Vol 8. Issue 18 / June 2, 2008


Scripps Research Chemistry Papers Rank Number One for Impact
Chemistry papers by faculty members at The Scripps Research Institute have the highest impact, as measured by the number of citations per paper, of any institution in the world, according to a recent list generated by Thomson Reuters' Essential Science Indicators Database. The list, which took into account papers published from January 1997 to December 2007, appeared in a recent issue of Chemical & Engineering News (see http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/86/8621sci1.html, bottom table).

Dennis Burton, David Nemazee Receive Funding in New AIDS Vaccine Initiative
Scripps Research Professors Dennis Burton and David Nemazee, and their labs, will collaborate to form one of 10 research teams nationwide funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in a new program to advance underdeveloped approaches to designing a preventive HIV vaccine. The new five-year NIH program will foster the study of B cells, immune cells that can produce antibodies with the capacity to neutralize HIV, with the goal of strengthening and expanding the scientific foundation of HIV vaccine research.

"This program reflects our commitment to probe the fundamental science underlying HIV vaccine development," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci. "The study of B cells and broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV will answer pressing, basic scientific questions and bring greater balance to our portfolio of HIV vaccine discovery research."

As part of the 10-team national network, Burton and Nemazee's team will share resources, methods, and data with the other groups to accelerate progress for the ultimate goal of creating a successful HIV vaccine.

Timothy Tellinghuisen Wins Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award

Timothy Tellinghuisen, assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus, has received the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award for 2008. Tellinghuisen is one of only 14 research scientists from the United States and Canada chosen this year by the fund. The awards are made to encourage innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to investigating pathogenesis by scientists who are still early in their careers.

"I'm honored to have been awarded this grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund," Tellinghuisen said. "We plan to use the award to expand our work with hepatitis C, particularly in the area of RNA replication and virus assembly to determine if these are productive targets for new therapeutic development."

Tellinghuisen's laboratory is focused on the development of new and more effective drugs to combat hepatitis C, a major human pathogen that has infected more than 170 million people worldwide. The only approved treatment—a combination of interferon and ribavirin—has proven to have serious therapeutic limitations, as well as significant side effects. This is the second year in a row that a Scripps Research scientist has received this award from the fund. In 2007, Associate Professor Dorian McGavern at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, was chosen as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund recipient.

Xiaoyi Hu Awarded Life Science Research Foundation Fellowship
Xiaoyi Hu, a research associate in the Schultz lab, has been awarded a prestigious three-year postdoctoral fellowship from Gilead Sciences through the Life Science Research Foundation. Hu was one of only 40 finalists from 800 applications for this competitive program administered by the foundation, which aims to establish partnerships between those who support research in the life sciences and academic institutions for their mutual benefit. Hu's research focuses on studying the regulation of epigenetics, in particular DNA methylation, using both genomic cDNA/siRNA library screening and screening using small molecule probes.

Nicole Steinmetz Awarded American Heart Association Fellowship
Research Associate Nicole Steinmetz of the Manchester lab has been awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association. A total of 60 applications were funded out of 219 applications reviewed for the program. With the grant, Steinmetz will investigate a project titled "Development of viral nanoparticles to target the vasculature in vivo."

Andrew Lee Receives Two Travel Awards
Research Associate Andrew M. Lee of the Oldstone laboratory has received two competitive awards to fund the presentation of his research. The first is a American Society for Virology Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award to present his work on arenavirus entry and fusion at the July 2008 American Society for Virology 27th annual meeting in Ithaca, NY. The second honor is a travel award to attend and present his research on small molecule inhibitors of arenaviruses that cause hemorrhagic fever at the August 2008 XVIth Interrnational Congress of Virology in Istanbul, Turkey.


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