News Release

Six New Graduate Students to Study at Scripps Florida


Jupiter, FL, October 14, 2009 – Six new graduate students have chosen the Scripps Florida campus as the place to pursue their doctoral degrees.

"Like last year, the level of excellence and accomplishment for these students is exceptional," said William R. Roush, Jupiter-based associate dean of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology, which operates graduate programs on both Scripps Research Institute campuses; Roush is also executive director of the Translational Research Institute Medical Chemistry Division, and professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. "We continue to work very hard to recruit top-notch candidates and that's what we've got. They are all first-rate and will make terrific scientists by the time they graduate."

Of the six new students (who include three transferring to Scripps Florida with their advisors), two have strong Florida connections. One received an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida; a second attended public school in Wellington, Florida, before receiving an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville (Tennessee). Of the 24 students currently enrolled in the Scripps Florida graduate program, about a quarter have some connection to Florida.

The Scripps Florida graduate program is part of the Scripps Research Kellogg School of Science and Technology, which currently has about 250 students on both the La Jolla, California and Jupiter, Florida campuses. The quality of the Scripps Research graduate program has been widely recognized by independent sources. For one, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Scripps Research program among the top ten in the country in its fields, specifically seventh in the biological sciences and sixth in chemistry.

So far, four students have completed their Ph.D. degrees at Scripps Florida.

In addition to the graduate program, Scripps Florida and neighboring Florida Atlantic University (FAU) have a Joint Education agreement to promote education and research between the two institutions in areas involving biomedical science and related fields, including collaborations in postdoctoral training, undergraduate education, internships, and community outreach activities. From July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, 15 FAU undergraduates performed research at Scripps Florida as interns.

Side Bar: Coming Home Twice

For Briana Weiser becoming a new graduate student at Scripps Florida is like coming home twice.

The 22-year-old grew up in nearby Wellington, attended public school there, and then went north to Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in molecular and cellular biology – with a minor in chemistry on top of that.

Last summer, she was an intern in the laboratory of Scripps Florida Assistant Professor Tim Tellinghuisen, who has a national reputation for his studies of the hepatitis C virus, in what she calls a "crash course" on the virus.

As a graduate student, Weiser is once again working in Tellinghuisen's lab.

"One of the best things about Tim's lab is that I'm learning about the link between a virus like hepatitis C and diseases like diabetes," she said. "It's that human side of science that interests me. I couldn't work in a place where I wasn't helping people in some way."

And she gets to do it in her own backyard.

"That's why I applied here," she said. "The resources here can't be found at other research institutes. Plus it's a top-ten Ph.D. program right here in the place where I grew up, so I can be with my family. What could be better than that?"

About The Kellogg School of Science and Technology

Since its founding in 1989, the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at The Scripps Research Institute has grown from a handful to several hundred students and more than 200 alumni. Indeed, the programs have become integrated into the fabric of the institute. At the same time, Scripps Research has grown into one of the nation's top centers for graduate education in biology and chemistry. In 2002, Scripps Research named its graduate college the Kellogg School of Science and Technology in honor of philanthropists Janet R. ("Jean") Kellogg and W. Keith Kellogg II, who have been long-standing patrons of education and science.

With specialties in organic, bioorganic, and biophysical chemistry, students in the graduate program take classes from more than 100 faculty members representing every department at Scripps Research. Optional, independent courses provide special topics and methods training in such areas as x-ray crystallography, theoretical and computational biophysics, molecular medicine, heterocyclic chemistry, special nuclear magnetic resonance techniques, immunology, and virology. These courses provide for deeper forays into these topics for interested students and serve as supplemental studies to the core course work.

Kellogg School alumni have gone on to hold faculty positions at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, in both academia and industry. Irrespective of the environment they choose, Scripps Research graduates fill highly competitive positions and excel in them.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California. It also includes Scripps Florida, whose researchers focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Scripps Florida is located in Jupiter, Florida.

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