Study Reveals How Serotonin Receptors Can Shape Drug Effects from LSD to Migraine Medication
Scientists Uncover New Compounds that Alter Cell Signaling, Point to New Approaches to Breast Cancer
Scripps Florida Scientists Awarded Special Collaborative Grant to Develop Anti-Addiction Therapies
In Memoriam: Curtis Wilson Jr. (1936-2013)



In Brief

Peter K. Vogt Elected to AACR Academy’s Inaugural Class of Fellows

Peter K. Vogt, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), is among 106 North American and international inductees to the inaugural class of fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy. 

Selected through a rigorous peer-review process, fellows are recognized for their stellar scientific achievements in cancer research, according to Margaret Foti, AARC chief executive officer. The 2013 class of fellows represent scientists from universities, research institutions and life science companies throughout the world. 

Vogt’s research has included pioneering work on retroviral oncogenes, genes responsible for the tumor-inducing activity of a virus. His lab currently is investigating the basic genetic and molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis to identify chemical inhibitor compounds and novel biological molecules that can lead to targeted cancer therapies.

Rick Sando Receives NIH Fellowship

Rick Sando, fourth-year graduate student in the Maximov lab, has received a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant program provides support for promising doctoral candidates performing dissertation research and training in scientific health-related fields relevant to participating NIH institute missions.

A Levittown, Pennsylvania, native and graduate of Rider University, Sando researches the cellular and molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in the mammalian brain. Deficits in neuronal plasticity underlie a multitude of cognitive disorders. His National Research Service Award project is titled “Transcriptional control of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.”

Suzanne Peterson, Darryl D’Lima, Anjana Nityanandam, Victoria Bendersky Receive Honors in CIRM ‘Elevator Pitch’ Challenge

Four TSRI researchers were recognized in the recent California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Elevator Pitch Challenge for developing concise, informative and attention-grabbing descriptions of their CIRM-funded research to share with critical policy and support groups, the media and the general public. 

CIRM—a state agency funding stem-cell research at California institutions—staged the challenge to encourage scientists to develop a 30-second, compelling yet simple narrative illustrating the significance and relevance of their research. 

“It’s essential that stem cell scientists learn how to talk clearly and engagingly about their work. Without public support this kind of research is almost impossible to do,” said Alan Trounson, president of the stem cell agency. “While you can’t explain a lot in 30 seconds, if you are engaging and passionate enough about what you do, you can get someone’s attention and make them interested enough to want to know more.” 

Suzanne Peterson, staff scientist in the Loring lab, won second place in the Non-Lead Scientist category describing her work in Parkinson’s disease research. “It is pretty hard to summarize scientific projects in lay terms in 30 seconds, but I am glad that CIRM is trying to get scientists to do it,” said Peterson. 

Receiving notable mentions were:

Darryl D’Lima, associate professor of molecular and experimental medicine, for his “interesting, clear and short" message

Anjana Nityanandam, research associate in the Baldwin lab, for her “compelling description”

Victoria Bendersky, trainee in the Mueller lab, for a “disease description [that] draws the listener in” 

Judged on brevity (shorter videos got more points), clarity, creativity, and use of everyday English, the 57 entries are posted on the CIRM website

SOF Announces Travel Awards

The Scripps Research Society of Fellows (SOF) has announced the spring cycle Postdoctoral Travel Award winners for California postdocs. The winners, who each receive up to $1,000 to cover travel expenses to present their work at a national or international scientific conference, are:

Lynda Groocock, of the Boddy lab, presenting “DNA repair response at dysfunctional telomeres” at the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting – Telomeres and Telomerase, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, in April

Jean-Philippe Julien, of the Wilson lab, presenting “Rational HIV immunogen design to target specific germline B cell receptors” at the American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, in July

Yen-Ru Pan, of the Reed lab, who recently presented “Molecular Mechanisms of Cks-1-mediated transcription regulation” at the Keystone Symposium on Epigenetic Marks and Cancer Drugs in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Fionn Susannah O’Hara, of the Baran lab, presenting “A method to predict and control the regioselectivity of zinc bis-alkysulfinate-mediated functionalization of heterocycles” at the 43rd Annual National Organic Chemistry Symposium in Seattle, Washington, in June

The SOF will award up to eight SOF travel grants in 2013 in two evaluation cycles. The next application deadline is October 1. Postdocs who have never attended a scientific meeting to present their current work are encouraged to apply; additionally, previously unsuccessful applicants are urged to re-apply. Visit the SOF website for details.

