Team Finds Better Way to Engineer Therapeutic Proteins into Antibodies
International Team Discovers the Ancient Origins of Deadly Lassa Virus
Scientists Determine How Antibiotic Gains Cancer-Killing Sulfur Atoms
Collaboration Leads to First Structure of Crucial Plant Hormone
Hands-On Research 101: Internships Introduce Undergrads to Biomedical Science in Action
$1.4 Million Grant Funds Study of Drug Candidates for Neurological Disorders and Other Diseases



Of Note

New ‘Innovation Indicator’ Ranks TSRI Number One

A new “innovation indicator” put out this week by The Times of Higher Education in collaboration with Elsevier ranks The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) number one in the world as measured by the proportion of papers cited by patents. The analysis spanned the “STEMM fields” of science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics.

For the complete rankings, including three other lists, see The Times of Higher Education graphic, “Alliances in Science,” and accompanying article

Phil Baran, Donna Blackmond, Tom Kodadek and James Paulson Win ACS Awards

Four TSRI faculty members have been selected for American Chemical Society (ACS) Awards: Phil Baran, Donna Blackmond, Thomas Kodadek and James Paulson. ACS awards are designed to encourage the advancement of chemistry in all its branches, support research in chemical science and industry and promote the careers of chemists.


Baran, the Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry, won the “Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator,” sponsored the Pfizer Endowment Fund. Named after the 1990 Nobel laureate, the award recognizes original and insightful work by a young investigator that has had significant impact on the field of synthetic organic chemistry.

Baran’s lab explores new avenues for the efficient and practical construction of organic molecules by pursuing longstanding synthetic challenges and designing methods of broad utility. For more information on his research, see Baran’s faculty webpage and lab website.

This is the second year in a row that a TSRI scientist has been selected for the Corey Award; Professor Jin-Quan Yu was chosen for the recognition last year.


Blackmond, a professor in TSRI’s Department of Chemistry, has been selected for the Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis, a distinction honoring outstanding theoretical, experimental or developmental research resulting in the advancement of understanding or application of catalysis.

Blackmond’s research focuses on synthesis of complex organic molecules by catalytic routes, particularly asymmetrical catalysis with application in pharmaceutical processes. For additional information on Blackmond’s research, visit her faculty webpage and lab website.

Blackmond and Baran will be honored at the March 2016 ACS meeting in San Diego.


Kodadek, chair of the Department of Cancer Biology and a member of the Department of Chemistry, was named an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award recipient, in recognition of excellence in organic chemistry.

Kodadek’s research focuses on chemical biology with an emphasis on translational research, employing a broad spectrum of techniques that span organic chemistry to molecular genetics, with implications for Alzheimer’s, neuromyelitis optica, multiple sclerosis, pancreatic cancer, narcolepsy, chronic lymphoid leukemia and other conditions. Additional information on Kodadek’s research is available on his faculty webpage and lab website.

As a Cope Scholar Award recipient, Kodadek will deliver an award address during the ACS 2016 Fall National Meeting in Philadelphia. Remarkably, 14 other TSRI faculty members have been honored with a Cope Scholar Award.


Paulson, TSRI’s acting president and CEO, has won the Melville L. Wolfrom Award, presented by the ACS Carbohydrate Chemistry Division in recognition of outstanding service to the division or the field of carbohydrate chemistry.

Paulson and his lab colleagues study carbohydrate recognition and the molecular biology of carbohydrate binding proteins, such as CD22, which mediate key aspects of cell signaling in the immune system. His work has implications for diseases including cancer, influenza and bacterial infections. For more information, see Paulson’s faculty webpage and his laboratory website.

Paulson will receive the award during the 251st ACS National Meeting and Exposition next March in San Diego. He joins TSRI Professor Chi-Huey Wong as a Wolfrom award recipient. 

Sathya Puthanveettil Receives NSF CAREER Award

Sathya Puthanveettil, associate professor of neuroscience at Scripps Florida, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant is the foundation’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organization.

The CAREER award is based on Puthanveettil’s project, “Molecular Basis of Synapse Specific Long-Term Memory Storage,” which aims to bring novel molecular and mechanistic insights to the understanding of long-term memory storage. The project focuses on identifying and characterizing spatial-temporal changes in mRNAs localized to specific synaptic compartments for storing long-term memories.

The Puthanveettil lab uses an integrated approach that combines high-throughput screening, electrophysiology and behavior to investigate the molecular and cellular basis of long-term memory storage and cognitive disorders that underlie the development of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. For more information, visit Puthanveettil’s faculty page and his laboratory website.

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Professor Phil Baran receives the Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator. (Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.)

Professor Donna Blackmond has been chosen for the Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis. (Photo by BioMedical Graphics.)

Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology Tom Kodadek is honored with the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, in recognition of excellence in organic chemistry. (Photo by James McEntee.)

Acting President and CEO Jim Paulson has been selected for the Melville L. Wolfrom Award, for outstanding contributions to the field of carbohydrate chemistry. (Photo by BioMedical Graphics.)