Vol 11. Issue 1 / January 10, 2011


F1000 Ranks Patapoutian Lab Paper Among Top Five in Biology in 2010
A study led by Scripps Research Professor Ardem Patapoutian was named among the top five biology papers in 2010 by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000). According to the F1000 evaluation, the new proteins described in the study, called Piezos, "have been identified as a critical molecular component in mechanically activated ion channels, which make possible several sensations, such as hearing, touch, and pain." The paper, titled “Piezo1 and Piezo2 are essential components of distinct mechanically activated cation channels,” appeared in Science (Volume 300, Number 6000, October 1, 2010).

The F1000 is a global scientific review network of more than 10,000 faculty experts whose evaluations form a fully searchable resource identifying the best research available. According to the group, "this year's most important papers were not those that made the front page of international newspapers, but the quiet and persistent investigations of the molecular foundations of life."

Chemical & Engineering News Lists Baran Lab Work Among Top 2010 Achievements
The work of Scripps Research Professor Phil Baran’s team in synthesizing a complex marine natural product was listed in the Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) 2010 Chemical Year in Review issue that, according to C&EN editors, "reveals our choices for some of the superlative achievements" of the year and that represent examples of "the many ways in which chemists are pushing the boundaries of what we know and what we are capable of doing." The synthesis has led to the development of new reactions that are already seeing use in pharmaceutical companies for drug development.

Baran and his team completed the first total synthesis of palau’amine – "a dauntingly complex alkaloid" – with the help of "a daring cyclization reaction," describes C&EN. The marine product is isolated from the sponge Stylotella agminata in waters near the Pacific Ocean Republic of Palua.

Jin-Quan Yu Wins Novartis Early Career Award
Scripps Research Institute Professor Jin-Quan Yu has received a 2010 Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry. One of two honorees from the global research community, Yu shares the award with Karl Gademann of the University of Basel, Switzerland. Each receives an unrestricted grant to support their individual research.

The Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry is presented annually to "outstanding scientists within 10 years of having established an independent academic research career in the areas of organic or bioorganic chemistry in the broadest sense." In the award announcement, Novartis describes Yu as "a leader in the field of transition metal-catalysed C-H activation [who] has had a significant impact on how we envision assembling molecules."

Wendy Havran Awarded Honorary Doctorate from University of Copenhagen
Professor Wendy Havran was recently presented with an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Havran was awarded the degree last November, while she was at the university providing a presentation on "Crosstalk Between Epithelial T Cells and Their Neighbors." Havran was one of three honorary doctorate recipients at a special university commemoration ceremony, which was attended by the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II.

Graduate Office Announces Merit Awards
The Scripps Research Institute Office of Graduate Studies has announced the names of students at the Kellogg School of Science and Technology selected to receive merit-based fellowships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Selection criterion for these fellowships is primarily excellence in research, as demonstrated by publications and contributions to the graduate program.

The awards include:

• Erin Anderson, who is working in the Boger lab, and Crystal Moran, who is working in the Deniz lab, has received scholarships from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS). An all-volunteer organization, the ARCS Foundation is dedicated to helping the best and brightest students in science, engineering, and medicine nationwide.

• Erin Anderson also has received the Novartis Graduate Fellowship in Organic Chemistry for Minorities and Women. Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research provides this one-year fellowship to encourage women and minorities to continue in the field of organic chemistry.

• Candacia Greeman of the Williamson lab has been awarded the Andrea Elizabeth Vogt Memorial Award, made possible by the generosity of Scripps Research Professor Peter K. Vogt.

• Laura Walker and Jonathan Long have received Norton B. Gilula Graduate Student Fellowships. Walker is a grad student in the Burton lab, while Long is affiliated with the Cravatt lab. The Gilula Fellowship, primarily supported by contributions from Scripps Research faculty and administration, honors the late Norton Gilula, cell biologist and first dean of the Scripps Research graduate program.

• Sophie Sun of the Schultz lab has been named recipient of the Abrams Charitable Trust Award. The award provides support to an outstanding continuing student for educational and training activities.

• Keary Mark Engle of the Yu lab has been awarded the Jairo Arevelo Fellowship, established in the memory of Scripps Research’s first doctoral degree recipient. The award recipient is selected by a Scripps Research faculty committee based on academic scholarship, achievement, enthusiasm, motivation, commitment, and “thirst for knowledge.”














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