Vol 11. Issue 21 / July 4, 2011



Marisa Roberto Knighted by Italian Republic
She may now be addressed as "Cavaliere Roberto."

Scripps Research Associate Professor Marisa Roberto has been awarded the Cavaliere (knight) degree of the Italian Republic's highest honor, the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit), recognizing her scientific research in the neurobiology of addictive behavior.

Traditionally bestowed by the president of the Italian Republic, the Order of Merit acknowledges "merit acquired by the nation" in literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic, and humanitarian activities, as well as for service in civilian and military careers.

"Being recognized for my research has been, at the same time, inspiring and humbling," said Roberto, "especially being honored by Italy, my country of birth, with the Knighthood of the Republic. I am deeply grateful."

Roberto was knighted last month in a special ceremony at City Hall in Volterra, Italy, before family, friends, and colleagues. The event coincided with the second International Conference on Alcoholism and Stress Research, a gathering she organized in Volterra with George Koob, chair of the Scripps Research Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders.

At Scripps Research, Roberto and her team focus on understanding basic mechanisms in the brain that trigger alcohol dependence and drug addiction. Uncovering how these mechanisms work can lead to developing new therapies to alleviate addictive disorders.

Roberto is also a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which she received in a 2009 at a ceremony with the President at the White House.

Kristin Baldwin and Anton Maximov Receive Baxter Foundation Young Faculty Awards
Assistant Professors in the Department of Cell Biology Kristin Baldwin and Anton Maximov have been named recipients of the 2011 Baxter Foundation Young Faculty Award. The award is funded by a Donald E. & Delia B. Baxter Foundation endowment to Scripps Research. The two Department of Cell Biology investigators will use the award to fund risky projects of potentially high impact that have not yet been funded by more traditional mechanisms.

Baldwin's lab aims to improve stem cell and reprogramming technologies to better understand brain development and generate models of neurological disease. Maximov's lab seeks to define the basic mechanisms underlying synaptic development and function, and to elucidate the links between synaptic abnormalities and heritable disease. The two laboratories, situated nearby in the Dorris Neuroscience Center, will use the Baxter Awards to enhance existing synergies between the research groups.

Founded in 1959, the Baxter Foundation was established initially in memory of Donald Baxter, who developed and manufactured the first commercially prepared intravenous solutions.







Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





Associate Professor Marisa Roberto is congratulated on her knighthood by George Koob, chair of the Scripps Research Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, after the ceremony.