Vol 11. Issue 10 / March 21, 2011


Scripps Research Appoints Innovative Biochemist to Florida Faculty

By Eric Sauter

The Scripps Research Institute has appointed Matthew Gill as an assistant professor in the Florida campus's Department of Metabolism and Aging.

Prior to his appointment, Gill, 38, was an assistant research professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, a research facility focused on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease.

"Matt is one of the most innovative scientists working in the field of aging today," said Roy Smith, chair of the Department of Metabolism and Aging. "His recent study of the hormonal aspects of lifespan extension in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans is impressive and he has been instrumental in developing automated screening processes involving florescent signaling, to identify drugs that influence aging. We offer him a warm welcome."

"I'm honored to be part of the Scripps Research faculty," said Gill, who lives in Jupiter with his family. "I've been impressed with the breadth of talent and resources in the Metabolism and Aging Department and with the resources of Scripps Florida in general, particularly the high-throughput screening facilities. Having access to chemical libraries with hundreds of thousands of compounds is going to open up many opportunities for my work."

Gill received a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, followed by a PhD in Endocrinology from the University of Manchester, UK. His PhD thesis focused on the development of tests of various growth factors that could be used in the assessment of normal and disordered growth in children.

In 1998, he was awarded a Medical Research Council Research Fellowship to examine growth in C. elegans, a simple organism that is widely studied in biomedical research. In recent years the nematode has emerged as an important model in which to study the aging process, as well as age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In 2002, Gill received a Brookdale National Fellowship to examine the hormonal control of the roundworm's lifespan. He has published more than 30 papers.

At Scripps Florida, Gill will focus on the nematode endocannabinoid system, a signaling pathway that affects nematode lifespan, and that holds the potential one day to be manipulated to minimize the effects of aging. Gill noted the close collaboration between biologists and chemists that has been a hallmark of Scripps Research, and he looks forward to working with chemists at Scripps Florida.

"We simply couldn't have done our recent work by focusing solely on biology," he said. "We need the help of chemists. The strong emphasis on chemistry and the whole drug development area excites me about Scripps Florida."




Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu



"The strong emphasis on chemistry and the whole drug development area excites me about Scripps Florida," says Assistant Professor Matthew Gill.