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Biological Studies

Biology is the study of living organisms, an almost limitless subject covering an enormous range of scientific disciplines – various sources list more than 70 sub-disciplines in biology – from the basic structure of molecules and the intricate mechanisms of our cells to the power of genomics and the driving forces of evolution. Biological research depends on the interplay of these disciplines to tackle the most vexing problems.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) stands out among research institutes worldwide in that it not only covers many biological disciplines, but also combines them with the power of chemistry. In this, TSRI has been a global pioneer. 

Among the many areas of biological studies at TSRI are molecular biology, which deals with such fundamental phenomena as DNA, RNA, and proteins; cell biology, which studies the interactions, chemical and molecular, that make our cells work; structural biology, which looks at the architecture of large molecules; and pharmacology, which uses biology to understand the effects of drugs on an organism.

TSRI scientists have made great strides in areas including microbiology, encompassing the study of infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and prions, and immunology, the study of the immune system's defenses against such pathogens. The institute's investigators have produced breakthrough results in the study of the hepatitis C virus, which infects more than 100 million people worldwide; prions, the cause of "mad cow" disease and its human counterparts; and HIV/AIDS, a global scourge that has so far eluded attempts to create a vaccine.  

TSRI investigators have also made striking discoveries in genetics and the role of novel types of RNA in diseases such as autism and Fragile X. In the study of neuroscience, TSIR scientists have uncovered the individual neurons that create and hold our memories, as well as elucidating a variety of disorders relating to the brain, from Alzheimer's to addiction and schizophrenia to Parkinson's. In the study of receptors that can turn proteins on and off to fight disease or encourage it, the institute's investigators have uncovered the molecular structures that play roles in cancers and aging. TSRI scientists have also made a number of breakthrough discoveries in the understanding of stem cells in the laboratory and the conversion of mature cells to an embryonic-like state.  

With the establishment of the Scripps Florida campus, the institute has added early-stage drug development to its repertoire, combining basic biological studies with the adaptive power of medicinal chemistry and powerful screening technologies to produce potential therapeutics for a number of diseases.

The institute's faculty include renowned biologists and dozens of members of such esteemed societies as the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

TSRI is ranked among the top biology institutes in the world. In 2010, the institute was ranked the world's second most influential institution in microbiology, according to data provided by Thomson Reuters' Essential Science Indicators published in The Times Higher Education. In 2009, a similar Thomson Reuters survey ranked the institute 13th worldwide in neuroscience. 

The institute’s standing in biology is reflected in its graduate program, the Kellogg School of Science and Technology. In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Kellogg School seventh in the nation in biological studies. In addition, the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, published in the January 12, 2007 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, rated the Kellogg School faculty best in the nation in biophysics, second in immunology, and seventh in biochemistry.

For more information on TSRI's scientific achievements, see a list of highlights.

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Recent Research and News on Biological Studies at The Scripps Research Institute

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Faculty with Research Programs in Biological Studies

Hiroshi Asahara, MD, PhD
Roberto Baccala, PhD
William E. Balch, PhD
Kristin Baldwin, PhD
Michael Boddy, PhD
Dale Boger, PhD
Dennis Burton, PhD
Kate Carroll, PhD
Frank Chisari, MD
Jerold Chun, MD, PhD
Hollis Cline, PhD
Charles Cochrane, MD
Benjamin Cravatt, PhD
Ronald Davis, PhD
Philip Dawson, PhD
Ashok Deniz, PhD
Celine DerMardirossian, PhD
Tobin Dickerson, PhD
Matthew D. Disney, PhD
Jane Dyson, PhD
John Elder, PhD
Sandra Encalada, PhD
Martha Fedor, PhD
Ann Feeney, PhD
Brunhilde Felding, PhD
M.G. Finn, PhD
Stefano Forli, PhD
Velia Fowler, PhD
Nathalie Franc, PhD
Martin Friedlander, MD, PhD
Philippe Gallay, PhD
Larry Gerace, PhD
Elizabeth Getzoff, PhD
M.Reza Ghadiri, PhD
David S. Goodsell, PhD
Joel Gottesfeld, PhD
Patrick Griffin, PhD
Donna Gruol, PhD
Anne Hanneken, MD
Wendy Havran, PhD
Mary Jo Heeb, PhD
James Hoch, PhD
T. Izard, PhD
William Ja, PhD
Kim Janda, PhD
John Johnson Jr., PhD
Gerald Joyce, MD, PhD
Katrin Karbstein, PhD
Gunnar Joerg F Kaufmann, PhD
Jeffery Kelly, PhD
Oktay Kirak, MD, PhD
Joseph Kissil, PhD
Thomas Kodadek, PhD
Douglas Kojetin, PhD
Dwight Kono, MD
George Koob, PhD
Anastasia Kralli, PhD
Luke Lairson, PhD
Gabriel Lander, PhD
Mansun Law, PhD
Eros Lazzerini Denchi, PhD
Luke J. Leman, PhD
Scott Lesley, PhD
Giordano Lippi, PhD
Martin Lotz, MD
Junli Luo, PhD
Ian J. MacRae, PhD
Julie Jameson, PhD
Chitra Mandyam, PhD
Patricia McDonald, PhD
Lindsey Miles, PhD
David Millar, PhD
Courtney Miller, PhD
Ronald A. Milligan, PhD
Richard Milner, MD, PhD
Kevin Morris, PhD
Ulrich Mueller, PhD
David Nemazee, PhD
Glen Nemerow, PhD
Kendall Nettles, PhD
K.C. Nicolaou, PhD
Louis Noodleman, PhD
Arthur J. Olson, PhD
Takanori Otomo, PhD
Brian Paegel, PhD
Ardem Patapoutian, PhD
James C. Paulson, PhD
Marta Perego, PhD
Howard Petrie, PhD
Donald G. Phinney, PhD
James P. Quigley, PhD
Vijay S. Reddy, PhD
Steven Reed, PhD
Marisa Roberto, PhD
Floyd Romesberg, PhD
William Roush, PhD
Zaverio Ruggeri, MD
Gavin Rumbaugh, PhD
Paul Russell, PhD
Enrique Saez, PhD
Pietro Sanna, MD
Michel Sanner, PhD
Erica Ollmann Saphire, PhD
Karsten Sauer, PhD
Anette Schneemann, PhD
Peter Schultz, PhD
Ben Shen, PhD
George Siggins, PhD
Gary Siuzdak, PhD
Supriya Srinivasan, PhD
Raymond Stevens, PhD
Lisa Stowers, PhD
Andrew Su, PhD
Brian M. Sullivan, PhD
Peiqing Sun, PhD
Mark Sundrud, PhD
Nobuyoshi Suto, PhD
Hendrik Szurmant, PhD
John Tainer, PhD
Elizabeth Thomas, PhD
Bruce Torbett, PhD
Susana Tereno Valente, PhD
Peter K. Vogt, PhD
Charles Weissmann, MD, PhD
J. Lindsay Whitton, MD, PhD
James Williamson, PhD
Ian Wilson, DPhil
Luke Wiseman, PhD
Curt Wittenberg, PhD
Dennis W. Wolan, PhD
Chi-Huey Wong, PhD
Peter Wright, PhD
Peng Wu, PhD
Chunlei Wu, PhD
Kurt Wuthrich, PhD
Richard Wyatt, PhD
Changchun Xiao, PhD
Xiang-Lei Yang, PhD
Mark Yeager, MD, PhD
Qinghai Zhang, PhD
Eric Zorrilla, PhD
Michael Zwick, PhD