Vol 6. Issue 37 / December 4, 2006


Board of Trustees Welcomes Marjorie Fink
At a recent meeting of The Scripps Research Institute Board of Trustees, Palm Beach County resident Marjorie Fink was appointed as its newest member.

Fink, who has an English degree from the University of Wisconsin and a merchandising background from New York, became interested in the institute with the 2003 announcement that it would launch a Florida campus. Fink had lost her husband, Rodney, to lung cancer three years earlier, and recognized the need for science to push forward the frontiers of medicine.

In 2004, Fink created a gift to the institute by bequest, followed a few months later by a $1 million cash gift. Since that time, she has been an active member of The Scripps Council of 100, the group of philanthropists who contribute $100,000 or more a year to Scripps Research, attending meetings with scientists and trustees, and representing Scripps Research to donors and decision-makers nationwide.

Bruce Beutler Wins Gran Prix from France's Academy of Sciences
Scripps Research Professor Bruce Beutler has been awarded the Gran Prix Charles-Leopold-Mayer from France's Academie des Sciences. This prestigious prize, given annually by the French academy since 1961, is one of the highest scientific honors to be bestowed by this nation.

"The prize alternates between a French national and a foreigner each year," says Beutler, who was in Paris to receive the prize last week, "and from this standpoint, I feel especially honored to have been chosen."

William Roush Elected to AAAS
William Roush, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate dean of the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at Scripps Florida, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Roush, whose lab is located on Scripps Research's Jupiter, Florida, campus, was cited "for distinguished contributions to organic synthetic chemistry in intramolecular Diels-Alder reactions, asymmetric allylboration reactions, and total synthesis of olivomycin A, chlorothricolide, damavaricin D, and spinosyn A." He will be recognized with other new fellows during the 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco next February.

Valentina Sabino Receives Pathway to Independence Award
Valentina Sabino, a research associate at Scripps Research, has won a Pathway to Independence Award, a new type of award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designed to support the transition from postdoctoral trainee to independent scientist. Her fellowship is the first and the only such award from the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Sabino, who plans to investigate the molecular basis of ethanol addiction, will be co-mentored on her project by Scripps Research investigators George Koob, Eric Zorrilla, and Pietro Sanna. Specifically, her project will focus on the role of sigma receptors, unique mammalian binding sites that modulate other neurotransmitter systems, in alcohol addiction and dependence.

Joshua Kunken Wins Honorable Mention in Windows IT Pro Innovators Contest
The Scripps Research Institute's Joshua Kunken, systems administrator in the Danuser lab and Kuhn-Stevens lab, has received an honorable mention in the Windows IT Pro Innovators Contest. His project addressed the need for a simple way to share time-critical information, such as appointments with cancer patients, synchrotron schedules, and project group meetings, among several Scripps Research labs.

"[My] approach was to leverage existing lab information technology infrastructure to come up with a solution that would work synergistically with available software," Kunken says. "The fun part about the solution put in place is that there was little impact on the end users (except for orienting lab members as to which calendar they should be sending items to). This is particularly important in a lab environment where IT solutions should be as transparent as possible."

Centralizing time-sensitive information has led to improved collaboration among lab members.

Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu