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Of Note

Baldwin Lab to Contribute to New $40 Million Stem Cell Genomics Center

Associate Professor Kristin Baldwin’s lab at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) will join teams at six other major California research institutions in a new Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Genomics, established with a $40 million grant by the state’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The center will serve as a collaborative platform to bridge the field of genomics, the study of the complete genetic make-up of a cell or organism, with cutting-edge stem cell research. The center’s goal is to better understand the disease processes in cancer, diabetes, endocrine disorders, heart disease and mental health and uncover safer, more effective ways to use stem cells in medical research and therapy. Dr. Baldwin will lead an effort to use advanced genomics technologies to establish a state-wide resource of genomically-characterized  induced pluripotent stem cells and apply this information to improve current methods for generating patient-specific stem cells.

Other members of the CIRM-backed center include UC San Diego, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the J. Craig Venter Institute and Illumina Inc. The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Stanford University will lead the center, and UC Santa Cruz will also provide data coordination and project management.

Laura Rosenberg Awarded Cancer Research Fellowship

Laura Rosenberg, research associate in the Duckett lab, has been awarded a two-year fellowship from the Rendina Family Foundation, a Florida-based nonprofit organization supporting cancer research. The new award will fund important proof-of-principle studies that will facilitate the identification of potential new therapies to treat glioblastoma, a malignant form of brain cancer.

Rosenberg’s research seeks to develop novel drug candidates for this devastating disease through targeting of a key mediator of the Autophagy pathway, a process shown in current research to be an unexploited vulnerability for this tumor type.

Inaugural Frank J. Dixon Lecture to Be Held February 11

Internationally known immunologist Emil Unanue will present the inaugural Frank J. Dixon Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, February 11, 4 PM, in the Auditorium at TSRI. The new annual lecture honors Frank Dixon, a pioneering immunologist who was among the founding biomedical scientists of Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation (predecessor organization to TSRI) and who led the organization’s research division for many years. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 87.

A postdoctoral fellow in the Dixon lab in the 1960s, Uananue is a recognized leader in how the immune system identifies and responds to antigens. Currently the Paul and Ellen Lacy Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine, he is an Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award winner and a member of the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

TSRI Professor Emeritus Charles Cochrane, also among the institute’s biomedical founding scientists, will deliver the lecture’s welcoming address.

The event is open to the public. Immediately following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Faculty Club on the TSRI campus. The Auditorium at TSRI is located at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, 92121. Directions and parking information are available on the auditorium’s website  ]. For additional lecture information, email

5th Annual Beutler Lecture: February 14

The 5th Annual Beutler Lecture on the Edge of Medicine, established in honor of the late TSRI Professor Ernest Beutler, will present George Yancopoulos, founding scientist, chief scientific officer and president of Regeneron Laboratories, a Tarrytown, New York-based pharmaceutical company specializing in human antibody technologies.

Scheduled for Thursday, February 14, from 5 to 6 PM, in the Timken Amphitheater at Scripps Green Hospital, the lecture is sponsored by the TSRI Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine and supported by the Kroc Foundation.

Yancopoulos’s lecture is titled “Building a Biotech Company from the Ground Up: The Story of Regeneron.” A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Yancopoulos holds PhD and MD degrees from Columbia University.

A pioneering scientist and physician, Ernest Beutler passed away in 2008 after chairing the TSRI Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine for 30 years. His discoveries included X-inactivation and novel treatments for Gaucher's disease and several forms of leukemia, including hairy cell leukemia.

“The lecture series is designed to promote and sustain one of Dr. Beutler’s lifelong essential ideas, that basic science and clinical medicine were mutually informative,” said TSRI Professor Joel Buxbaum, host of the event.

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