Vol 11. Issue 31 / October 10, 2011


Scripps Research Colleagues React to
Nobel News

At The Scripps Research Institute, fellow faculty members congratulate Bruce Beutler, who is currently chair of the Scripps Research Department of Genetics and director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Further celebrations at Scripps Research are planned for the coming week. Following are some initial reactions.

Chair, Department of Immunology and Microbial Science

"I have had the honor of being closely affiliated with Dr. Beutler as a colleague and friend and have thus been witness to his tireless dedication and infectious scientific curiosity. He has always been fully committed to pursuing his goals, namely identifying all the molecular processes involved in our immune defenses against pathogens. He is a meticulous researcher, an eloquent speaker and writer, and a generous collaborator and advisor ever-mindful of promoting the careers of his young associates. He has added tremendously to my own research endeavors related to defining the processes by which immune defense systems can sometimes turn against self, causing autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, the central area of my research. He also has a beautiful sense of humor and a modest, warm, and engaging personality.

"Signs of his father in his science: Bruce's father, Ernest, was a preeminent hematologist who was also chairman of the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine. It would be impossible to overestimate the great influence he exerted on his son in constantly challenging and pushing Bruce to excellence. I am sure if his father was present, he would be as profoundly proud of Bruce as we all are. "I might add that I personally, as well as my colleagues throughout the institute, are extremely proud to be associated with such an exemplary scientist and man. Much of his recent work was indeed conducted in this institute, and this highest of honors enhances the reputation of Scripps Research and is a testament to the cutting-edge biomedical research conducted here."

Chair, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine

"Bruce's elucidation of the molecular underpinnings of the innate immune response is so fundamental that it quickly found its way into immunology and cell biological textbooks. Moreover, his discovery of the Toll receptors serves as the basis for crafting next generation pharmacological agents. Congratulations on an amazing achievement, Bruce! It has been a pleasure to get to know you over the years and I know your father would be so proud of you, as are your colleagues."

Professor, Department of Cell Biology

"I am absolutely delighted about the news regarding the award of the Nobel Prize to Bruce. He has made more than one fundamental contribution to science and pioneered the power of genetics to tackle biological problems relevant to human health. His identification of essential mechanisms required to activate innate immunity are groundbreaking and have opened a new era in immunological research. Although I am working in neuroscience, I have had the pleasure to engage in several collaborations with Bruce and cherish him as a colleague."

Chair, Department of Cell Biology

"The discovery of Toll receptors reflects Bruce's determination to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of complex biology at the organismal level. Foreseeing the power of whole genome sequencing, his lab has harnessed the awesome power of forward mouse genetics to discover key factors that control the host response to infectious diseases. He is passionate about his work. His eyes light up and he smiles broadly when he discusses results from his latest screen and a new phenotype to explore. There will be many important discoveries to come."

Chair, Department of Infectology

"I've gotten to know Bruce over the last several years and he's both a wonderful scientist and a wonderful colleague. I'm extremely happy that he has been honored with the Nobel for the work he has done. It reflects not only on the absolute quality of his scientific research, but also on the fact that he chose to do it at Scripps Research. I send him my warmest congratulations."

Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbial Science

"Bruce Beutler is both an exceptional scientist and a gentle person. Not only is he a decisive leader in immunology and experimental medicine/biology whose contribution was worthy of a Nobel Prize, but as a friend and companion his make up is gentle, kind, and interesting to go along with his superior intellect and scientific excellence. I was pleased to have gotten to know him well during his time at Scripps and to have been involved in joint collaborative research projects with him that resulted in new insights and a number of publications. Scripps is better for having had him here."

Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbial Science

"I'm delighted that Bruce's fundamental contributions to our understanding of the host response to infection have been honored by the Nobel Prize, capping a remarkable string of national and international honors over the past several years. Bruce is a wonderful colleague and good friend who has helped and served as a role model for many of us across the fabric of Scripps. He is a scholar in the truest sense of the word, and his brilliance is balanced by his gentleness, generosity, and humility. Congratulations Bruce! We are all very proud and happy for you. I only wish your dad could be with you today. He was your greatest admirer."






Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu