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In Brief

Carlos Barbas, Erica Ollmann Saphire Named Fellows of Academy of Microbiology

Two professors at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)—Carlos Barbas and Erica Ollmann Saphire—have been named fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, a distinction recognizing excellence, originality and creativity in the microbiological sciences.

Barbas, the Janet and Keith Kellogg II Chair professor in the TSRI Department of Chemistry, focuses his research on studies at the interface of molecular biology, chemistry and medicine. Specifically, his lab is investigating the directed regulation of gene expression, catalytic antibodies and new immunotherapeutic approaches to diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, melanoma and AIDS.

Ollmann Saphire, a professor in the TSRI Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, is studying viral pathogenesis at the molecular level. Her work is providing fundamental insights into how the Ebola, Lassa, and other viruses enter cells, assemble progeny and suppress host immune function, and is providing much-needed diagnostics and therapeutics for biodefense.

The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The group’s mission is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.

Ryan Shenvi Wins Sloan Research Fellowship

TSRI Assistant Professor Ryan Shenvi has received a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders, according to the award announcement.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Candidates are nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars. Each fellow receives a $50,000 award.

Shenvi’s lab at TSRI focuses on complex molecule synthesis, exploration of chemical reactivity and expansion of the tools available to synthetic chemists. Last fall, a study by Shenvi and his team published in the science journal Nature described a new technique—considered impossible for more than 100 years—that significantly expands chemists’ ability to build and modify many pharmaceuticals as well as other useful organic molecules. (See News&Views.)

Past Sloan Research Fellows include such notables as physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Additionally, 42 fellows are Nobel laureates, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 13 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics and 63 have received the National Medal of Science.

Seminar to Debut TSRI Collaboration with GNF

Martin Seidel, director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), will discuss a new scientific initiative between TSRI and GNF at a seminar titled “Accelerating the Pace of Discovery," scheduled on Tuesday, February 25, from 2 to 3 PM in the Beckman Building’s Keck Auditorium on the California campus.

Open to the TSRI community and the public, the seminar is hosted by TSRI President and CEO Michael Marletta and Peter Vogt, executive vice president and chief scientific officer.

The seminar marks the launch of an agreement between the institutions to drive synergies of discovery by drawing upon TSRI’s academic strengths and GNF’s array of technologies enabling high throughout approaches to biomedical research. This agreement will streamline the establishment of productive collaborations between scientists at both institutions, and the seminar is intended to kick off a host of fruitful conversations between the institutes’ scientists.

Part of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, GNF seeks to develop and apply innovative technologies to the discovery of new biological processes and mechanisms and new or improved human therapeutics. Seidel, a Harvard-trained chemist, has been with GNF for 10 years, assuming leadership of the institute in 2010.

Following the seminar, a reception will be held from 3 to 4 PM in the Beckman Galleria. For additional details, contact Shelly Gassert, executive assistant in the President’s Office, at

CA Women in Science Scholarship Program Deadline: February 25

The application deadline for the San Diego Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWiS-SD) annual scholarship program is Tuesday, February 25. Now in its 15th year, the program supports women enrolled in San Diego County institutes of higher learning who are pursuing degrees or conducting research projects, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Eligible applicants must be female students actively engaged in a degree program in the 2013-2014 academic year who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0. The $1,000 scholarship can be used for educational expenses including tuition, books, housing or research.

In addition to a completed application, interested students must submit their most recent transcript from their current institution and two letters of reference. Additional application instructions and forms can be downloaded from the AWiS-SD website.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by April 30. Awards will be presented at the AWIS-SD 2014 Gala to be held this spring. Questions or application materials can be addressed to the AWIS-SD Scholarship Committee at

CA Training Workshop: How to Juggle Competing Priorities

Successfully managing multiple workplace projects, priorities and demands is the focus of a one-session training workshop presented by TSRI Human Resources Training Department on Friday, February 28, from 9 to 11:30 AM, or Thursday, March 6, from 1 to 3:30 PM, in suite 205, Building 3377, on the California campus.

The workshop, open to all TSRI employees and conducted by HR training specialist Catharine Gruver, will cover goal-setting to manage priorities, successful work prioritizing and effective task and activity planning.

Online sign-up is available or by contacting Angelike Wallace, HR training assistant. For further workshop information, contact Gruver at (858) 784-9811 or

Onsite Clinics Scheduled for February 24 and 26 on CA Campus

The next onsite immunization clinics on the California campus are scheduled for Monday, February 24 and Wednesday, February 26, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM, in Building 3366, room 150.

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 & Safety (EH&S) Occupational Medicine must pre-authorize all other procedures based on the employee's working conditions. These procedures include tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines and other titers, immunizations and procedures.

TB testing is provided for employees who, in the scope of their TSRI positions, provide human health care, such as registered nurses, or who work with human subjects or nonhuman primates. Employees authorized for the one-visit Quantiferon tuberculosis test may find further information on the Centers for Disease Control TB Fact Sheet.

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 Rachel Longville,, or x4-8457.

CA Biosafety Committee Meeting Materials Due February 28

The TSRI Institutional Biosafety Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, March 12, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM, in the DAR Conference Room. To receive committee consideration, registration documents must be submitted to Environmental Health & Safety via email to by February 28.

At the Auditorium: Mainly Mozart & San Diego Symphony
Coming to the Auditorium at TSRI is a Mainly Mozart Spotlight Series concert featuring the acclaimed German string quartet, The Manderling Quartet, performing on Thursday, February 27, 7:30 PM. The quartet will perform Mozart String Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K. 421; Shostakovich String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108; and Beethoven String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. A wine and cheese reception will precede the concert at 6:30 PM. Ticket and concert information can be found on the Mainly Mozart website.

The San Diego Symphony Chamber Music Series will present pianist Martina Filjak on Monday, March 3, 7:30 PM. Filjack will join members of the Symphony orchestra for a program of Johannes Brahms, including the rarely heard Clarinet Trio as well as Trio for Cello and Piano, Opus 114. For ticket information, visit the San Diego Symphony website.

The Auditorium at TSRI is located at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, 92121. Directions and parking information are located on the auditorium’s website.

Send comments to: mikaono[at]

Professors Carlos Barbas (top) and Erica Ollmann Saphire are new members of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Assistant Professor Ryan Shenvi has been selected for a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship.