Vol 8. Issue 1 / January 14, 2008


Renowned Immunologist Richard Ulevitch Retires as Department Chair
The Scripps Research Institute has announced the retirement of Professor Richard Ulevitch, chair of the Department of Immunology and an internationally renowned researcher in the field of innate immunity.

Ulevitch, who joined the institute in 1972, will continue to maintain a laboratory at Scripps Research as professor and chair emeritus while joining 5AM Ventures of Menlo Park, California, a venture capital company that makes seed and early-stage investments in next-generation life science companies.

"It's with both regret and pleasure that I announce our friend and colleague's retirement as chair of the Department of Immunology," said Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner. "The regret comes from the realization that Richard will no longer be providing his wise guidance to the department he has helped to build into one of the most productive within the institute, duly recognized for its significant research in the field of immunology worldwide. The pleasure comes from knowing that he will continue to contribute further important research to our understanding of the innate immune system, both at the Institute and in his new role in the private sector."

"During the past three decades at the institute, it has been a privilege to work with each and every one of the faculty as a colleague and as chair of the Department of Immunology," Ulevitch said. "In total, my years at Scripps Research represent one of the greatest experiences of my professional life. I will surely miss the opportunities and relationships it has provided."

Lerner said an international search will be conducted to find a new chair of the Immunology Department. In the interim, Professor Argyrios Theofilopoulos will serve as acting chair.

Sarah Tully Wins Damon Runyon Fellowship
Research Associate Sarah E. Tully of the Cravatt lab has been selected as one of the new Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation fellows. According to the foundation, recipients of this prestigious, three-year award are "outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country." The fellowship is intended to encourage the nation's most promising young investigators to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding to work on innovative projects.

Tully is working on developing new methods to elucidate the biosynthetic pathway of endocannabinoids, small, lipid molecules important in the regulation of appetite and analgesia. Through manipulation of this pathway, it may be possible to relieve pain, promote hunger and inhibit nausea associated with radio- and chemotherapy used during cancer treatment.

Carrie Arnold and Urtzi Garaigorta Awarded Cancer Research Institute/Irvington Institute Fellowships
Research Associate Carrie Arnold of the Bruce Beutler lab and Research Associate Urtzi Garaigorta of the Chisari lab have been awarded prestigious three-year postdoctoral training fellowships from the Cancer Research Institute/Irvington Institute. According to the institute, its postdoctoral fellowships provide the brightest young scientists the means to embark on a career in immunology research. Cancer Research Institute/Irvington Institute fellows have different research interests and conduct their work in laboratories around the world, but all support the institute's driving mission to conquer cancer through immunology by increasing our understanding of the human immune system.

Arnold's project is titled "Forward genetic analysis of mammalian resistance and susceptibility to viral infection." Garaigorta's is titled "Regulation of Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Interferon-Inducible Micro-RNAs."



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Green Car

Fred Barch of the Palm Beach County School District accepts the donation of a car from Dr. Nicky Lerner, wife of the Scripps Research president, in front of the elementary school under construction at the Pine Jog Nature Center in West Palm Beach. Students at Park Vista Community High School in Boynton Beach will convert the vehicle to run on recycled, filtered vegetable oil. Photo by Deborah Bowen.