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Of Note

Faculty Promotions: Marisa Roberto, Eros Lazzerini Denchi

Marisa Roberto and Eros Lazzerini Denchi, both principal investigators at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have been promoted, as announced at the recent meeting of the institute’s Board of Trustees.

Roberto is now a professor in TSRI’s Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders. The Roberto lab studies the brain mechanisms behind the effects of neuropeptides, alcohol and other drugs of abuse in the hope of developing new therapies to alleviate alcohol dependence and other addictive disorders. For further information about Roberto and her work, see her faculty webpage and lab website.

Lazzerini Denchi is now an associate professor in TSRI’s Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine. His lab focuses on the mechanisms that protect chromosome ends and their deregulation in human diseases such as cancer and aging. For more information on Lazzerini Denchi’s work, see his faculty webpage and lab website.

Salvatore Butera Named Distinguished Alumnus

Salvatore “Sal” Butera, chief science officer for the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) and a member of the Burton lab at TSRI, has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, during the college’s recent Oath and Hooding ceremony.

Butera was the first person at the College of Veterinary Medicine to complete DVM and MS degrees simultaneously. He then earned a PhD at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Before joining TSRI in 2011, Butera spent 22 years with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, doing HIV biomedical research before ultimately serving as associate director for laboratory science in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

Author of more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and nine book chapters, Butera also has served in editorial and advisory positions for the Archives of Virology and American Foundation for AIDS Research. In his current role at TSRI, Butera helps advance the work of the CHAVI-ID by coordinating scientific resources across the center to promote progress towards an HIV vaccine. 

Mahalakshmi Ramadass Wins AHA Fellowship

Mahalakshmi Ramadass, postdoctoral fellow in the Catz lab, has received an American Heart Association (AHA) Western State Affiliate Postdoctoral fellowship, which supports young scientists in cardiovascular and stroke research.

Ramadass’s project is titled “Regulation of neutrophil secretion for the control of inflammation.” Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of neutrophils, a type of immune cell, and identifying potential drug targets that curb neutrophils’ inflammatory response while preserving their ability to fight off pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

The nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, the AHA has invested more than $3.7 billion in research, including work by 13 Nobel laureates, since 1949. 

Study from Martemyanov Lab Named 'Paper of the Week'

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has named a study from the Martemyanov lab “paper of the week.” The study—“Orphan Receptor GPR158 Is an Allosteric Modulator of RGS7 Catalytic Activity with an Essential Role in Dictating Its Expression and Localization in the Brain,” by Cesare Orlandi, Keqiang Xie, Ikuo Masuho, Ana Fajardo-Serrano, Rafael Lujan and Kirill A. Martemyanov—was selected for the honor with the journal’s May 29 issue.

The issue profiles Orlandi, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Martemyanov lab, and a podcast interview with Martemyanov is posted online.

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Marisa Roberto is now full professor.

lazzerini denchi
Eros Lazzerini Denchi has been promoted to associate professor.