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Of Note

Report: TSRI and Other Research Institutes Contribute $4.6 Billion to San Diego Economy

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Committee has released a report on the economic impact of local research institutes, showing their impact totals $4.6 billion annually—the equivalent of four San Diego Convention Centers, six aircraft carriers, 33 US Open Golf tournaments or 34 Comic-Cons. TSRI is the largest research institute in the region.

The findings were introduced at an event October 13 that featured political figures including San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Congressman Scott Peterson and Councilwoman Sherri Lightener.

President-Elect Steve Kay represented TSRI in a panel discussion with other leaders in the area.

“The San Diego region is truly a powerhouse for research,” said Kay. “Part of the reason The Scripps Research Institute has been so successful as an innovation engine—with more than 50 spin-off companies and nearly 1,000 US patents—is the regional ecosystem that supports discovery, collaboration and entrepreneurship.”

The report, initiated the mayor, involved advisors from TSRI, The J. Craig Venter Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, CONNECT, The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, Biocom, The Gary and Mary West Foundation, West Health Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego Extension.

The study was supported by Gary & Mary West Foundation, UC San Diego Extension, TSRI, the Salk Institute and Alexandria.

The full report, “Driving San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” is available on the EDC website. For a sampling of the news coverage of the event, see KNSD-TV and KPBS.

Matthew Disney Wins Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award

Matthew Disney, a professor on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TRSI), has won the prestigious 2016 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award for Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.

The award, which was created in 2005 by Tetrahedron Publications, is given to just two individuals each year who have exhibited “exceptional creativity and dedication” in the fields of organic synthesis and bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, respectively.

“I’m honored to be recognized by Tetrahedron for our laboratory’s work,” Disney said. “The award serves as a reminder that persistence pays off. I am especially grateful to all of my co-workers who have worked diligently to push our science forward to tackle some difficult problems.”

Disney added that he is especially appreciative of the award because of his admiration for previous winners, who include TSRI’s Chair of the Department of Chemical Physiology Ben Cravatt and the late Professor Carlos Barbas III.

Tetrahedron Award winners each receive an invitation to present a plenary lecture at the annual Tetrahedron Symposium, which will be held next June in Sitges, Spain.

This latest award comes on the heels of the coveted Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which Disney received earlier this month. The Pioneer Award, which carries with it a five-year grant of $4.8 million, is intended to enable scientists to develop groundbreaking approaches with a significant impact on broad areas of biomedical science.

Tetrahedron publishes experimental and theoretical research results in the field of organic chemistry and its application to related disciplines, especially bioorganic chemistry. Areas covered by the journal include the many facets of organic synthesis, organic reactions, natural products chemistry, studies of reaction mechanisms and various aspects of spectroscopy.

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President-Elect Steve Kay (left) and Mayor Kevin Faulconer attended the event introducing the new report—the first of its kind for the region—on the economic impact of research institutes. (Photo by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt.)

As a Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award winner, Professor Matthew Disney will present a plenary lecture at the annual Tetrahedron Symposium next year in Spain.