Combating the Epidemic, Diminishing Suffering

Providing World-Class Talent and Innovative Research for Serious and Growing Concerns

Diabetes, obesity and related conditions have become a national epidemic. While diet and inactivity have contributed to their prevalence, a lack of fundamental understanding of the complexities of how humans use and store the energy that our cells need to survive has hampered the development of life-changing therapies. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) are focusing on uncovering this mystery and much more – how aging affects our metabolic rate, how junk food can become an addiction and how current therapies work in our body. This information is critical to the development of safer and more effective medicines. TSRI scientists are now poised to develop the next breakthroughs in developing new medical approaches to these conditions.

A National Emergency

  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US and a contributing factor in a range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, blindness and eye problems, kidney disease, nervous system damage and amputations.
  • An estimated 25.6 million American adults have type 2 diabetes and a staggering 79 million are considered prediabetic.
  • While medications exist for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, complications from these conditions are still common.
  • Obesity is affecting an increasing number of Americans – now over one third of adults; 17% of children are obese.
  • Obesity is a major contributor to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer—some of the leading causes of preventable death.
  • Only a small number of prescription drugs are available to treat obesity; these medications don’t work for everyone and are often associated with unpleasant or toxic side effects. Most people who lose weight by dieting regain it within five years and a significant portion regain more than they lost.

The Need for Philanthropy

While new effective and safe medications are needed for people struggling with diabetes and obesity, federal funding for basic biomedical research has been steadily declining in real dollars with no end in sight. In addition, the research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) tends to be incremental. What is needed to achieve scientific breakthroughs and new therapies are high-risk, high-reward endeavors.

Greatly expanded private support is needed to find new treatments for diabetes and obesity. As funding for vital research dwindles, we need your help!

Our Initiatives

TSRI cultivates an interdisciplinary spirit where chemists, biologists and others work hand-in-hand toward a common goal. Scientists specializing in a variety of approaches come together to synergistically address critical needs in diabetes and obesity research.

Your support will enable us to expand personnel in critical areas, and purchase cutting-edge equipment and scientific supplies, so we can find breakthroughs in the shortest time feasible. The purpose is to find:

  • Novel therapeutic strategies.
  • Early disease diagnostics.
  • Effective new medications and other approaches to help affected individuals reclaim their health.

Our Discoveries

Future discoveries will build on a strong track record of breakthroughs at TSRI, including, to name only a few:

  • Establishing a new class of an anti-diabetic compound targeting a unique molecular switch.
  • Pioneering an anti-obesity vaccine that significantly slowed weight gain and reduced body fat in animal models.
  • Discovering a catalytic antibody that degrades a known appetite stimulant, a potential treatment for obesity.
  • Identifying a key regulator of fat cell development that may provide a target for obesity and diabetes drugs.

Please Join Us in the Fight for Cures

If you have a loved one who suffers from diabetes or obesity, you know that every discovery is crucial in the effort to cure these conditions. Gifts of all sizes are needed to make the next breakthrough a reality. Make a tax-deductible gift to TSRI and make a difference today!

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Assistant Professor Michael Conkright and his team are exploring ways to activate a specific protein so that even an average exercise routine could be enhanced and made more beneficial. Read More.

willi video
People with Prader-Willi Syndrome, like Josi Levine (above), share one painful trait—an intense, insatiable craving for food. Researchers at TSRI are trying to get to the bottom of this dreadful disease. Watch Video.


William Balch, PhD
Roberto Baccala, PhD
Anutosh Chakraborty, PhD
Michael Conkright, PhD
Bruno Conti, PhD
Matthew Disney, PhD
Martin Friedlander, MD, PhD
Larry Gerace, PhD
Patrick Griffin, PhD
Scott Hansen, PhD
Wendy Havran, PhD
William Ja, PhD
Kim Janda, PhD
Theodore Kamenecka, PhD
Oktay Kirak, PhD
Douglas Kojetin, PhD
Anastasia Kralli, PhD
Philip LoGrasso, PhD
Patricia McDonald, PhD
Lindsey Miles, PhD
Kerri Mowen, PhD
Glen Nemerow, PhD
Michael Oldstone, MD
Amanda Roberts, PhD
William Roush, PhD
Enrique Saez, PhD
Daniel Salomon, MD
Peter Schultz, PhD
Louis Scampavia, PhD
Linda Sherman, PhD
Supriya Srinivasan, PhD
Roy Smith, PhD
Charles David Stout, PhD
Andrew Su, PhD
Mark Sundrud, PhD
Iustin Tabarean, PhD
Luc Teyton, MD, PhD
Dennis Wolan, PhD
Eric Zorrilla, PhD
Baoji Xu, PhD 


More on the Initiative Against Diabetes and Obesity (pdf)