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Scientific Report 2008

Kellogg School of Science and Technology

In 2008, the graduate program built on its many successes and continued to evolve to meet a dynamic future. The leadership of the program changed hands as Jeffery Kelly, Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry and a member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, went on to assume other responsibilities. He is now chair of the Scripps Research Department of Molecular Biology and chair of the board of the Skaggs Institute for Research, one of the Skaggs family's major mechanisms for its philanthropy. As dean, Jeff presided over 8 years of tremendous growth in which the number of students in the program grew by 50%. The curriculum also underwent significant expansion, and revisions allowed more flexibility in coursework for students. In addition to helping establish the graduate program as part of the Florida campus, Jeff was instrumental in establishing the Scripps Research/University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Scientist Training Program, the Scripps Research/UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy joint degree program, and the prestigious Skaggs Oxford Scholarship Program, a joint academic training program at Scripps Research and Oxford University.

I am privileged to take over the leadership of the Kellogg School, with the valuable support of associate deans Steven Mayfield and William Roush. My 7 years as associate dean of the Kellogg School and 10 years as a member of the Scripps Research faculty will inform my leadership of the program. I look forward to working with my fellow deans, faculty colleagues, students, and staff to advance the goal of providing the most conducive environment possible for students to make important discoveries as a stepping stone for their careers.

In the 2008 commencement ceremonies, we recognized the accomplishments of 28 students graduating from the Kellogg School program. Their Ph.D. advisors stepped up to the stage one by one to speak about the array of scientific and personal accomplishments of each graduate, including 2 graduates from the Florida campus. Also at the event, the institute awarded an honorary degree to Scripps Research trustee Claudia S. Luttrell, whose achievements include promoting scientific collaboration as a member of the Scripps Research Board of Trustees, president of the Skaggs Institute for Research at Scripps Research, and chair of the Skaggs Oxford Scholarship Program. Distinguished scientist Scripps Research Professor Ernest Beutler delivered the keynote address, advising the graduates to tackle difficult scientific problems and to distrust scientific dogma and consensus.

The Kellogg School now has more than 300 distinguished alumni, including the 2008 graduates. Recent graduates have gone on to work in both academia and industry, including at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, and the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, Pfizer, Celldex Therapeutics, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, Exelixis, and Johnson & Johnson.

As the new academic year began this fall, a record number of students arrived on both the Florida and the California campuses, bringing the total number of students at the Kellogg School to 248—including 17 Florida students, 10 Skaggs Oxford Scholars, and 2 UCSD Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) students. For the entering Florida class, an unprecedented 75% of offers extended to students were accepted: 9 of 12 offers made.

We held a variety of events to help orient the new students, including lunch with the deans, a picnic with continuing students, and presentations by the graduate office and human resources department. In addition, new students enrolled in the required Critical Thinking and Communication in Science course. In this course, students examine research methods in experimental biology and chemistry, gain skills in the communication and assessment of scientific information and ideas, and review how to apply for fellowship awards such as those offered by the National Science Foundation.

The annual student-faculty symposium in September, held at the Bahia Resort Hotel on San Diego's Mission Bay, provided another kind of learning experience for Kellogg School students from both Florida and California, as well as those residing in Great Britain for the Skaggs Oxford program. All continuing students presented their research in poster sessions or lectures, honing their presentation skills and receiving valuable feedback on their individual projects. First-year students also attended the symposium, interacting with fellow students and faculty members, and learning about the research projects ongoing in laboratories throughout Scripps Research.

As in previous years, the stipends and tuitions of the Kellogg School students were supported by generous donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. These included gifts from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Inc., the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Engineering Education, the William and Sharon Bauce Family Foundation, the Donald and Delia Baxter Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Norton B. Gilula Memorial Fund, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, the Fletcher Jones Foundation, Daniel Koshland, Merck and Co., the National Institutes of Health, Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, Inc., the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation, Roche Pharmaceuticals, the Norman and Margaret Lassey Fund at the San Diego Foundation, the Andrea Elizabeth Vogt Memorial Fund, and anonymous gifts such as that supporting the Bagel Graduate Student Fellowship.

New this year was the addition of a Leadership Fellows Fund created by the Scripps Research Board of Trustees to support students in their first year at the Kellogg School. The new fund is currently supporting 15 promising first-year graduate students in their studies.

Even as our academic program is in full swing, we continue to make progress in the 3-year process of reaccreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Our last accreditation, in 1999, was granted for 10 years, the maximum period possible. For the current reaccreditation review, we have established a number of committees, including a steering committee and 3 self-study working groups consisting of faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and administrative staff, to assess the program's strengths and areas for improvement. We have also received input from other members of the campus community, including alumni, through our accreditation Web site and open forum discussions, surveys, and focus group sessions.

We appreciate your valuable perspectives and suggestions for fine-tuning our program and confirming our commitment to excellence


James R. Williamson, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate and Postgraduate Studies

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