Surprising Diversity of Antibody Family Provides Clues for HIV Vaccine Design
TSRI Scientists Awarded $7.9 Million to Develop Artificial Immune System
Helping Teens Find a Path to STEM Careers



In Brief

Ben Shen Named Vice-Chair of Chemistry

TSRI Professor Ben Shen has been appointed vice-chair of the Department of Chemistry at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), effective October 1.

“Ben has been an integral part of the chemistry department in Florida, instrumental in so much of its dynamic growth to date, and a tireless champion of the program,” said Dale Boger, chair of the department. “I am especially pleased that he has agreed to take on the responsibilities of vice-chair and lead our program in the years ahead.”

Professor Tom Kodadek is resigning as vice-chair in order to serve as chair of the Department of Cancer Biology, a position to which he was recently appointed.

"Tom has done a fantastic job, building and leading the chemistry department at our Jupiter campus in the past several years,” said Shen. “I am honored to be the new vice-chair and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue the academic excellence of our program."

Faculty Promotions: Laura Bohn, Matthew Pipkin, William Schief, Peiqing Sun

As announced at a recent meeting of TSRI Board of Trustees, the following faculty members have received promotions:

  • Laura Bohn. Now full professor in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics, Bohn and her team are working to fine-tune opioid receptor and cannabinoid receptor signaling in pursuit of new therapies for pain and addiction with limited adverse effects.
  • Matthew Pipkin. Now associate professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, Pipkin and his group elucidate how chromatin structure and transcription control the gene expression programs that establish and maintain the differentiated states of T cells.
  • William Schief. Now professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, Schief and his team use a rational design approach to making vaccines focused on specific binding areas on viruses such as HIV.
  • Peiqing Sun. Now associate professor with tenure in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Sun and his lab focus on delineating the signal transduction pathways mediating cellular responses to oncogenic mutations.

Laura Bohn (left) is now a full professor.
Matthew Pipkin has been promoted to associate professor.

William Schief (left) has been promoted to professor.
Associate Professor Peiquing Sun has been awarded tenure.

SRF Faculty Seminar Features Matthew Disney

Matthew Disney, professor in the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Florida, is the featured speaker at the upcoming Faculty Lecture Series presentation hosted by the Society of Research Fellows (SRF) at Scripps Florida. Disney’s lecture, titled “From Genome to Lead Drug—Rational Design of Small Molecules Targeting RNA from Sequence,” is scheduled for Friday, October 10, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM in the Fink Auditorium. A reception will follow at 5:00 PM in the Scripps Café.

CA-NWiS to Host Film Night

The Scripps California Network for Women in Science (NWiS) invites all scientists and staff to a showing of the 2011 documentary “Miss Representation,” scheduled for Thursday, October 2, 6:30 PM, in the Beckman building’s Keck Amphitheater.

The film focuses on the media's portrayal of women in our society and how this contributes to the lack of female leaders in fields such as politics. The tagline of the movie is “You can't be what you can't see,” and the film discusses the idea that the lack of visible female leaders sustains the gender gap in fields where women are underrepresented.

For more information about the movie night, visit the NWiS Facebook page.

Scripps Florida Lunchtime Wellness Workshop: ‘Coping with Stress’

Researchers and staff at Scripps Florida are invited to a workshop titled “Coping with Stress” on Tuesday, October 7, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM in B159.

At this Wellness Workshop, Dana Scoville of the Scripps Florida Counseling and Psychological Services Department will discuss the effects of stress and share some strategies to cope with it more effectively.

During this presentation, you will learn:

  • The impact of stress on well-being and quality-of-life
  • The difference between active and avoidant coping styles
  • Specific active coping strategies

Don’t forget to bring your lunch! If you have any questions, please contact Dana Scoville at

At the Auditorium: ‘The Cookers’ Jazz

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library begins its fall jazz series on Thursday, October 2, 8 PM, with the San Diego debut of The Cookers, an all-star septet of leading jazz instrumentalists, which The New York Times called "a dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop." Additional program and ticket information is available on the Athenaeum website.

Send comments to: mikaono[at]

Scripps Florida Professor Ben Shen has been appointed vice-chair of the Department of Chemistry.