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Scientific Report 2006

Kellogg School of Science and Technology

Vitality, innovation, interdisciplinary scientific exchange—these are some of the cornerstones of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at Scripps Research.

This year was a significant one for graduate studies at the Florida campus with the enrollment of the first recruited graduate student, John Whitaker. He joins eight other Ph.D. candidates who transferred to Scripps Florida from the University of Michigan with Professor and Associate Dean William Roush. The introduction of 2-way, web-based conferencing technology now enables the Florida students to participate in California lectures in real time, as well as opening future Florida chemistry classes on asymmetric synthesis and related topics to interested California students. The technology also facilitates the meeting of thesis committees with faculty on both Scripps Research campuses.

In 2006, we welcomed a total of 42 new students to our Ph.D. program from undergraduate institutions including Dartmouth, Brown, Stanford, Cornell, Duke, Pennsylvania State, Tufts, University of Chicago, University of Hamburg, National Taiwan University, and the University of California system. Members of this year’s entering class originally come from countries as far away as Australia, Slovenia, and China. The entering biology class of 27 is the largest in the history of the program.

Shortly after the first-year students arrived at Scripps Research, they began a 12-week class called Critical Thinking and Communication in Science to sharpen their skills in assessment and communication of scientific information and ideas. For the first time in 2006, the course included an introduction to the Scripps Research Kresge Library, with an overview of the library’s resources and services, a hands-on orientation, and in-depth seminars on topics such as databases and citation management software. One of the course requirements is a research proposal suitable for submission to a variety of predoctoral fellowship competitions.

Another opportunity to learn about the institute’s resources and to meet student and faculty colleagues was provided by the 2006 Faculty Student Retreat. Held at the Bahia Resort on Mission Bay, the retreat was similar to a professional scientific conference, with students from both Florida and California campuses presenting their research through 17 oral presentations and 150 posters that explored topics such as Micro-Capillary Crystallization and Adventures in Total Synthesis: The Stephacidin Family. Mike Burkart (Class of ‘99), now a faculty member in the chemistry and biochemistry department of the University of California, San Diego, also gave a talk, passing on his experiences in science and offering career advice to the Ph.D. candidates.

In 2006, numerous honors and awards were bestowed on Kellogg School students highlighting their accomplishments:

• An unprecedented number of students (5) were selected for National Science Foundation Fellowships: Daniel Bachovchin, Christine Fang, Graham Johnson, Costas Lyssiotis, and Adrian Ortiz.

• David Horning, a member of the entering class, won a highly competitive Hertz Foundation Fellowship, which aims to support the graduate education of “America’s most promising technical talent.”

• Lindsey Macpherson received a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award.

• Stuart Webb won a 3-year fellowship from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health.

• Sherry Niessen won a 2-year Career Development Award from the California Breast Cancer Research Program.

• Katherine Marcucci won an American Heart Association fellowship.

• Noah Z. Burns and Scott T. Harrison were honored for their research accomplishments at Roche’s 3rd annual graduate research symposium, Excellence in Chemistry.

In 2006, Kellogg School student stipends and tuition were supported by generous donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations—including the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation, the William and Sharon Bauce Family Foundation, the Fletcher Jones Foundation, the ARCS Foundation, the Hertz Foundation, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation, the Koshland Foundation, the American Chemical Society, Novartis, the Gilula Memorial Fund, the Andrea Elizabeth Vogt Memorial Fund, David and Ursula Fairchild, and Lesly Starr Shelton.

The Skaggs Oxford Scholarship Program, a joint 5-year program of study at Scripps Research and Oxford University, continued in 2006 thanks to generous support by supermarket and drugstore leader L.S. Skaggs and his wife, Aline. The program’s first student has now completed training at Scripps Research and is in the process of moving to Oxford University, where she will complete work for a joint Ph.D./D.Phil. degree.

In other program news, the Kellogg School has begun the 3-year process of obtaining reaccreditation. Accreditation is a continuous process of improvement and is divided into 3 stages: an institutional proposal, a capacity and preparatory review, and an educational effectiveness review. Six committees are providing input for the 3-year self-study process. (See http://www.scripps.edu/ library/Accreditation/i_index.html for news and updates.)

In May, we celebrated the many accomplishments of our students and the Kellogg School program at the institute’s 14th commencement ceremony, which honored 31 graduating students and two honorary degree recipients. Hon. Alice Sullivan (Ret.), a former California Superior Court judge and founder and chief executive officer of Private Judge, was honored for her role as former chair and current member of the Scripps Research Board of Trustees. Alexander Dreyfoos, a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida, who owns and directs the private capital management firm, The Dreyfoos Group, was honored for his numerous scientific and engineering accomplishments and for his service as a member of the Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Renate, provided a generous gift of $1 million to the institute in 2004.

At the ceremony, Judge Sullivan, whose remarks emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind and welcoming the unexpected, praised this year’s graduates. “Today you are to be congratulated on your tremendous accomplishments in the classroom and the laboratory,” she said to them. “This is a day to enjoy the promise of success that awaits you because of your intellect, your dedication, and your hard work. The trustees of Scripps Research are immensely proud to know that you will carry the name and reputation of The Scripps Research Institute wherever you go. . . you will honor us as we honor you.


Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate and Postgraduate Studies

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