News Release

Scripps Research Institute President Richard Lerner Honored by New York University Biotechnology Studycenter

La Jolla, CA, April 7, 2005—Scripps Research Institute President Richard A. Lerner, M.D., has been selected to receive the prestigious DART/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award from the Biotechnology Study Center of the New York University School of Medicine. He is being cited for his discoveries in the field of immunochemistry.

The Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Awards recognize the role of three leaders each year who pursue pure science in the development of pharmaceuticals, and particularly honor those scientists whose work has led to major advances at the bedside.

The other recipients of this year’s Dart/NYU awards are Philip Needleman, Ph.D., of Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, for applied biology, and Stuart F. Schlossman, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, who will receive the NYU Alumnus Award in biotechnology. Dr. Lerner will receive the Basic Biotechnology Award at a symposium on Monday, April 11 at the NYU School of Medicine at which he and his two fellow award recipients will summarize their research.

Dr. Lerner pioneered catalytic antibodies, simultaneously with Scripps Research Professor Peter Schultz, as well as combinatorial antibody libraries. Today, about 55 percent of all new drug applications are antibodies.

Dr. Lerner graduated from Northwestern University and Stanford Medical School. He served as chair of the Department of Molecular Biology from 1982-86 at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic (later renamed The Scripps Research Institute) prior to assuming the organization’s presidency. Dr. Lerner has received numerous awards and honors, including the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the California Scientist of the Year Award, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, and election to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition to directing the scientific activities of one of the largest independent nonprofit research organizations in the world, with facilities in La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, Dr. Lerner is Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry, Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair in Chemistry, and a member of The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute.

About the Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida

The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development.

The Scripps Research Institute employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel in 14 buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, a part of the City of San Diego.

Scripps Florida will be a 364,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility to be built on 100 acres of undeveloped land in Palm Beach County.  Scripps Florida will focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development, employing more than 500 researchers and support staff by 2010. Palm Beach County and the State of Florida have provided start-up economic incentives for development, building, staffing, and equipping the campus.
Scripps Florida is now operating with more than 100 researchers and technicians at a 40,000 square-foot facility on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter.

About the NYU Biotechnology Study Center

The Biotechnology Study Center brings together an extraordinary group of biomedical scientists, social scientists, legal experts, and business leaders, who are among the top movers and shakers in their fields. It was established in 2000 by Dr. Weissmann, Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and Director of the Division of Rheumatology, and Nobel laureates Sir John Vane of the William Harvey Research Institute, and Bengt Samuelsson of the Karolinska Institute, among others. In addition to its other activities, the Center serves as an academic center for the study of biotechnology as a discipline. It also provides an unusually rich resource for advice and expertise in the burgeoning field of biotechnology. The Center also is analyzing how biotechnology can have an impact on public health, and it is already pursuing innovative initiatives that could bring desperately needed experimental drugs into the clinic for the benefit of underdeveloped countries and underserved areas of developed countries.

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