Vol 10. Issue 6 / February 22, 2010
Landenberger Foundation Awards Three New Grants to Scripps Florida
The foundation awarded a two-year, $300,000 grant to Donny Strosberg, a professor in The Scripps Research Institute's Department of Infectology, to support his lab's studies on the possibility of developing novel treatments for metabolic diseases. Specifically, the grant will support Strosberg's research on the impact of agonists—compounds that bind to cell receptors and create a cellular response—on three receptors that play a critical role in the process of lipolysis, which is the breakdown of triglycerides within the cell to be used for fuel.
"I'm very pleased to receive this grant award from the Landenberger Foundation," Strosberg said. "They have been very supportive of the work of Scripps Florida scientists, providing funding in areas that are not always able to attract significant funding from other sources. As such, they have been a terrific partner in helping get a number of important projects off the ground and I'm grateful for their support."
Ayad received a new round of funding from the foundation, with a grant of $100,000 to continue his work in the field of cell cycle progression, which has serious implications for cancer research and treatment. Not a lot is known about the moment when cell division—proliferation—stops and when cell differentiation—when the cell decides what it wants to be when it matures—begins. If the cell goes into proliferative overdrive and fails to exit the cell cycle, these rapidly dividing cells can turn into cancer.
In addition to the grants for scientific research, the Landenberger Foundation approved a grant of $25,000 to Scripps Florida to host a special conference to help other small foundations that specialize in supporting biomedical research to develop greater expertise in their review and analysis of scientific grant requests. The conference will take place on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Scripps Florida campus.
Scripps Research Scientists Collaborate on New Lassa Fever Project
Lassa fever is an often deadly viral disease that threatens hundreds of thousands of people annually in West Africa and is classified as a potential bioterrorism threat. In some areas of Sierra Leone, up to 16 percent of people admitted to hospitals have Lassa fever. Lassa fever is also associated with occasional epidemics, during which the fatality rate can reach 50 percent. Ollmann Saphire further collaborates with Professor Michael Oldstone in the Scripps Research Department of Immunology and Microbial Science to understand how Lassa virus infects cells, with the hope of developing vaccines or treatments.
The team—which also includes scientists at The Broad Institute, Harvard University, the University of California at San Diego, Boston University, Autoimmune Technologies, Corgenix Medical Corporation, and various partners in West Africa—plans to evaluate antibodies from survivors of a Lassa virus infection to see if those antibodies might play a role in the development of a vaccine or treatment for the illness. The researchers also hope to establish a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of antibody responses and Lassa virus neutralization.
Alex Perryman Appointed to Chemical Biology & Drug Design Board
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu