Study Shows Hemorrhagic Fevers Can Be Caused by Body’s Antiviral Interferon Response
Revealing the Molecular Secrets of Short, Intense Workouts
Team Generates Long-Sought Molecular Map of Critical Genetic Machinery
Scientists Find New Targets that Could Increase Effectiveness, Reduce Side Effects in Breast Cancer Treatments
Researchers Discover New Role for Protein that Repairs Unstable DNA ‘Hotspots’
Scientists Win $13 Million Grant in AIDS Vaccine Effort



Of Note

MS Drug Discovered at TSRI Is Safe and Effective in Phase II Study

A compound discovered and synthesized in The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) labs of Professors Hugh Rosen and Edward Roberts has provided positive results for safety and efficacy in Phase 2 clinical trials for relapsing multiple sclerosis, according to Receptos, the biopharmaceutical company developing the drug for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“The Rosen and Roberts laboratories are very gratified to see these direct improvements in the lives of patients and families dealing with this debilitating illness,” said Rosen. “These data support our labs' approach at TSRI—that discovery of fundamental mechanisms in chemical biology provides the foundation for intelligent intervention in disease processes. Meeting the needs of patients and their families is our high calling in biomedical science.”

The drug candidate, RPC1063, was first discovered at TSRI from work in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Libraries Initiative. The randomized, double-blind Phase 2 study assessed the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two orally administered doses of RPC1063 against placebo in 258 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis across 77 sites in 13 countries. There was a highly statistically significant 86 percent reduction in MRI measures of disease activity.

A Phase 3 trial—a randomized, double-blind study involving 1,200 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis—was launched in December 2013.

Cindy Ehlers Named Distinguished Researcher

TSRI Professor Cindy Ehlers has received the Research Society on Alcoholism’s (RSA) 2014 Distinguished Researcher Award, recognizing a senior researcher who has made outstanding scientific contributions to the field.

Cited as a premier translational researcher, Ehlers is being honored for her work addressing the psychosocial and biologically based factors of alcohol and drug dependence. Specifically commended were Ehlers’s studies of the causative genetic and environmental factors underlying alcohol-related problems among Native Americans, physiological attributes related to personality and the risk for alcohol use disorders in adolescence, risk factors for heavy drinking and nonlinear brain activity alterations by low dose alcohol.

Ehlers will receive her award and present a plenary session at the RSA and International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism Scientific Conference this month in Bellevue, Washington. A forum of more than 1,800 scientists, the RSA promotes research and the acquisition and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the broad areas of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems.

Additional information on Ehlers’s research is available on her faculty and lab websites.

Winning Images: ‘Taking Art to the Cellular Level’

Several images by TSRI scientists have been selected for a new BIOCOM-sponsored exhibit, "Taking Art to the Cellular Level," at the San Diego International Airport. The 20-piece exhibit was unveiled this month in Terminal 2 of the newly expanded facility and will remain on display until the end of the year.

The exhibit includes:

Also receiving an honorable mention was an image by Research Associate Anita Pottekat of the Balch lab.

Chosen for display in a related exhibition at the San Diego International Airport called "Converg(Ing)enuities"—celebrating the creative intersection of art, science and technology—were additional pieces representing TSRI talent:

For more information, see , and

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Several images by TSRI scientists have been selected for exhibit at the San Diego International Airport. (Click individual images for details.)