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Of Note

Katrin Karbstein Named HHMI Faculty Scholar

Katrin Karbstein, associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar, a new national distinction recognizing outstanding early-career scientists who bring innovative approaches to the study of biological problems.

“This program will provide these scientists with much-needed flexible resources so they can follow their best research ideas,” said HHMI Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer David Clapham.

“This is a fantastic honor for Katrin and is a testament to her outstanding contributions to understanding ribosome biogenesis in yeast,” said Jamie Williamson, TSRI vice-president of Academic Affairs. “The competition for these awards is extraordinary. We take a lot of institutional pride in her recognition as an HHMI Faculty Scholar.”

In its inaugural year, the Faculty Scholar program, a collaboration of HHMI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation, aims to support young scientific talent with the time and freedom to pursue difficult, long-range questions over the grant’s five-year period.

Karbstein uses a variety of biochemical, genetic kinetic and biophysical techniques to study the mechanisms that cells use to regulate and perform quality control for the assembly of ribosomes. In so doing, her lab aims to understand the molecular basis for cancer when ribosomes are defective and to develop novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

For additional information on Karbstein’s research, visit her faculty webpage or the Karbstein lab website.

Kim Janda Receives ACS National Award

Kim Janda, the Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Professor of Chemistry at TSRI, has received the 2017 Alfred Bader Award in Bioorganic Chemistry, a national award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) recognizing significant accomplishments at the interface between biology and organic or inorganic chemistry.

Janda, who is also the director of the Worm Institute for Research & Medicine and a member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI, focuses his research on the interface of chemistry and biology to discover molecules with function in wide-ranging areas, including catalytic antibodies, immunopharmacotherapy for drug addiction and abuse, combinatorial chemistry and polymer synthesis, bacterial cell-cell communication, environmental detection of heavy metals, approaches for cancer therapies and phage display technology.

The ACS award’s namesake, Alfred Bader, is a noted Canadian chemist, co-founder of Aldrich Chemical Co. (now part of Sigma-Aldrich), philanthropist and the 1997 American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal recipient.

Janda and other 2017 ACS national award winners will be honored at a ceremony next April during the 253rd ACS national meeting in San Francisco.

Additional information on Janda’s research can be found on his faculty website or the Janda lab webpage.

Jerold Chun Wins Courage and Hope Award

TSRI Professor Jerold Chun has received an Alzheimer’s San Diego 2016 Courage and Hope Award, honoring local individuals “who have shown outstanding compassion, perseverance and the ability to instill a sense of hope that inspires others.”

Chun was recognized with the Researcher Award for his work exploring new ways to understand the brain and the diseases that affect it, particularly in translating basic research into potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Chun was also honored for his work with the San Diego County Alzheimer’s Project, a collaboration of researchers, local healthcare experts, the Alzheimer’s San Diego organization and county officials that aims to boost research funding, increase public involvement in clinical trials and explore other measures to find a treatment or cure.

The Courage and Hope Awards were presented at a dinner celebrating World Alzheimer’s Day on Wednesday, September 21.

For more information on Chun’s research, visit his faculty webpage and the Chun lab website.

Melissa Simon Wins NCI Research Specialist Award

Melissa Dix Simon, staff scientist in the Cravatt lab, is one of the first winners of a Research Specialist Award (R50), a new grant program from the National Cancer Institute designed to encourage exceptional scientists who want to pursue cancer research but not serve as independent investigators.

Simon’s research aims to identify and therapeutically target critical pathways in a variety of cancers using novel chemoproteomic strategies.

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Associate Professor Katrin Karbstein has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar, a new program recognizing innovative, early-career scientists. (Photo by James McEntee.)

Professor Kim Janda has won the American Chemical Society’s 2017 Alfred Bader Award in Bioorganic Chemistry. (Photo by John Dole.)

Professor Jerold Chun has received a Courage and Hope Award for his work on Alzheimer’s disease. (Photo by Kevin Fung.)

Look to an upcoming issue of News&Views for coverage of the Skaggs Institute anniversary celebration.