Shapiros Endow Fellowship in Summer Internship Program

By Mika Ono

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Trustee Ralph Shapiro and his wife, Shirley, have given $100,000 to endow a position in The Scripps Research Institute's Summer Research Internship Program. The gift ensures that at least one undergraduate student participate in a Education Outreach Program internship every summer in perpetuity.

"We are deeply grateful for this generous gift," says TSRI President Richard A. Lerner. "Educating the future generation of scientists is a responsibility we take very seriously and it is with great care that we select young students to join our teams of scientists for an intensive laboratory experience."

He continues, "Often, this is their first glimpse of a thriving, working lab, and they not only learn important research skills and technologies, but feel the excitement, vibrancy, disappointments, and exhilaration of life in the lab. This singular experience has been a turning point for many young students who, on the strength of this research opportunity, choose to further their academic careers in science and commitment to a professional career in biomedical research."

Ralph Shapiro says, "We hope this gift will enable young people, especially women and minority students, to come into contact with basic research and be inspired by its possibilities."

The Summer Research Internship Program is one component of TSRI's Education Outreach Program, which aims to promote and improve science literacy, enhance science teachers' professional development, and inspire students to pursue careers in the life sciences. Special emphasis is placed on selecting students from cultures and ethnic backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, including women. This year, 22 San Diego high school students, four undergraduates, and one high school science teacher participated in the program.

Since the outreach program's inception in 1993, more than 300 high school students, 34 science teachers, and 82 undergraduates have participated in summer internships at TSRI. Since 1995, more than 1,000 teachers have attended the Contemporary Issues in Bioscience seminar, and in the past three years more than 1,500 high school students have attended the half-day educational program X-Sci.

Ralph Shapiro (B.S., J.D., University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.)), a native of Lithuania, is a leader of several business enterprises. He holds the positions of chair of Avondale Investment Company, C.N.A. Property Company, and Raps Industries. His community activities currently include membership on boards of the U.C.L.A. Foundation, the U.C.L.A. Law School, the United Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, the Spastic Children's Endowment Foundation, and United Friends of the Children.

Shirley Shapiro (B.A., U.C.L.A.), who grew up in Los Angeles and married her husband in 1958, devotes her energy to supporting the arts and is also active on the board of directors of Women in Philanthropy.

Other sources of funding for the Education Outreach Program have included: the San Diego Foundation through its Blasker-Rose-Miah Fund; the Samuel H. and Katherine W. French Fund and the Maurice J. Masserini Charitable Trust, both administered by Wells Fargo Bank; the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which funds 10 to 15 internships each year through the Neighborhood House Association; the Joseph Drown Foundation; the Carl E. Wynn Foundation; and the Bank of America Foundation. In addition, private contributions have been received from philanthropists Robert Wallace; George and Patsy Conrades; and Oliver and Norma James.

Endowment funding for the outreach program includes gifts from John Diekman and his wife Susan Diekman; The William Randolph Hearst Foundation; and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.




Trustee Ralph Shapiro and his wife, Shirley, have given $100,000 to ensure that at least one undergraduate student participate in an internship at TSRI every summer in perpetuity.