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Of Note

Erica Ollmann Saphire Honored by Girl Scouts as ‘Cool Woman’

Erica Ollmann Saphire, professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), is one of 12 honorees celebrated as “Cool Women of 2016” by the Girl Scouts San Diego, a distinction spotlighting “exemplary women whose personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls.”

Cited for her work in Ebola research, Saphire was feted at a recent ceremony with other female leaders in business, philanthropy, education, technology, fashion, the arts and the U.S. Navy.

“These Cool Women make the world a better place as they balance work, family, friends and community service,” said event co-chairs Joye Blount and Julia Brown.

For additional information on Saphire and her research see the News&Views article, “Outsmarting Viruses: A Profile of Erica Ollmann Saphire,” or her faculty webpage.

Bindu Raveendra, Supriya Swarnkar Awarded Young Investigator Scholarships

Senior Research Associate Bindu Raveendra and Research Associate Supriya Swarnkar of the Puthanveettil lab at Scripps Florida have been awarded Young Investigator Scholarships by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a nonprofit agency that supports promising, diverse international research projects to develop new drugs for Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Raveendra is currently screening compound libraries to find activators of axonal transport, which potentially can be used to develop novel therapeutics for memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Swarnkar is focusing on the role of kinesins in sub-regions of the hippocampus in memory 

In CELLebration of Science

Hundreds of children and their parents swarmed through The Gardens Mall on March 5 to learn about Scripps Florida’s science at the annual CELLebrate Scripps Florida Science Day. Dozens of the institute’s scientists were on hand to show (and explain) what goes on every day in the laboratories on the Jupiter campus.

The displays featured work from the institute’s departments including Cancer Biology, Metabolism and Aging, Neuroscience, Immunology, Chemistry and Molecular Therapeutics, as well as the robotic technology group, which had a robotic arm on display.

Although the adults were fascinated by the exhibits, the day belonged to the children—who crowded around tanks of brightly colored zebrafish and rust-colored sea slugs and stared in wonder as tiny worms slid around under microscopes.

Some of the exhibits were slightly more hands-on than others, such as the chemistry booth, where smashing frozen fruit with a mallet remained a perennial favorite for young and old. The crowds also learned about healthy eating, witnessed 3-D printers in action, filled in 1,536 plates with liquid and played with plush replicas of all kinds of cells, including bacteria and viruses.

All in all, a good day for science.

Celebration of Life: Kerri Anne Mowen (1976-2016)

Members of the TSRI community are invited to a Celebration of Life in honor Kerri Anne Mowen (1974-2016) on Saturday, March 19 at 11 AM.

The event will be held at the Great Hall at the University of California, San Diego International House; free parking is available at the Pangea Parking Structure. A reception will follow at the Rivard home, 521 Verbena Court, Encinitas, CA 92024.

In lieu of flowers, organizers ask that you consider supporting The Kerri Mowen Memorial Scholarship. For more information on Mowen, see the letter from Ben Cravatt in News&Views

Send comments to: mikaono[at]

TSRI Professor Erica Ollman-Saphire is presented a Girl Scouts San Diego “Cool Woman of 2016” award from Georgia Sadler, professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. (Photo by Tim Haugh.)

Sarah Jamieson of the Miller lab (left) shares some of Scripps Florida’s research advances in neurobiology and memory at 2016 Scripps Florida Science Day. (Photo by Eric Sauter.)