Team Describes Elusive Replication Machinery of Flu Viruses
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Scientists Identify a Potential Cause of Parkinson’s Disease that May Lead to New Treatment Options
Study Points to Potential New Therapies for Cancer and Other Diseases
Researchers Uncover a Novel Cooperative Effort to Stop Cancer Spread



In Brief

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).”

Career Workshop: From Ad to Interview for Non-Academic Jobs

Tips on preparing to land an industry or other non-academic job will be offered in an upcoming Careers in Industry Workshop, “Getting from Job Ad to Interview,” sponsored by the Career and Postdoctoral Services Office Thursday, December 13, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM on the California campus.

Presented by Ryan Wheeler, manager of the Career & Postdoctoral Services Office, the workshop particularly targets postdoctoral fellows and graduate students interested in industry and other non-academic positions. Participants will learn to:

  • Identify and apply transferable skills
  • Prepare a targeted resume for non-academic positions
  • Write compelling cover letters
  • Develop and maintain a professional online identity

Online registration is required to attend the workshop, which will be held in the Human Resources Training Room (3377 Building, Room 205). Wheeler is also available for individual resume and cover letter guidance sessions. Contact him at x 4-9740 or

Scripps FL NWiS Meeting to Explore Gender Bias in Science

The next Florida campus Network for Women in Science (NWiS) meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, December 12, from 4:30 to 5:30 PM, will feature a discussion of a recent study of gender bias in science.

The gender bias study—published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported on in the New York Times—was authored by Jo Handlesman, a female professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale. For a pdf copy of the study, contact NWiS President Briana Weiser, graduate student in the Tellinghuisen lab. 

Attendees are also invited to bring a favorite dessert to share at the NWiS meeting, which will be held in room B158.

For details on other NWiS activities and resources on the Florida campus, visit the group’s website.

FL Campus Hosts Toys for Tots Drive

Members of the Florida campus are once again invited to donate to the Toys for Tots campaign, according to project coordinator Kathy Ryan, executive assistant, Scientific Operations.

New, unwrapped toys can be deposited in designated Toys for Tots boxes located in the lobbies of the three campus buildings until Friday, December 14.

All toy donations will be delivered to children in Palm Beach County. Last year’s TSRI drive collected 100 toys and games. The national Toys for Tots program is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Since its beginning in 1947, the program has distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million needy children.

CA ScrippsAssists Solicits Socks for Soldiers

Warm, dry feet and edible treats from home are among the best holiday gifts for U.S. soldiers serving in cold, far-away locations, according to Standing Tall Together, a nonprofit agency supporting U.S. military members before and during deployment. This year, employee volunteer group ScrippsAssists will again partner with the agency to stage a Socks for Soldiers drive on the California campus. New this year is the group’s adoption of a Navy Seal team on a 10- to 12-month deployment in the cold mountains of Afghanistan. This tight group of 16 men is stationed at a small, forward-operating base at an elevation of 6,200 feet.

Socks of a particular brand—SmartWool Mountaineering—are requested. A $15 donation buys one pair, which ScrippsAssists can order at a discount from SmartWool. The socks are also available at REI retailers. Specific foodstuffs, including blocks of hard cheeses, dried and canned meats, gourmet spreads and jams, instant coffee packets, etc., are also appreciated; see the ScrippsAssists website for a complete list of items.

Tax-exempt cash and check donations are also accepted. Checks should be made out to “Standing Tall Together”; for a receipt for tax purposes, include a mailing address or contact Meghan McCann-Munden of Standing Tall Together. On the Scripps California campus, send socks, small food items or monetary donations to Deborah Witherden, mail code IMM-8; deliver larger items to her in IMM-303. For further information, contact project organizers at

CA Onsite Clinics Scheduled for December 10 and 12

The next California campus onsite immunization clinics will be held Monday, December 10, and Wednesday, December 12, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM in Room 325 of the 3366 Building.

Conducted by Sharp Rees-Stealy staff, the clinics provide hepatitis B vaccination free of charge to all TSRI employees. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Occupational Medicine must pre-authorize all other procedures based on the employee's working conditions. These procedures include:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccines
  • A new one-visit Quantiferon tuberculosis test (for information on this test, read the Centers for Disease Control TB Fact Sheet)
  • Other tests, including titers, immunizations  and procedures according to the TSRI employee job function

Individuals who cannot attend the onsite clinic may visit the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center in Sorrento Mesa after EH&S pre-authorization. In addition, appointments can be scheduled at the Sharp Rees-Stealy Occupational Medicine Office by calling (858) 526-6150. For further details, contact Sunny Gold Schmidt, x4-9299 or

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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.)