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Of Note

Erica Ollmann Saphire Elected AAAS Fellow

Erica Ollmann Saphire, professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a distinction that recognizes scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Saphire was cited for work that “has transformed our understanding of viral proteins and provided new insights into how viruses assault human health and into strategies for medical defense,” according to the AAAS announcement.

Election as an AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year’s 401 new fellows were announced in the November 24 edition of the journal Science.

Saphire joins 31 other AAAS fellows among TSRI faculty (see Faculty Honors). This year’s class of AAAS fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California in February.

For more information on Saphire’s work, which focuses on hemorrhagic fever pathogens such as the Ebola and Lassa viruses, see her faculty web page and News&Views stores including “Team Reveals Weak Spots in Ebola’s Defenses”, “Outsmarting Viruses: A Profile of Erica Ollmann Saphire” and “Consortium Wins Up to $28 Million to Find Best Ebola Treatment”.

Liron Bar-Peled Wins Grand Prize in Science & SciLifeLab Competition

Liron Bar-Peled, research associate in the Cravatt lab and the Lallage Feazel Wall Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, is the grand prize winner of the 2014 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, a $25,000 prize to one young scientist for outstanding graduate research in the life sciences. 

In his grand-prize winning essay, published in the December 5 issue of the journal Science, Bar-Peled tries to answer a fundamental question in the area of cell and development biology: how eukaryotic cell growth is regulated by the environment. He highlights how multicellular organisms rely on cues from the environment to dictate cell size, and he describes how his graduate studies in the lab of David Sabatini at MIT uncovered ways that the mTORC1 signaling pathway—a master regulator of eukaryotic cell growth—can sense can sense different environmental stimuli.

Science/AAAS and SciLifeLab, a coordinated effort of four universities, sponsors the young scientists competition to recognize that global economic health depends upon a vibrant research community and to highlight the need to incent the best and brightest to continue in their chosen fields of research.

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Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire is the newest among TSRI’s AAAS fellows.





Liron Bar-Peled, research associate in the Cravatt lab, is the grand prize winner in the Science & SciLifeLab competition for young scientists. He speaks about the essay and his work on this video.