In Brief

Lerner Receives University of California Presidential Medal
Richard A. Lerner, president of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), received the University of California (UC) Presidential Medal on May 31. The medal is the highest award the university can bestow.

The UC Presidential Medal was established to recognize "extraordinary contributions to the University of California or the community of learning." Previous recipients include former Governor George Deukmejian, UC President Emeritus Clark Kerr, and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.

In July 2000 Governor Gray Davis appointed Lerner as chairman of the panel of distinguished scientists that selected the UC-based California Institutes for Science and Innovation from among competing campus proposals.

Lerner's 30-year scientific career encompasses a broad scope of seemingly disparate activities in biomedical research, ranging from insights into protein structure to identification of a sleep-inducing lipid.

His most recent work, and that for which he is perhaps best known, involves groundbreaking discoveries of converting antibodies into enzymes, permitting the catalysis of chemical reactions considered impossible to achieve by classical chemical procedures. The work has resulted in the possibility of producing antibodies overnight for obtaining an almost limitless variety of products beyond natural ones with an efficiency that may exceed that of natural enzymes.

TSRI's press release provides further details.

Santoro Wins Burroughs Wellcome Career Award
TSRI Research Associate Stephen W. Santoro has been selected as a recipient of a 2002 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. The award provides $500,000 over five years for young scientists, spanning the period that includes their advanced postdoctoral training and their early years as a faculty member of an academic research institution.

With the Schultz group, Santoro is currently studying the directed evolution of molecules, a Darwinian technique whereby a population of enzymes are modified in myriad ways and then selected for their ability to do something novel. The selected enzymes may then be exploited to take advantage of their emergent properties.

For more information, see TSRI's press release.

Eric Johnson Wins Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism
Eric F. Johnson, professor in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, is the recipient of the 2002 Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism. The award, which is given every other year by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding original research contributions in drug metabolism and disposition. Johnson receives the award for "his pioneering contributions to our understanding of the structure, function, and regulation of liver cytochrome P450 enzymes."

Johnson received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in chemistry. Following postdoctoral work at Urbana-Champaign, he moved to TSRI in 1973. He has served on numerous national and international scientific advisory boards and is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology and Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Together with Michael Waterman of Vanderbilt University, Johnson co-edited three volumes of Methods in Enzymology on cytochrome P450s. Among his scientific accomplishments, Johnson, together with Duncan McRee and their colleagues at TSRI, determined the first three-dimensional structure of a eukaryotic, membrane cytochrome P450. This work significantly advanced approaches to understanding the structural basis of human P450 function and will facilitate drug design, development, and therapy.

Society of Fellows Announces Travel Award Winners
The Society of Fellows has selected the following individuals to receive $800 travel awards for their outstanding posters at the recent Society of Fellows Research Symposium: Neel Krishna (Schneemann lab); Jens Leifert (Whitton lab); Natalie Prigozhina (Waterman-Storer lab); Dorian McGavern (Oldstone lab); and Simone Graber (Halpain lab). In addition, several individuals won $400 travel awards: Peter Goebel (Feeney lab); Derek Taylor (Johnson lab); and Natalie Goto (Wright lab).

Lunch and Learn: "Tai Chi for a Healthy Life"
Jesse Tsao, Tai Chi master and director of Tai Chi Healthways will present "Tai Chi for a Healthy Life" on Tuesday, June 18, from noon to 1 PM. Learn how Tai Chi is a natural solution for stress. See/practice some of the different forms of Tai Chi. Experience why Tai Chi is such a fast-growing, popular exercise The seminar will be held in the W.M. Keck Amphitheater, The Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences. No registration is necessary. If more information is needed, contact Jan Hill, x4-2950 .

Art on Display
A new show of paintings and photographs by TSRI artists is now hanging in the institute's cafeteria. Participants in the show are:

•Director of the X-Ray Crystallography Facility Raj Chadha; •Neuropharmacology Research Associate Kurt Edelmann;
•Cafeteria worker Arturo Gomez;
•Molecular Biology Research Assistant Nathan Jacobsen;
•Cell Biology Research Assistant Wendy LeVine;
•Molelular and Experimental Medicine Administrative Assistant Judith Preston;
•Cell Bioloy Research Associate Natalie Prigozhina;
•Neuropharmacology Research Associate Eleanor Roberts.

New English-as-a-Second-Language Class Begins
A new English-as-a-Second-Language class will begin Tuesday, June 25. Cassandra Wadkin's class meets from 6:30 to 8:30 PM every Tuesday evening in the Immunology Building West Conference Room. The price for three months (twelve classes) is $60.

Each intermediate-level English class is divided into speaking and listening, idioms and vocabulary, and reading and writing. If you would like to improve your English communication skills as well as understand your friends and colleagues, movies, television shows, and the news, this class is for you. The instructor uses movies, games, television shows, grammar books, songs, drawing and novels to teach standard American English. Have fun and learn English at the same time! For more information, please leave a message at x4-2176.

Look for Next News&Views July 1
The next issue of News&Views, which is published every other week throughout the summer, will be posted by Monday, July 1. The deadline for announcement and calendar submissions is Wednesday at noon for the following Monday's publication.






Brings Home Gold Quill Award

News&Views, TSRI's electronic publication, was awarded a Gold Quill Award for excellence in employee communications by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) on June 10. Photo by Kevin Fung.