October 2012

The Scripps Research Institute

At the Forefront

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Focus On:

Andrew ButlerAssociate Professor
Andrew Butler

Pinpointing risk factors in obesity and type 2 diabetes

A Scripps Florida researcher has for the first time shown a link between low levels of a specific hormone and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases
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In a new study, Dr. Andrew Butler, an associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), pinpoints the hormone adropin as a potential factor in increased risk for obesity and insulin resistance. Adropin is believed to play an important role in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid metabolism.

Dr. Butler's discovery could open the door to new treatments for the 47 million Americans who have metabolic syndrome, which raises the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

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Milestones in Medical Science:

Professor John GriffinProfessor John Griffin

Clinical trials begin for revolutionary new stroke drug

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. and the fourth-leading cause of death. But the best treatment on the market is only effective if taken within three hours of the onset of symptoms. Outside of that narrow window, the drug has been shown to have serious side effects.

Now, a stroke drug initially created by a team of TSRI scientists is heading into clinical trials. When given in conjunction with the current clot-busting therapy, the new drug has been shown to reduce brain damage and improve motor skills following a stroke.

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Other News:

Olivia Garijo, Deborah Witherden, Megumi Watanabe, Wendy HavranOlivia Garijo, Deborah Witherden, Megumi Watanabe, and Wendy Havran. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)

Researcher uncovers important molecular trigger for wound healing

A TSRI professor has uncovered a molecular mechanism that pushes the body into wound-repair mode – a discovery that offers a new understanding of a class of cells critical to helping wounds in skin and other epithelial tissues heal.

Non-healing wounds affect more than 4 million people in the U.S. and are the leading cause of amputations.

"Chronic non-healing wounds among diabetics and the elderly are an increasing clinical problem," said TSRI Professor Wendy Havran, whose new findings could open the door to new drugs for treatment.

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Facts & Figures

At least 400 million people worldwide are obese, including around 1/3 of the U.S. population.

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Kellogg School of Science and Technology Welcomes New Doctoral Students

The newest members of TSRI's Kellogg School of Science and Technology have arrived on campus and are beginning their journeys toward doctorate degrees.

"Dive into this playground," Jamie Williamson, dean of the school, advised students at a welcoming lunch. "Work hard, play hard, think hard, and have a great time doing your science."

Of the 41-member class, nine will study in labs on the Scripps Florida campus and 32 will study in California. The class of 2017 is almost evenly divided between aspiring biologists and chemists.

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