Scientists Find Clue to Why Zika, But Not Its Close Relatives, Causes Birth Defects
Chemists Unveil Versatile New Method for Making Chiral Drug Molecules
Snapshot: Samantha Spierling



Of Note

Mark Sundrud Receives CCFA Grant

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) has awarded $347,490 over three years to Mark Sundrud, assistant professor on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). The new funding will support further work in Sundrud’s laboratory to control small intestinal T cell function and inflammation by bile acids.

The majority of the estimated 700,000 Americans living with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune condition that can disrupt the entire gastrointestinal tract, will require surgery at some point during their lives. Sundrud’s laboratory aims to better understand the molecular underpinnings of how inflammatory T cells develop and promote tissue inflammation, with the ultimate goal of applying that knowledge toward the development of new therapies.

“Our lab has made some fascinating new discoveries that implicate a currently unrecognized pathway in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease,” said Sundrud. “Through the generous support of CCFA, we can now work toward a new and personalized therapeutic strategy where we can identify subsets of Crohn’s disease patients based on a specific genetic mutation and treat them with a rationally designed, targeted therapy.”

For more information on this research, see the Sundrud laboratory website.

Erica Ollmann Saphire Receives Richard M. Elliott Memorial Award

TSRI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire has been recognized for her work in virology with the Richard M. Elliott Memorial Award from the Medical Research Council-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research.

Ollmann Saphire, a TSRI Graduate Program alumna, studies the structural biology of viruses, such as Ebola and Lassa. Her team has shed light on viral life cycles, and their work has helped guide the development of new diagnostics and potential therapies against these diseases. She serves on the Scientific Leadership Board of the Global Virus Network and as director of the international Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium.

Ollmann Saphire will receive the award on February 11 at the Glasgow Virology Workshop. The award honors Richard M. Elliott, a world-renowned expert in emerging viruses, who passed away in 2015.

For more on Ollmann Saphire’s work, please see her biosketch and laboratory website.

Send comments to: press[at]

TSRI Assistant Professor Mark Sundrud (Photo by James McEntee.)

TSRI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire (Photo by Melissa Jacobs.)