institute's scientific activities, he is the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry, the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair in Chemistry, and a member of The Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology at Scripps Research.

Lerner has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Wolfe Prize in Chemistry in 1994, the California Scientist of the Year Award in 1996, and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize in 2003. He is on the editorial boards of several research journals and has been elected to many prestigious scientific societies, boards and academies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Science.

Recipients of Research!America's Advocacy Awards are leading advocates for medical, health and scientific research. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s

Donald W. Seldin, MD, Michael Brown, MD, and Joseph Goldstein, MD, were previously recognized with Research!America’s Builders of Science Award. Both Brown and Goldstein are Nobel Laureates.

The other recipients of Research!America's 2008 Advocacy Awards are U.S Senator Edward M. KennedyCalifornia Governor Arnold SchwarzeneggeramfAR,The Foundation for AIDS ResearchWilliam H. Foege, MD, MPH, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director; senior fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and emeritus presidential distinguished professor, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health; and Pat Furlong, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy founding president and chief executive officer.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Its advocacy awards program was established in 1996 to honor outstanding advocates for research. For more information, visit

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as for its insights into autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, the institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on drug discovery and technology development in addition to basic biomedical science. Scripps Research currently employs about 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. The institute's graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, is ranked among the top ten such programs in the nation. For more information, see

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