Letter from Dick Gephardt, Chair of the TSRI Board of Trustees
Team Finds Potential New Use for Cancer Drug in Gene Therapy for Blood Disorders
Scientists Pinpoint How Genetic Mutation Causes Early Brain Damage
Study Finds Molecular ‘Yin-Yang’ Regulates Blood Vessel Growth
In Memoriam: Carlos F. Barbas III (1964 – 2014)
Scientific Art on the Fly: Behind the Scenes of the New Airport Exhibit



Of Note

Gabriel Lander Named 2014 Pew Scholar

Gabriel Lander, assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been chosen as one of just 22 2014 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, a select group that will receive flexible funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts to investigate some of the world’s most pressing problems.

“We are pleased to welcome the newest class of scholars to a community that continues to yield extraordinary findings in the field of bioscience,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of Pew.

Launched in 1985, the program supports top U.S. scientists at the assistant professor level to seed innovation at the start of their independent research careers. More than 180 institutions were invited to nominate Pew Scholar candidates. Scholars are selected, based on proven creativity, by a national advisory committee composed of renowned scientists, including committee chair Craig C. Mello, a 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine and a 1995 Pew scholar.

Lander and his team are using electron microscopy to study the structure of dynein, a motor complex important in clearing toxic protein aggregates from neurons. Obtaining high-resolution, dynamic “snapshots” of this protein complex could help pinpoint the molecular triggers that lead to diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and pave the way for new treatments for these diseases.

Xin Zhang Wins Burroughs Wellcome Career Award

Xin Zhang, research associate in the Kelly lab, has received a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI), a five-year grant intended to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service.

Supported by the independent private foundation Burroughs Wellcome Fund, CASI grants foster the early career development of researchers who are trained in physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry and computation sciences and now are answering biological questions.

Zhang’s research focuses on proteins whose defective folding causes common enzyme deficiency disorders and cancers to find treatment for these diseases by improving the quality of cellular folding. The CASI award, said Zhang, “allows me to develop new chemical methodologies to scrutinize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that create and maintain the functional proteome.”

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Assistant Professor Gabe Lander has been selected as a Pew Scholar. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)










International Visitors Tour Scripps California
Visiting TSRI’s La Jolla campus recently were overseas visitors from Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Russia, Korea and Uruguay. In town for the BIO International Convention, more than 150 guests in all toured the facilities, including the Yang, Law, Cherezov and Zhu labs and the electron microscopy suite. Shown above is Professor Xiang-Lei Yang (left) with Malaysian government officials. (Photo by Cindy Brauer.)