Vol 11. Issue 15 / May 2, 2011


In Brief

JCSG Comes Togetherjcsg
More than 80 scientists attended a recent two-day meeting of The Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), a multi-institutional consortium led by Ian Wilson, Scripps Research Institute Hansen Professor of Structural Biology and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology. The meeting, held at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, represents the first gathering in the latest phase of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Protein Structure Initiative (PSI). A key aim of this phase, called "PSI: Biology," is to apply the high-throughput methods developed during PSI's initial decade to challenging biological problems and systems.

Velia Fowler to Speak May 11 in Faculty Lecture Series
Professor Velia Fowler is the featured speaker at the next presentation of the California campus Faculty Lecture Series, scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, 5 PM in the Timken Amphitheater at Green Hospital. Dr. Fowler will present "Actin Filament Architecture Constrains Cell Morphology and Physiology." Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Arnold and Mabel Beckman building, first floor. For further information, see Fowlers' Faculty Lecture Series webpage.

Career Workshop Series: Grantsmanship & Funding Fest
The Spring 2011 Grantsmanship & Funding Fest, a four-part program on producing and submitting grant and fellowship applications, begins this week. Sessions include:

  • The Basics of Science Grant Writing, Tuesday, May 10, noon to 2 PM – Peter Wagner, distinguished professor of medicine and bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, will explain the importance of careful preparation, introduce proposal elements (abstract, specific aims, significance, design, and method, etc.), review how to address each section, and share his experience as a grant submitter and reviewer. The session will be held at UCSD's Cell and Molecular Genetics Conference Room.
  • Fellowship Writing Seminar, Tuesday, May 17, 5 to 7 PM – Scripps Research Immunology Department faculty members Luc Teyton and Julie Jameson will review the common sections of a fellowship application, how to target a fellowship to appropriate funding sources, and best practices. A panel of postdocs will share their successful fellowship application processes. The session is scheduled in the Scripps Research Keck Auditorium.
  • Pathways to Independence: Winning an NIH K99/R00 Grant, Tuesday, May 24, noon to 2 PM – UCSD faculty will present the background of the NIH-K99/R00 grant program, explain their experiences as program reviewers, and provide important tips to create notable applications. A panel of postdoc recipients, including Scripps Research scientists, will share their experiences submitting applications, addressing reviewers' comments, and planning for the second phase of the process. Those in early stages of their postdoctoral training will find this session especially valuable, according to Ryan Wheeler, manager of the Career and Ppostdoctoral Services Office. The session is scheduled at the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy Auditorium.
  • Perspectives from the Other Side: How Study Section Members Review Grants, Wednesday, June 1, 1:30 to 3:30 PM — Scripps Research faculty panelists will share experiences of participating on a study section and discuss tips and strategies, including common applicant mistakes and what reviewers look for in an application. The session will be held in the Scripps Research Keck Auditorium and streamed live to the Scripps Florida campus.

For further details on any of the sessions, contact Wheeler.

Vendor Show to Highlight Local and National Companies
The 21st Society of Fellows (SoF)-sponsored Vendor Show, scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 9 AM to 2:30 PM, on the Scripps California campus, will feature nearly 100 local and national biotech companies. Showcasing new technologies, the annual event will provide researchers opportunities to compare application and price differences in a wide range of products and services they use daily, according to SoF event co-chairs Mike Matrone and Devin Sok.

One of the largest scientific vendor shows in the San Diego area, the event is open to researchers from Scripps Research and neighboring institutions. "Because we have so many vendors at this event and visitors from various institutions, it offers an opportunity to network and meet other scientists in the community," Sok noted.

Vendor exhibits will be set up in the Immunology and Beckman buildings, and the Immunology Plaza. This year's attendee raffle features new prizes—15 iPod Shuffles—in addition to five $100 Amazon gift cards. Participants who visit at least three vendor tables in each of the show's three sections (nine tables total) are eligible for a raffle prize, including iPod Shuffles and $100 Amazon gift cards. Winners will be determined at the end of the show and will be notified by email.

Event proceeds, expected to reach as much as $75,000, will fund SoF programs, including career development seminars, distinguished lecture series, mentoring lunches, an annual research symposium, and travel awards, as well as the group's social events.

ScrippsAssists Joins Creek-to-Bay Cleanup
Members of ScrippsAssists, the Scripps Research employee volunteer group, joined forces with an estimated 5,000 other volunteers April 30 to help clean up San Diego as part of the I Love a Clean San Diego's 9th Annual Creek-to-Bay Cleanup. The event removed thousands of pounds of trash from 75 cleanup sites countywide. Cleanup organizers emphasized that 80 percent of marine debris originates from inland sources, such as storm drains in urban areas, creeks, and rivers. The ScrippsAssists volunteers (click for photo) worked at the City Heights - 47th Street Canyon location, one of 49 inland cleanup sites. Projects included trash pickup, non-native plant removal, planting native plants and trail maintenance. Several of the volunteers helped with the removal of Arundo donax, an invasive bamboo type plant at the bottom of the canyon.

"Most people think of the beach when they think of San Diego," said Kenneth Reyes, ScrippsAssists volunteer who is a Research Technician in the Gruol laboratory. It was rewarding to help out at the inland sites, which are not as well known as the beaches…. By picking up trash and removing invasive plants, we not only prevented trash from flowing into the ocean, but we also helped create an environment for native plants to grow once again."

If you would like to join ScrippsAssists with the Coastal Cleanup Day in September or any other volunteer events sponsored by I Love A Clean San Diego, please contact Jennifer Bray, x4-7220 or jenbray@scripps.edu.

Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu