Lerner Receives University of California Presidential Medal
Richard A. Lerner, president of The Scripps Research Institute
(TSRI), received the University of California (UC) Presidential
Medal on May 31. The medal is the highest award the university
The UC Presidential Medal was established to recognize "extraordinary
contributions to the University of California or the community
of learning." Previous recipients include former Governor
George Deukmejian, UC President Emeritus Clark Kerr, and former
Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.
In July 2000 Governor Gray Davis appointed Lerner as chairman
of the panel of distinguished scientists that selected the
UC-based California Institutes for Science and Innovation
from among competing campus proposals.
Lerner's 30-year scientific career encompasses a broad scope
of seemingly disparate activities in biomedical research,
ranging from insights into protein structure to identification
of a sleep-inducing lipid.
His most recent work, and that for which he is perhaps best
known, involves groundbreaking discoveries of converting antibodies
into enzymes, permitting the catalysis of chemical reactions
considered impossible to achieve by classical chemical procedures.
The work has resulted in the possibility of producing antibodies
overnight for obtaining an almost limitless variety of products
beyond natural ones with an efficiency that may exceed that
of natural enzymes.
TSRI's press release
provides further details.
Santoro Wins Burroughs Wellcome Career Award
TSRI Research Associate Stephen W. Santoro has been selected
as a recipient of a 2002 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award
in the Biomedical Sciences. The award provides $500,000 over
five years for young scientists, spanning the period that
includes their advanced postdoctoral training and their early
years as a faculty member of an academic research institution.
With the Schultz group, Santoro is currently studying the
directed evolution of molecules, a Darwinian technique whereby
a population of enzymes are modified in myriad ways and then
selected for their ability to do something novel. The selected
enzymes may then be exploited to take advantage of their emergent
For more information, see TSRI's press
Eric Johnson Wins Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism
Eric F. Johnson, professor in the Department of Molecular
and Experimental Medicine, is the recipient of the 2002 Bernard
B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism. The award, which is given
every other year by the American Society for Pharmacology
and Experimental Therapeutics, recognizes individuals who
have made outstanding original research contributions in drug
metabolism and disposition. Johnson receives the award for
"his pioneering contributions to our understanding of the
structure, function, and regulation of liver cytochrome P450
Johnson received a B.S. from the University of Texas at
Austin and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
in chemistry. Following postdoctoral work at Urbana-Champaign,
he moved to TSRI in 1973. He has served on numerous national
and international scientific advisory boards and is currently
on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry,
Molecular Pharmacology and Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Together with Michael Waterman of Vanderbilt University, Johnson
co-edited three volumes of Methods in Enzymology on
cytochrome P450s. Among his scientific accomplishments, Johnson,
together with Duncan McRee and their colleagues at TSRI, determined
the first three-dimensional structure of a eukaryotic, membrane
cytochrome P450. This work significantly advanced approaches
to understanding the structural basis of human P450 function
and will facilitate drug design, development, and therapy.
Society of Fellows Announces Travel Award Winners
The Society of Fellows has selected the following individuals
to receive $800 travel awards for their outstanding posters
at the recent Society of Fellows Research Symposium: Neel
Krishna (Schneemann lab); Jens Leifert (Whitton lab); Natalie
Prigozhina (Waterman-Storer lab); Dorian McGavern (Oldstone
lab); and Simone Graber (Halpain lab). In addition, several
individuals won $400 travel awards: Peter Goebel (Feeney lab);
Derek Taylor (Johnson lab); and Natalie Goto (Wright lab).
Lunch and Learn: "Tai Chi for a Healthy Life"
Jesse Tsao, Tai Chi master and director of Tai Chi Healthways
will present "Tai Chi for a Healthy Life" on Tuesday, June
18, from noon to 1 PM. Learn how Tai Chi is a natural solution
for stress. See/practice some of the different forms of Tai
Chi. Experience why Tai Chi is such a fast-growing, popular
exercise The seminar will be held in the W.M. Keck Amphitheater,
The Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences. No registration
is necessary. If more information is needed, contact Jan Hill,
Art on Display
A new show of paintings and photographs by TSRI artists is
now hanging in the institute's cafeteria. Participants in
the show are:
Director of the X-Ray Crystallography Facility Raj
Chadha; Neuropharmacology Research Associate Kurt Edelmann;
Cafeteria worker Arturo Gomez;
Molecular Biology Research Assistant Nathan Jacobsen;
Cell Biology Research Assistant Wendy LeVine;
Molelular and Experimental Medicine Administrative Assistant
Cell Bioloy Research Associate Natalie Prigozhina;
Neuropharmacology Research Associate Eleanor Roberts.
New English-as-a-Second-Language Class Begins
A new English-as-a-Second-Language class will begin Tuesday,
June 25. Cassandra Wadkin's class meets from 6:30 to 8:30
PM every Tuesday evening in the Immunology Building West Conference
Room. The price for three months (twelve classes) is $60.
Each intermediate-level English class is divided into speaking
and listening, idioms and vocabulary, and reading and writing.
If you would like to improve your English communication skills
as well as understand your friends and colleagues, movies,
television shows, and the news, this class is for you. The
instructor uses movies, games, television shows, grammar books,
songs, drawing and novels to teach standard American English.
Have fun and learn English at the same time! For more information,
please leave a message at x4-2176.
Look for Next News&Views July 1
The next issue of News&Views, which is published every other
week throughout the summer, will be posted by Monday, July
1. The deadline for announcement and calendar submissions
is Wednesday at noon for the following Monday's publication.