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Dennis Fenton Joins Board of Trustees

Dennis M. Fenton, a manufacturing and biologics expert and former executive vice president for Amgen, has been elected to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Board of Trustees.

In his 26-year career at Amgen, Fenton served in many high-level positions, most recently as executive vice president from 2000 until his retirement in 2008. At Amgen, his responsibilities spanned manufacturing, quality, logistics, process development, engineering and operation services. Prior to joining Amgen, he was a senior research scientist at Pfizer, In., where he studied productivity increases in bulk chemical fermentations, among other topics.

A 1973 graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, Fenton was awarded a doctoral degree in microbiology from Rutgers University in 1977.

Fenton currently serves on the boards of four public companies, Xenoport, Dendreon, Hospira and Kytheria Pharmaceuticals, and two private companies, Napo and Genelux. He is also vice chair of the Board of Trustees for the Keck Graduate Institute, a member of the Claremont Colleges in Southern California. His current professional affiliations include membership in the American Management Association, American Society for Microbiology, Society for Industry Microbiology and American Chemical Society.

Fenton is a resident of Westlake Village, CA.

Scripps Florida Education Outreach Receives Boost with $1 Million Grant from Kenan Charitable Trust

Scripps Florida has been awarded a $1 million grant by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, a North Carolina-based philanthropic foundation with an interest in education, in support of the institute's education outreach programs in Palm Beach County. The four-year grant builds upon several years of continuous Kenan Trust support, which has gradually increased over the past seven years.

The new grant will provide funding through May 2017 for several established programs that each year reach hundreds of students and teachers from middle and high schools throughout Palm Beach County, as well as college undergraduates from across the country. Programs also provide teaching and mentoring experience to the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who support the initiatives.

Education outreach efforts at Scripps Florida have also been supported by generous gifts from the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund, the Quantum Foundation, as well as the Admiral's Cove Cares Charitable Foundation, the BallenIsles Charities Foundation, and the Berlin Family Foundation.

Suzanne Rzuczek Receives Myotonic Dystrophy Fellowship

Suzanne Rzuczek, research associate in the Disney lab, has received a two-year fellowship from the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation to support her project, “Rational Design of Potent Compounds Targeting RNA in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1.” 

Myotonic dystrophy is one of the inherited disorders called muscular dystrophies. Most commonly manifesting in adulthood, the disorder is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness.

Wang-Yong Yang Awarded Fellowship for Fragile X Research

Wang-Yong Yang, research associate in the Disney lab, has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship for his project, “Design of small molecules to target r(CGG) expansions as a therapeutic option for Fragile X Syndrome.” Renewable for a second year, the grant is funded by the FRAXA Research Foundation.

Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. According to FRAXA, it is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disabilities and the most common known genetic (“single gene”) cause of autism.

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Biologics expert Dennis Fenton is the newest member of the TSRI’s Board of Trustees.