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Of Note

Dale Boger, Benjamin Cravatt Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Two scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)—Dale Boger and Benjamin Cravatt—have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,” the academy has announced.

“Simply put, Dale and Ben are outstanding scientists," said TSRI President and CEO Michael A. Marletta. "Their contributions are remarkable and it is fitting they have been recognized by the nation's most prestigious scientific society. Additionally, I admire their dedication to Scripps—they are exemplary citizens of our community. I have always been immensely proud of them and, if possible, I am even more so today."

Dale Boger, who is chair of the Department of Chemistry, Richard and Alice Cramer Professor of Chemistry and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI, works on the total synthesis of biologically active natural products, using the tools of organic synthesis to identify, imitate, understand, exploit and sometimes surpass what nature provides.

Benjamin Cravatt, an alumnus of the TSRI graduate program (class of ‘96) who is chair of the Department of Chemical Physiology, professor in the Dorris Neuroscience Center and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI, studies the action and regulation of chemical messengers, particularly the fatty acid amides, which mediate physiological phenomena such as pain sensation, sleep and thermoregulation. He designs and uses chemical probes for "active site proteomics," the global analysis of protein function.

Boger and Cravatt are among the academy’s 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and, along with other groups, provides science, technology and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Other National Academy of Science members at TSRI are Floyd Bloom, Francis Chisari, Gerald Edelman, Gerald Joyce, Richard Lerner, Michael Marletta, Michael B.A. Oldstone, Julius Rebek, Paul Schimmel, Peter Schultz, K. Barry Sharpless, Peter Vogt, Charles Weissmann, Chi-Huey Wong, Peter Wright and Kurt Wüthrich.

Jakob Fuhrmann Receives Schroedinger Fellowship

Jakob Fuhrmann, postdoctoral fellow in the Thompson lab, has received a Schroedinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund, Austria’s central funding organization for basic research. The fellowship targets young and highly qualified scientists and promotes scientific work at leading foreign institutions, supporting the ongoing development of Austrian science and basic research at a high international level.

An Austrian native and graduate of the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Fuhrmann’s fellowship project is titled “Chemical tools to study protein arginine phosphorylation.” His research focuses on developing novel compounds and chemical probes to characterize the biological function of the protein arginine phosphorylation, thought to play a role in bacterial pathogenicity.

Ruben Martinez Wins NIH Fellowship

Ruben Martinez, a first-year graduate student in the Shenvi lab, has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship, designed to promote diversity in health-related research, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NRSA fellowships enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of NIH Institutes and Centers.

A former research associate in medicinal chemistry at Gilead Sciences, Martinez’s fellowship project is titled “Synthesis of Anti-Trypanosomal Terpenoid Oligomers.” His research is focused on the synthesis of a family of molecules that holds potential leads in treating Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease caused by a parasitic infection endemic to Latin America.

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TSRI’s Dale Boger (top) and Benjamin Cravatt are among the National Academy of Science’s newly elected members.