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Of Note

Gerald Joyce Named Director of GNF

Gerald Joyce, professor and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF).

"GNF has made a great choice in Jerry as director," said James Paulson, acting president and CEO of TSRI. "We are delighted that Jerry will maintain his laboratory at TSRI, and that his appointment by GNF reinforces the historical relationship between our two institutions."

Joyce will assume his new duties at GNF on October 1. His laboratory at TSRI investigates the test-tube evolution of functional nucleic acids, both to explore their relevance to the early history of life on Earth and for their potential applications in clinical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Postdocs Present Work at Lightning Speed

Research Associate Matthew Eddy took home the $500 Jared Purton Award for best presentation in TSRI’s first-ever “Lightning Talks” on Wednesday, September 17. Eddy and 11 other finalists strove to summarize their research in a clear, entertaining way in just three minutes, using just one slide.

“TSRI is such as diverse place, it’s hard to get everybody in a room to talk about their research. These three-minute talks make it accessible to everybody,” said Research Associate Arryn Craney, who organized the Lightning Symposium. Craney hopes to make the competition an annual event.

Eddy’s presentation focused on the challenges of creating “molecular movies” by capturing images of proteins as they perform different functions.

The second place $250 prize went to Research Associate Anjana Nityanandam, who discussed her research into modeling brain disorders using stem cells.

The third place $125 prize went to Research Associate Dan Carney for his presentation on potential anticancer therapies.

Other Lightning Talk finalists were: Lynda Groocock, Jonathan Lockner, Maoyi Lai, William Marrs, Sajish Mathew, Elmar Nurmammadov, Rakesh Sit, Sucharita Somkuwar and Kate White.

Also presenting Lightning Talks of their research were TSRI faculty members Ashok Deniz, Velia Fowler, Wendy Havran, Dwight H. Kono, Katja Lamia, Eric Topol and Dennis Wolan.

The event was presented by the TSRI Society of Fellows and SOS Toastmasters as part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which also included events such as chair massages, a Career and Postdoctoral Services Office open house and a Distinguished Lecture by Nobel laureate Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School.

Research Associates Matthew Eddy, Dan Carney and Anjana Nityanandam (left to right) brought home prizes in the Lightening Talk competition. (Photo by Jean Branan.)

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Professor Gerald Joyce, who has been appointed director of GNF, will keep his lab at TSRI. (Photo by BioMedical Graphics.)