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Four TSRI Scientists—Phil Baran, Hollis Cline, J. Lindsay Whitton and Jin-Quan Yu—Elected AAAS Fellows

Four scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They are chemist Phil Baran, neuroscientist Hollis Cline, immunologist J. Lindsay Whitton, and chemist Jin-Quan Yu. Election as a AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers

This year’s 702 new fellows, formally announced in the November 30 edition of the journal Science, were selected because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Baran, a professor in TSRI’s Department of Chemistry, was cited “for outstanding contributions to the field of organic synthesis, particularly for the development of new strategies in total synthesis and the invention of useful methods.”

Cline, who is Hahn Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Cell Biology and a member of TSRI’s Dorris Neuroscience Center, was recognized “for seminal studies of how sensory experience affects the development of brain structures and function and for generous national and international advisory service to neuroscience.”

Whitton, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, was lauded “for contributions to viral immunology and pathogenesis, for developing the first epitope-based vaccines and revealing how rapidly T cells control virus infections in vivo.”

Yu, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, was honored “for distinguished contributions to the field of organic synthesis, specifically in the development of new transition metal-catalyzed C-H functionalization reactions.”

Other AAAS fellows at TSRI include: Carlos F. Barbas, Tamas Bartfai, Dale L. Boger, Tom Burris, Benjamin Cravatt, Francis V. Chisari, Ronald Davis, Gerald M. Edelman, Thomas S. Edgington, M. Reza Ghadiri, Kim D. Janda, Ehud Keinan, Thomas Kodadek, George Koob, Richard A. Lerner, Michael A. Marletta, Donald E. Mosier, K.C. Nicolaou, Michael B. Oldstone, Julius Rebek, Jr., William Roush, Paul Schimmel, K. Barry Sharpless, Ben Shen, Eng M. Tan, Curt Wittenberg and Peter E. Wright.

The new fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on February 16 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

Krista Bluske, Christopher Haga and Valentina Lo Sardo Awarded Fellowships

Krista Bluske of the Mueller lab, Christopher Haga of the Phinney lab and Valentina Lo Sardo of the Baldwin lab have been awarded TSRI Stem Cell Postdoctoral Fellowships. The fellowships, designated to support stem cell research, are funded by a bequest of the late Burt and Virginia Polin through the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation.

Bluske, a PhD graduate from the University of Minnesota, is conducting research on the development of the brain’s neocortex to understand how different types of neurons are generated and to provide insights into neurological and psychiatric diseases caused by defects in neocortical development, such as microcephaly, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Bluske’s project is titled “Neural stem cell diversity in the mammalian neocortex.”

Haga, who earned a PhD at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is examining the role of miRNAs in regulating stem cell fate. Haga’s project is titled “Discovery of Small Molecules to Eradicate Cancer Stem Cells by Targeting MiR-544.”

Lo Sardo, who earned her PhD at the University of Milan, is researching human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which hold the potential for personalized treatments and cell replacement therapies. In the research, she will combine new viral lineage-tracing technologies with next-generation whole-genome sequencing to identify the best ways to produce safe and functional reprogrammed human iPSCs for research and clinical applications. LoSardo’s project is titled “Improving genome stability and pluripotency in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).”

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Scripps CA Shows Support for Komen 3-Day Walkers
Office of Philanthropy and Human Resources staff, members of the Kuhn, Chisari, Johnson, Russell, Boddy and Wittenberg labs and others from the TSRI community cheered on participants in the 60-mile Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure San Diego event supporting breast cancer research and breast health and education. From a special booth illustrating cancer research efforts at the institute, volunteers handed walkers and runners water, energy bars and pink TSRI wrist bands and shirts. (Photo by Dave Freeman.)