Patrick Griffin to Speak at April 10 Faculty Lecture Series

Patrick Griffin, chairman of the TSRI Department of Molecular Therapeutics, is the featured speaker at the next Faculty Lecture Series presentation, Wednesday, April 10. His topic is “Mechanism of Action of Novel Insulin Sensitizers.” The lecture will begin at 5 PM in the Timkin Amphitheater in the Green Hospital, La Jolla, California. A reception will follow in the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Building, first floor. For further information, see Griffin’s Faculty Lecture Series webpage.

Library Tips: BrowZine – Creating a Personalized Journal Bookshelf

Try out the new Kresge Library resource, BrowZine, which combines the best of serendipitous discovery with customized and focused delivery of just the journals you want to read on a regular basis. Optimized for the iPad, this resource allows you to find, read and monitor your journals from a personal bookshelf. BrowZine normalizes all the data from the journal so you can get to what you want—the articles.

 How does it work?

• Download the FREE BrowZine app from the iTunes App Store

• Select our institution (Scripps Research Institute) from the list of available universities

• Sign in with your TSRI email (minus the “”) and your email password

• Select the journals you want by going to the “Library” icon and searching by Subject or in the A-Z Journal List. Find your journal; then click the “Add to my shelf” button. You can see your personalized collection under the “My Bookshelf” icon.

• You can also save individual articles to read later by either clicking on the file icon in the table of contents, or if you have the article open, the top right arrow will give you a menu of choices, including “save article.”

Watch a two-minute introductory video to see BrowZine in action.

NWiS Coffee Hour Focuses on Screen Writing April 1

Career opportunities in science writing is the topic of the next Network for Women in Science coffee hour, scheduled for Monday, April 1, at 3 PM in the TSRI Faculty Club Tennis Room on the California campus. Featured speaker will be Heather Buschman, scientific communications manager at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Bushman’s background includes a PhD in molecular pathology from the University of California, San Diego, and positions at TSRI and the National Cancer Institute.  

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students of all genders are invited to the informal gathering, which will include snacks, tea and coffee. For further information on NWiS activities and resources on the California campus, visit the group’s website.

ScrippsAssists Daffodil Sales Grew to More than $1,800

TSRI contributors raised $1,840 in the final Daffodil Days campaign, sponsored by ScrippsAssists for the American Cancer Society (ACS) on the California campus this spring. An annual tradition at TSRI for more than a decade, ScrippsAssists has donated more than $40,623 in total to the ACS fundraising effort, according to Leslie Madden, Daffodil Days project organizer for the past 10 years. 

Madden thanked the generous loyal Daffodil Days supporters on the TSRI campus. “Kudos to you for making a difference in the community we live in and making this campaign a great success every year,” she said.  

The ACS will discontinue the Daffodil Days campaign—one of its oldest funding programs—to focus on other community-based fundraising activities, such as Discovery Shops, Makings Strides Against Breast Cancer and Relay For Life.

CA Onsite Clinics Scheduled for April 1 and 3

The next California campus onsite immunization clinic will be held on Monday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 3, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM in its new location, Building 3366, room 240. Conducted by Sharp Rees-Stealy staff, the clinics provide hepatitis B vaccination free of charge to all TSRI employees. Appointments are not needed.

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; the one-visit Quantiferon tuberculosis test (see the Center for Disease Control TB Fact Sheet); and other titers, immunizations and procedures.

After EH&S pre-authorization, individuals who cannot attend the onsite clinic may visit the Sharp Rees-Stealy occupational medicine clinic by calling (858) 526-6150. The clinic is located at 10243 Genetic Center Drive, off Mira Mesa Boulevard. For further details, contact Sunny Gold Schmidt, or x4-9299.

Send comments to: mikaono[at]

Peter K. Vogt, TSRI's executive vice president and chief scientific officer, joins the first class of American Association for Cancer Research fellows.

Picking up their blooms from 

Leslie Madden (right), Scripps Assists project coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days campaign at Scripps California, are Minghau Nie (left), research associate in the Boddy lab, and Kathy Sterling, senior administrative assistant in the Joyce and Reed labs. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)