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The Scripps Research Institute expands faculty with five new members

Expertise encompasses cancer, immunotherapy and regenerative medicine

LA JOLLA, CA and JUPITER, FL – July 11, 2018 –The Scripps Research Institute announced the addition of five new faculty members who bring diverse expertise to the Institute’s bicoastal scientific research operations. The scientists, who include four women and one man, join an organization that the journal Nature Index recently ranked the #1 nonprofit research institution in the United States for producing “high quality research.”

“We’re very pleased to have these stellar scientists join our faculty,” says Jamie Williamson, PhD, executive vice president of Research and Academic Affairs at the institute. “They’re demonstrating incomparable talent across some of the most pioneering areas of current research.”

The additions expand Scripps Research’s faculty to nearly 220 members, split over two campuses. Two of the new researchers will be based at the institute’s La Jolla, California campus:

Silke Paust, PhD, will join the Department of Immunology and Microbiology as an associate professor. Her work encompasses the development and testing of immunotherapies that elicit clinically relevant natural killer cell-mediated antiviral and antitumor immunity. She earned her doctoral degree in Immunology from Harvard University and most recently headed a laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Lisa Racki, PhD, currently a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology, will join the Integrative Structural and Computational Biology Department as an assistant professor. She studies how bacteria remodel their subcellular architecture to cope with starvation, which is important for survival in most environments including the human body in the context of chronic infections. She earned her doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. 

The other three researchers from the incoming group will be based at Scripps Research’s Jupiter, Florida campus:

Mia Huang, PhD, is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego. She will join the Department of Molecular Medicine as an assistant professor to continue studying chemical strategies to mimic and harness the nanoscale architecture and organization of proteoglycans for applications in regenerative medicine and musculoskeletal research. Huang earned her doctoral degree in Chemistry from New York University.

Michalina Janiszewska, PhD, most recently of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, will join the Department of Molecular Medicine as an assistant professor. She is working on intratumor heterogeneity in breast and brain cancer, developing in vitro and in vivo methods to investigate relations between genetically distinct cancer cell populations. Janiszewska earned her doctoral degree in Cancer Biology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Chris Parker, PhD, who is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Research, will join the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. His work is centralized on the development and implementation of chemical proteomic methods to discover novel therapeutic targets. Parker earned his doctoral degree in Chemistry from Yale University.

“A key to our success here at Scripps Research is attracting talent from all around the world to join us in our efforts in basic research and discovery of new therapeutics,” says Williamson. “With the addition of these researchers, we’re building the foundation for our continued success.”

About Scripps Research

Scripps Research is one of the world's preeminent independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. Scripps Research 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 Academies 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 www.scripps.edu.

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Silke Paust

Lisa Racki

Mia Huang

Michalina Janiszewska

Chris Parker