Faculty Promotions Announced
Faculty promotions were announced at a recent meeting of
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Board of Directors.
"We are very enthusiastic about these promotions," says
Jeffery Kelly, vice president for academic affairs and dean
of graduate studies. "I am especially proud because this group
of outstanding scientists includes several who were 'home
grown.' Ben Cravatt is an alumnus of TSRI's graduate program.
Erik Sorensen completed his Ph.D. at the University of California,
San Diego in the laboratory of K.C. Nicolaou, chair of TSRI's
Department of Chemistry. Henrik Ditzel completed postdoctoral
studies in TSRI Professor Dennis Burton's lab. And Kenneth
Fish began as a lab technician here and completed postdoctoral
studies with Department of Cell Biology Chair Sandra Schmid."
The promotions include:
John Yates, III, who was promoted to professor in
the Department of Cell Biology. Yates (B.A., M.S., University
of Maine, Orono; Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville)
came to TSRI in 2000. The Yates group relies upon the detailed
information yielded by tandem mass spectrometry, a powerful
technique for characterizing a proteome, to identify proteins
from complex mixtures. Lab members draw upon biology, chemistry,
and computer science to increase the scope, sensitivity, and
throughput of technologies for practical proteomics.
Benjamin Cravatt, III, who was promoted to associate
professor with tenure in the Department of Cell Biology. Cravatt
(B.A., B.S., Stanford University; Ph.D., TSRI) joined TSRI
as a faculty member in 1996. His research group is interested
in understanding the role that mammalian enzymes play in regulating
physiological and pathological processes, especially as they
pertain to the nervous system. Lab members have focused much
effort to date on elucidating the molecular, cellular, and
physiological properties of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH),
a brain integral membrane enzyme responsible for catabolizing
several neural signaling lipids, including the endogenous
cannabinoid anandamide and the sleep-inducing lipid oleamide.
In a second major project, lab members are developing chemical
methods for proteomics.
Ann Feeney, who was promoted to associate professor
with tenure in the Department of Immunology. Feeney (B.A,
Newton College; Ph.D., Cornell University) came to TSRI in
1992. The main focus of her laboratory is the analysis of
factors that contribute to the non-random composition of the
antibody and T cell receptor repertoires. She is investigating
the mechanisms, including transcription factor activation
and chromatin modification, which control the accessibility
and subsequent inaccessibility of these antibody and TCR gene
segments to the V(D)J recombination enzymes during lymphocyte
Wolfram Ruf, who was promoted to associate professor
with tenure in the Department of Immunology. Ruf (M.D., University
of Giessen, Germany; Ph.D., Max-Planck-Society) joined TSRI
in 1988. His research focuses on the regulation of protease
specificity by cellular receptors and inhibitors as well as
the mechanism of cell signaling by proteases in inflammation,
vascular biology, and cancer.
Erik Sorensen, who was promoted to associate professor
with tenure in the Department of Chemistry. Sorensen (Ph.
D., University of California, San Diego) joined TSRI in 1997.
His laboratory develops strategies that permit efficient syntheses
of architecturally unique, biologically active natural products
and natural product-like probes for proteomic research.
Henrik J. Ditzel, who was promoted to associate professor
in the Department of Immunology. Ditzel (M.D., Ph.D., University
of Odense, Denmark) came to TSRI in 1997. The overall focus
of his research is the study of human antibody responses in
cancer and autoimmune disease at a molecular level. His lab
is attempting to elucidate the precise role of the response,
the antigens targeted, and the biological events and biochemical
changes of proteins that may elicit such autoimmune or cancer-associated
Kenneth Fish, who was promoted to assistant professor
in the Department of Neuropharmacology. Fish (B.S., University
of California, San Diego; Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences University)
first worked at TSRI from 1989 to 1992 as a lab technician
then research assistant in the Nelson lab. He returned to
TSRI in 1998 for postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Sandra
Schmid. Now located in the Harold L. Dorris Neurological Research
Center, Fish conducts research to develop models of schizophrenia
that reproduce the pathological processes and phenomenology
associated with the disease and that predict responsiveness
to antipsychotic drugs.
Hidehiro Kishimoto, who was promoted to assistant
professor in the Department of Immunology. Kishmoto (M.D.,
Hokkaido University; Ph.D., University of Tokyo) came to TSRI
in 1993. Currently, he is studying the mechanisms underlying
the defect of central tolerance in a nonobese diabetic (NOD)
John Yates, III, professor
Benjamin Cravatt, III, associate professor
Ann Feeney, associate professor with
Wolfram Ruf, associate professor with
Erik Sorensen, associate professor with