Scripps Research kicks off 2021 virtual Front Row lecture series with a talk by institute President and CEO Peter Schultz, PhD

January 13, 2021

WHO: Scripps Research invites the public to join a free virtual series of live science lectures, called Front Row.

WHAT: Scripps Research scientists share their discoveries and successes as they work to solve the most pressing challenges of modern human health. Researchers at the forefront of their fields share data and interactively answer questions about COVID-19, cancer, vision loss, chronic inflammation and more. Sign up for a seat in the Front Row and enjoy compelling presentations, and an insider’s look at what’s next in biomedical research.

WHERE: The series takes place entirely online, so guests can join from the comfort of their own homes, either over the phone or on the computer. Advance registration is required, and guests may register online at For more information, email

WHEN: Each one-hour lecture begins at 1 p.m. PT, 4:00 p.m. ET.

WHY: What makes cancer so difficult to defeat? Why does the immune system sometimes misfire and attack healthy tissue? How does the eye turn light into information? Answering these questions helps scientists develop urgently needed new treatments for conditions awaiting better options. One of America’s great innovators, Scripps Research President and CEO Peter Schultz, PhD, kicks off the series with a talk on how the nonprofit biomedical institute has expanded the bounds of academic research to transform and accelerate drug development efforts, to address unmet medical needs around the world.

REGISTER: The lecture series is free to attend with a reservation. To register visit

To watch past Front Row lectures, subscribe to the Scripps Research YouTube channel.



Peter Schultz, PhD, President and CEO, Scripps Research 

Accelerating Innovative Medicines in Times of Change
Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET

How can we, as a society, do a better job of creating new medicines for our most urgent global health challenges?

Kicking off the 2021 season of the Front Row lecture series, Scripps Research President and CEO Peter Schultz, PhD, discusses how state-of-the-art drug discovery methods and new approaches to translational medicine, are enabling the institute to convert new scientific insights into effective therapies with speed and efficiency. Schultz also will share updates on Scripps Research’s COVID-19 programs and its growing drug pipeline, which encompasses new treatments for cancer, neurodegenerative disease, arthritis and more.

Hollis Cline, PhD, Chair and Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Scripps Research
Kirill Martemyanov, PhD, Chair and Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Scripps Research

The science of sight: An eye-opening presentation on the neuroscience of vision
Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET

Our sense of sight is our window into the world. Advances in neuroscience are rapidly unlocking the secrets of vision and paving the way new therapies for blindness and other vision disorders. In their Front Row lecture, Hollis Cline, PhD, and Kirill Martemyanov, PhD, co-chairs of the department of neuroscience at Scripps Research, will present their cutting-edge vision research. Among other topics, they will discuss recent findings on how molecules in the retina turn light into information, how visual sensations shape brain development, and how deciphering how our visual system works could lead to new ways to detect, prevent, and correct vision impairments.

Mark Sundrud, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Scripps Research

Cracking the code of chronic inflammation
Thursday, March 25, 2021, 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET

Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system spins out of control, and leads to a host of devastating and incurable immune-mediated diseases. In his Front Row lecture, Mark Sundrud, PhD, will share how he and his colleagues are deciphering new networks of immune regulation that operate locally (in specific tissues), as opposed to globally (throughout the entire body), and how this can inform the development of safer, more targeted therapies for chronic inflammatory diseases that avoid the potentially life-threatening consequences of global immune suppression.

Michalina Janiszewska, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Scripps Research

Mapping the secret complexity of tumors to defeat aggressive cancer
Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 1 p.m. PT, 4 p.m. ET

Why do so many cancer patients respond well to a particular treatment, only to relapse months or years later? The answer lies within the complex cellular makeup of cancerous tumors. Since cells within a tumor vary widely from one another, even if most are destroyed, at least some will survive and rebuild the tumor mass.

Cancer biologist Michalina Janiszewska, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research, brings a heightened understanding to how a tumor’s diverse cell populations interact and what causes cells with particular mutations to expand. Likening tumors to jigsaw puzzles, Janiszewska is finding patterns that were never before seen. By mapping the intricate tumor ecosystem and finding new ways to detect the most dangerous of cells, she seeks to bring about better treatments for brain cancer and other highly aggressive or treatment-resistant tumors.

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