Scripps Florida Enrolls New Graduate Students

Six new students will enter graduate school in the fall to work toward PhD degrees on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute.

JUPITER, FL, June 1, 2011 – Six new students will enter graduate school in the fall to work toward PhD degrees on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute.

"The feedback from visiting students has been extraordinarily positive this year," said William R. Roush, associate dean, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and executive director of medicinal chemistry at Scripps Florida. "I've never had so many emails back from students saying what a great place Scripps Florida is. We've also had increased interest in our programs as Scripps Florida has become better known."

Of the six new PhD students who will attend Scripps Florida, two are from Florida.

The new PhD students, who start classes at the beginning of August, are:

  • Andrew MacConnell, who earned a BS in Physics from Furman University in 2006 and an MS in Chemistry from Furman University in 2009
  • Kevin Pels, who earned a BA in Chemistry from Florida Atlantic University in 2011
  • George Voren, who earned a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from the University of Florida in 2011
  • Keith Lizotte, who earned a BS in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 2008
  • Sadichha Sitaula, who earned a BA in Biology and Chemistry from Wesleyan College in 2011
  • Xochina El Hilali, who earned a BS in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon in 2011

In addition, offers have been extended to candidates for a new MD-PhD program offered jointly by Scripps Florida and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). While Scripps Florida has trained graduate students since 2005, the MD-PhD degree program was approved in May of last year when then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation authorizing FAU's independent medical education program. Students who accept offers to join this program will start studies at FAU's Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton. After three years on the Boca campus, the MD-PhD students will move to Jupiter to initiate their PhD studies at Scripps Florida.

The Scripps Research Institute's Kellogg School of Science and Technology continues to be ranked among the best graduate schools in science in the country, according to a 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report. The publication ranks the program seventh overall in both chemistry and the biological sciences.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as for its insights into autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, the institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on drug discovery and technology development in addition to basic biomedical science. Scripps Research currently employs about 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. For more information, see

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