Four Leading Scientists to Join Scripps Florida Faculty
The Scripps Research Institute has announced the appointments
of four noted scientists to the faculty of the new Scripps
Florida biomedical research operation in Palm Beach County.
"We are fortunate to have such outstanding researchers forming
the foundation of our staff at Scripps Florida," said Scripps
Research President Richard A. Lerner. "They are established
or emerging leaders in their various fields who will contribute
to the success of the new enterprise. Their work will enhance
our understanding of human health to the benefit of all."
The four new faculty members are Patrick R. Griffin, John
Hogenesch, Chris Liang, and Teresa Reyes.
Patrick R. Griffin: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
Griffin will be professor and head of drug metabolism and
pharmacokinetics in the Scripps Florida Division of Drug Discovery.
Griffin was most recently chief scientific officer and vice
president of research at ExSAR Corporation in Monmouth Junction,
New Jersey, an early-stage biotechnology company that uses
a proprietary technology platform to rapidly develop biopharmaceuticals
and small molecule drugs for established markets. Griffin's
team established ExSAR's nuclear receptor drug discovery program
that has resulted in a number of technology partnerships with
leading pharmaceutical firms.
Prior to working for ExSAR, Griffin, 40, was senior director
in the Basic Chemistry Department at Merck Research Laboratories
in Rahway, New Jersey, and senior director of molecular profiling
proteomics. He directed more than 40 scientists focused on
applying a wide range of technologies to the drug discovery
process. He was also responsible for the development of technology
that rapidly characterizes very large sets of chemical compounds
and large collections of natural products.
He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of
Virginia, where he was involved in the development of biological
mass spectrometry. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California
Institute of Technology, focusing on systems biology.
He will join Scripps Florida in May.
John Hogenesch: Genome Technology
Hogenesch, who was raised in Gainesville, Florida, will
be associate professor and associate director of Genome Technology,
Divisions of Biomedical Science and Technology Development.
He received his doctoral degree from Northwestern University
working on signal transduction pathways mediated by bHLH-PAS
Prompted by his interests in circadian rhythms, Hogenesch,
36, joined the laboratory of Professor Steve Kay at Scripps
Research and Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation,
both in La Jolla, California, for postdoctoral training. His
research efforts focused on the application of emerging technologies
in the study of transcriptional output of the biological clock.
He currently serves as head of genomics at the Genomics Institute
and assistant professor of neuropharmacology at Scripps Research.
He will assume his new position in October.
Chris Liang: Drug Discovery
Liang, who obtained his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton
University in 1989, will be associate director of medicinal
chemistry, Division of Drug Discovery. After a five-year tenure
with Accelrys, a leading software provider for molecular modeling
and drug design headquartered in San Diego, he joined SUGEN,
a biotech company in South San Francisco, pioneering research
and drug discovery on protein kinases. (SUGEN was acquired
by Pharmacia, which in turn was acquired by Pfizer). During
his seven years at SUGEN, he made significant contributions
to a number of drug discovery projects and was honored as
Associate Fellow of the Pharmacia Corporation in 2003.
Dr. Liang, 41, most recently served as the director of chemistry
managing the New Lead Synthesis/Medicinal Chemistry, Combinatorial
Chemistry, and Computational Chemistry groups. He has more
than 30 scientific publications and over 20 patents in drug
He began his work at Scripps Florida this month.
Teresa Reyes: Biomedical Science
Reyes, who received her doctoral degree from the University
of Wisconsin, will be assistant professor Division of Biomedical
Science. Her thesis work focused on the behavioral and immunological
effects of peripheral cytokine administration.
For her postdoctoral training, she worked in the laboratory
of principal investigator Paul Sawchenko at the Salk Institute
for Biological Studies in La Jolla. There, she used functional
neuroanatomical techniques and molecular genetic tools to
examine the central nervous system pathways that mediate changes
in appetite and metabolism that accompany illness and infection.
Reyes, 34, most recently a senior research associate at
the Salk Institute, has been awarded a five-year Mentored
Research Scientist Development Award grant from the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
an intensive career development experience in one of the biomedical,
behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence.
She will join Scripps Florida in October.