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Scripps Research Institute Receives $5.65 Million Gift from San Diego Philanthropist Helen Dorris

LA JOLLA, CA – September 16, 2015 – The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced today that it has received a $5.65 million gift from Helen Dorris, a San Diego mental health advocate and founder of TSRI’s Dorris Neuroscience Center.

“We are deeply grateful to Helen Dorris and her continued generosity in the support of neuroscience research at TSRI,” said Acting President and CEO James Paulson. “Her gifts help make possible discoveries that deepen our understanding of the nervous system and underscores her belief that neurosciences is at the threshold of advancing new treatments for devastating neurological conditions.”

“Thanks to Helen Dorris’s generosity, we have made progress finding new approaches to diseases from hearing loss and pain to hydrocephalus, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's,” said Ulrich Mueller, director of the Dorris Neuroscience Center. “The new gift ensures we will continue to forge new ground.”

Dorris, who is a San Diego State University professor emeritus, founded a neuroscience center at TSRI in 1999 with a commitment of $10 million. The center was originally named the Harold L. Dorris Neurological Research Center, in her brother's honor. She later founded TSRI’s Helen L. Dorris Institute for the Study of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders of Children and Adolescents. The two centers were consolidated in 2010 with an additional gift through The Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Foundation.

The new gift will enhance the established endowment for the Dorris Neuroscience Center.

The Dorris Neuroscience Center brings together scientists early in their careers with established researchers in the field and provides them with high-end imaging technology and state-of-the-art genomic and genetic research tools to advance their research. Using diverse interdisciplinary biological, biophysical and chemical approaches, the researchers conduct investigations with particular strengths in sensory systems (including smell, hearing and pain), neuronal circuitry (including the systems that govern memory) and stem cell research.

In addition to Mueller, the center's faculty includes: Kristin Baldwin, Jerold Chun, Hollis Cline, Benjamin Cravatt, Sandra Encalada, Anton Maximov, Mark Mayford, Ardem Patapoutian, Michael Petrascheck, Supriya Srinivasan and Lisa Stowers. Many of these laboratories are located in the Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Center Building, a 53,000-square-foot structure with cutting-edge facilities for imaging and behavior studies.

The Dorris Neuroscience Center also sponsors three Helen Dorris Scholars, an annual student award, a number of summer student internships and a distinguished lecture series.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs more than 2,500 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including two Nobel laureates and 20 members of the National Academy of Science, Engineering or Medicine—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

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Philanthropist Helen Dorris attends an event celebrating the Dorris Neuroscience Center on TSRI’s California campus (shown here with the center’s director, Professor Ulrich Mueller (right), and Jim Paulson, acting president and CEO). (High-res image)