In Brief

Bruce Beutler Wins 2004 Koch Prize
Professor Bruce Beutler of The Scripps Research Institute has won the 2004 Robert Koch Award together with Professor Shizuo Akira of Osaka, Japan and Professor Jules A. Hoffmann of Strasbourg, France, the Robert Koch Foundation has announced. "I'm completely thrilled," says Beutler. "I have never won such a prestigious award before, and I am honored to be included with two people who are so completely deserving [as Akira and Hoffmann]."

The prize, named in honor of one of the founding fathers of immunology Robert Koch, is one the highest scientific honors of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is given annually under the patronage of the Federal Minister of Health to researchers for outstanding, internationally recognized scientific achievements. In winning the Robert Koch Award, Beutler was acknowledged by the foundation for his "groundbreaking research on molecular mechanisms underlying recognition, signal transduction, and effector functions" of the immune system. He uses a technique called forward genetics to study human genes used by the innate immune system to clear pathogens from the body.

Last year, Beutler and his Scripps Research colleague Kasper Hoebe identified a protein called Trif, which helps the body respond to viruses and bacteria. This was the first time that anyone had identified a signaling protein directly activated by signals the innate immune system sends when it recognizes both bacteria and viruses. And recently, Beutler discovered rare genetic mutations in a subset of people who come down with a kind of severe sepsis, an acute and often deadly disease.

Beutler will receive his share of the total prize money of 65,000 Euros (about $83,000) in the presence of the German Federal Minister of Health and Social Safety later this year.

Nemazee to Speak in Faculty Lecture Series
Scripps Research Professor David Nemazee will speak on "Immunological Tolerance in B Lymphocytes," on Wednesday, April 14, as part of the Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at 5 PM in the Valerie Timken Amphitheater, Scripps Clinic, 10666 North Torrey Pines Road. No reservations are necessary.

National Alcohol Screening Day

National Alcohol Screening Day—designed to raise public awareness about the consequences of at-risk drinking and alcohol's effect on general health—will be held on Thursday, April 8. Free, anonymous screening for alcohol-related problems or concerns and referrals to local treatment resources will be available. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from these services, please call (800) 763-1200 or visit the NASD website. Confidential help is also available from the Scripps Research Counseling and Postdoctoral Services Department. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Jan Hill, x4-2950 or Jeff Jones, x4-2063.

Reminder: Mail Order Prescription Program

Benefits Administration would like to remind Scripps Research employees about the prescription plan offered through AdvancePCS and its mail order pharmacy, which provides a quick and easy way to fill prescriptions needed on a regular basis. Through this service, employees may receive a 90-day supply for the price of a 60-day supply—$40 for brand name and $20 for generic medications. Mail order prescription forms can be obtained from AdvancePCS, Human Resources, or from the Benefits web site. Please contact Benefits Administration at x4-8487 or with any questions about this program..

News&Views Takes Spring Break
News&Views will not be published next week in honor of Spring Break. Weekly publication will resume on Monday, April 19.


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Lerner Meets with Leaders of Florida's Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner met recently with leaders of Florida's Historically Black Colleges and Universities to discuss collaboration opportunities at Scripps Florida. From left: Edward Waters College Vice President of Academic Affairs Alan Sheppard; Florida Memorial College President Albert Smith; Lerner; Florida A&M University President Fred Gainous; and Bethune Cookman College President Oswald P. Bronson. Photo by Kevin Fung.