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Of Note

Michael Marletta Elected Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Michael Marletta, president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a 3,000-member international organization that aims to promote academic technology and innovation, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Fellow status is accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Nominated by their peers, NAI fellows must be a named inventor on at least one U.S. patent and affiliated with a university, nonprofit research institute or other academic entity.

Multiple Sclerosis Drug Discovered at TSRI Advances to Phase 3 Trials

A compound discovered in the TSRI labs of Professors Hugh Rosen and Edward Roberts will advance to Phase 3 clinical trials for relapsing multiple sclerosis, according to Receptos, the biopharmaceutical company developing the drug for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The drug candidate, RPC1063, was first discovered at TSRI from work in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Libraries Initiative. Formulated to be taken orally once a day, the drug candidate acts on a protein—sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R)—that plays a critical role in controlling multiple sclerosis and other diseases by regulating the flow of certain white blood cells, called lymphocytes, out of lymph nodes.

“This is first new chemical entity derived from the Molecular Libraries Initiative of NIH Common Fund to enter advanced clinical trials for the treatment of a devastating disease,” said Rosen. “This work embodies the unique impact of the multidisciplinary approaches at TSRI, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, in our mission to advance biomedical science and the lives of patients and their families.”

The Phase 3 portion of the RPC1063 trial will be a randomized, double-blind study involving 1,200 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Peter Schultz Named AAAS Fellow

Peter Schultz, Scripps Family Chair Professor and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Schultz is one of 302 AAAS members elevated to the rank of fellow by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The new fellows were officially announced in the November 29 edition of the journal Science.

New fellows will be presented official certificates and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins on February 15 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Matthew Disney Wins the ACS David Robertson Award

TSRI Associate Professor Matthew Disney has been named the 2014 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) David W. Robertson Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry. Disney was cited for his “outstanding” work on the design and development of small molecular modulators of RNA function.

Given in memory of David Robertson, a widely respected and creative medicinal chemist, the award recognizes seminal contributions to medicinal chemistry by scientists younger than 40 years. As part of the award, Disney is invited to present a guest lecture during the ACS 2014 Fall meeting in San Francisco.

Additional information about Disney’s research is available on his lab’s website.

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