Vol 11. Issue 14 / April 25, 2011



Hugh Rosen, Ben Shen, and J. Lindsay Whitton Elected to American Academy of Microbiology
The American Academy of Microbiology has elected Scripps Research Institute Professors Hugh Rosen, Ben Shen, and J. Lindsay Whitton as Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are now more than 2,500 fellows representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service.

For more information about the research programs of Rosen, Shen, and Whitton, see their faculty webpages.

Laura Bohn Wins John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology
Laura Bohn, an associate professor in the Departments of Molecular Therapeutics and Neuroscience on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, has been awarded the prestigious John J. Abel Award for 2011. The award, which is named after the founder of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), is given each year to a single outstanding young investigator for his or her contributions to pharmacology. Bohn received the Abel Award on April 9 at the annual meeting of ASPET in Washington, DC.

"I'm deeply honored to receive this award," she said. "To be associated with John Abel's work and his legacy is tremendously gratifying."

The John J. Abel Award, sponsored by Pfizer, was established in 1947 to stimulate fundamental research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics by young investigators. It honors outstanding research in the field, especially work demonstrating originality of approach, clarity, and excellence of data presentation.

This year's award recognizes Bohn's research into the regulation of G protein-coupled receptor signaling and how it relates to drug responsiveness. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) represent a large family of transmembrane receptors, which transmit signals into a cell's interior. For more information on Bohn's research, see her faculty webpage. For more information on the Abel Award, see ASPET's website.

Antonio Amelio Presented with Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award
Antonio L. Amelio, research associate in the Conkright lab, was presented a Scholar-in-Training Award by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at its 102nd annual meeting in April in Orlando, FL. Sponsored by Aflac Inc., the award recognizes outstanding papers by early-career scientists among AACR associate members.

More than 2,000 award applicants submitted recommendation letters and abstracts for which they were listed as presenters; fewer than 45 Scholars in Training were named. Amelio's paper was titled "Emerging Roles for the cAMP Regulated Transcription Coactivators (CRTC) in Oncogenesis."

Scripps Research Center Hosts NCI Network Meeting
A center led by Scripps Research Professor Peter Kuhn hosted the second annual meeting for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OC) earlier this month, drawing 250 scientists and a number of cancer survivors. The NCI initiative, which consists of a 12-center network, seeks to advance the understanding of the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence and behavior of cancer.

"NCI is putting all the ingredients in the process and seeing what develops, not just following the same recipe with the same ingredients," said meeting participant Carole Baas, a cancer survivor and patient advocate.

For example, Kuhn's Four Dimensional Fluid Biopsy Center at Scripps Research aims to achieve a better understanding of the behavior of cancer cells during metastasis, the spread of cancer from a primary tumor to other sites throughout the body. This understanding is directly aimed at determining more effective methods to manage cancer.

For more information NCI's PC-OC, visit http://physics.cancer.gov. For more information on the Scripps Research Four Dimensional Fluid Biopsy Center, see http://physicsoncology.org/default.aspx.

Second Annual Scripps Florida ResearchFest Features Presentations, Prizes, Vendors
The third time may be a charm, but the second annual ResearchFest held at Scripps Florida on April 19 raised the bar. Four seminars were delivered in the morning, with subjects ranging from HIV and HCV to mitochondrial and oxidative stress signaling pathways. More than 30 posters from both postdoctoral fellows and graduate students were also on display throughout the day.

Research Associate Heidi Walsh of the Smith lab won first place in the oral presentation category. Postdoctoral fellows winning prizes for their posters were: Nicole Rogers of the Smith lab, Nelson Bruno of the Conkright lab, and Joanne Doherty of the Cleveland lab. Graduate student poster winners were Bethany Strunk of the Karbstein lab and Rosie Albarran-Zeckler of the Smith lab. (See photo of the winners).

With some 48 vendors on hand, the Scripps Florida Society of Research Fellows, which sponsors the annual event, raised nearly $25,000 for the organization. The society also sponsors a distinguished lecturer series as well as more informal local and regional events.

"The event was really well attended this year, and we have a record number of vendors," said Research Associate Jeni Lauer, president of the society and a member of Pat Griffin's laboratory. "All in all, we're thrilled that it has been such a big success. Now we can take some time off and start planning next year's event."