The Skaggs Institute
for Chemical Biology
Scientific Report 2005
Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology stood once again in 2005 as a centerpiece of The Scripps Research
Institute in the significant work accomplished by its members, across many disciplines. The discoveries
made by these outstanding researchers are sure to have a positive impact on the betterment of human
health for many years to come.
The following list highlights only a few
of the breakthroughs made by investigators at the Skaggs Institute in 2005. The scientists
- solved the structure of a rare human
antibody that broadly neutralizes HIV, which causes AIDS;
- revised our understanding of the
process of RNA folding;
- described how a bacterial control
agent prevents crown gall, a plant disease that affects more than 600 species;
- discovered that a compound extracted
from soy beans is a natural and potent inhibitor of a pathologic process involved in a number of amyloid
- developed a way to screen hundreds
and potentially thousands of noncoding RNA molecules to discover the functions
of the molecules within cells; and
- elucidated mechanisms and components
of the immune system, including CD1 and Toll-like receptor 3.
Such studies contribute to the body of scientific knowledge that will make a difference in our lives.
New Scripps Research Trustee
In 2005, several new members joined the Scripps Research board of trustees, including Mark S. Skaggs, an attorney and business executive
formerly with American Stores, of Boise, Idaho. Mark will enrich the board with his expertise in
business development and management, investment, and philanthropy. Mark also serves on the board
of trustees of the Skaggs Institute.
Awards and Honors
Numerous awards and honors were bestowed
on members of the Skaggs Institute in 2005, as evident from the following list.
- Professor Peter G. Schultz, who
holds the Scripps Family Chair and is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Skaggs Institute,
was awarded the American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Award, which recognizes outstanding
achievement in the field of organic chemistry, the significance of which has become apparent within
the previous 5 years.
- Professor Gerald Joyce was honored
with the H.C. Urey Medal, the highest recognition by the International Society for the Study of
the Origin of Life, given every 6 years to a scientist who is considered to have the best-sustained
scientific research program in the origins-of-life field.
- I received the DART/NYU Biotechnology
Achievement Award from the Biotechnology Study Center of the New York University School of Medicine,
which recognizes the role of leaders who pursue pure science in the development of pharmaceutical
agents and particularly honors those scientists whose work has led to major advances at the bedside.
- Professor Julius Rebek, Jr., was
named a foreign member of the Academia Europaea, an organization of scholars from across Europe
that is a broad assembly of excellence.
The Skaggs Institute embodies the philosophy
and spirit of interdisciplinary science that marks The Scripps Research Institute. I am proud
to work with my colleagues within the framework of the Skaggs Institute, and I congratulate them
on another year of outstanding progress in their efforts. All of us in the Scripps Research community
extend our appreciation to the Skaggs family and to the ALSAM/Skaggs Institute for Research for
the extraordinary generosity that enables us to pursue our goals.