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Leonard Jones (1956-2014)



Of Note

TSRI Intern Eric Chen Wins Third National Science Competition

Eric Chen, high school intern in the Wilson lab at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), captured first place in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest pre-college science competition, completing a triad of top science awards he has won in the last year. In addition to the Intel award, Chen is winner of the International Google Science Fair and the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.

“What a fantastic achievement for Eric to win this highly prestigious Intel Award, selected as the brightest young innovator in developing a plan to tackle one of the world’s global challenges from an initial pool of over 1,800 high school seniors in the Intel competition,” said Ian Wilson, Hansen Professor of Structural Biology and chair of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at TSRI. “We are all very proud of his accomplishments with now three national prizes this year.”

One of 40 finalists in the Intel competition, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, Chen was selected as winner for his research project, “The Taming of the Flu,” which uses computer models to identify potential anti-flu drugs effective against all influenza viruses. He began his research at the University of California, San Diego, and is currently performing crystal structure analysis in the Wilson lab to further develop the project.

The Intel award includes a $100,000 prize. Past winners in the 72-year old competition—originally known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search—include seven Nobel laureates, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellows and six National Medal of Science awardees.

The son of TSRI Associate Professor Xiaohua Wu and Longchuan Chen, a researcher in diagnostics at the VA Hospital in San Diego, Chen is a senior at San Diego’s Canyon Crest Academy. He has not selected a university to attend after graduation, although he reportedly has been accepted at Stanford and Harvard.

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Eric Chen, an intern in the Wilson lab, has won the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest pre-college science competition. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)