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Michael Marletta Joins Board of FL Inventors Hall of Fame

Michael A. Marletta, president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has accepted an invitation to join the Advisory Board of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, now in its inaugural year.

“I’m delighted to join this exciting new venture,” said Marletta, “and I look forward to helping to recognize innovation and discovery in Florida.”

The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame was founded to honor and celebrate those inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation. It also encourages individuals of all ages and backgrounds to strive toward the betterment of Florida and society through continuous innovation. The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame will be located on the campus of University of South Florida in Tampa. Honorees will be selected annually through a nomination process open to all inventors in the State of Florida.

Dawn Johnson Named Healthcare Power Leader in South Florida

Dawn Johnson, senior director of scientific operations on the Florida campus of TSRI, has been named a Power Leader in Healthcare by the South Florida Business Journal. The annual Business Journal leadership list recognizes decision-makers who play a key role in health care institutions that significantly impact South Florida.

Amanda MacLeod Receives NIH Career Development Award

Amanda MacLeod, research associate in the Havran lab, has received a K08 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. This Mentored Clinical Research Scientist Award supports a five-year, intensive, mentored research career development experience in biomedical research, including translational research, leading to research independence.

MacLeod joined the Havran lab in 2009 after earning an MD degree from Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Germany. Her project is investigating the role of extracellular ATP in regulating skin-resident T cell immune responses to ultraviolet light (UV) to provide a novel understanding of how skin-resident T cells participate in the repair response of solar skin damage. The goal is to develop strategies for therapeutic intervention in UV-induced skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma.

Yannan Zhao Wins Young Investigator Award

Yannan Zhao, a research associate in the Ghadiri lab, received a Best Young Investigator Presentation Award at the 2013 American Peptide Symposium in Hawaii in June. The award recognizes the three top oral presentations by postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

A native of Beijing, China, who earned her PhD at Iowa State University, Zhao’s research focuses on understanding lipoprotein mimetic peptides and synthetic nanolipid particles, with the aim of developing peptide-based therapeutics for hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.

Bala Vummidi Receives Swiss National Fellowship

Balayeshwanth (Bala) Vummidi, a research associate in the Disney lab, has received a Swiss National Science Foundation fellowship, which supports postdoctoral fellows pursuing their research abroad.

Vummidi’s research focus is designing small molecules that selectively target gene products that cause cancer, with the ultimate goal of developing selective, non-toxic cancer therapeutics.

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“I look forward to helping to recognize innovation and discovery in Florida,” says TSRI President and CEO Michael Marletta, who has joined the Advisory Board of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. (Photo by Michael Balderas.)