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TSRI’s Science Saturday Program Inspires Students to Explore STEM Careers



In Brief

Andrew Ward Receives 2017 Viruses Young Investigator in Virology Prize

Andrew Ward, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been awarded the 2017 Viruses Young Investigator in Virology Prize by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI).

“This is quite an honor, considering the number of stellar young virologists out there,” said Ward. “I am grateful to our many collaborators worldwide that have contributed to our research.”

Ward’s research combines electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography with biophysical approaches and computational analyses to shed light on the structure of viral membrane proteins. This work has led to significant advances in the understanding of the structure and function of the HIV-1, Ebola virus and coronavirus glycoproteins, giving researchers new insights into mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization. In addition to the cash prize and commemorative plaque, Ward also receives the honor of being invited to present his work at the “Viruses 2018: Breakthroughs in Viral Replication” conference, held February 7 to 9, 2018, in Barcelona, Spain.

MDPI is an academic open-access publisher that publishes 160 diverse peer-reviewed, scientific, electronic journals, including Viruses. Its publishing activities are supported by more than 12,800 active scientists and academic editors on its journals’ international editorial boards.

For more information on Ward’s work, please visit his faculty webpage and lab website.

Ben Shen to Present Faculty Lecture on March 8

Ben Shen, TSRI professor and co-chair of the Department of Chemistry, will continue the Faculty Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 8, with a presentation titled “Natural Product Biosynthesis: Inspiration for Chemistry, Enzymology, and Drug Discovery.” 

The lecture will begin at 4 PM in The Committee Lecture Hall in the Skaggs/Molecular Biology Building (MBB2N), followed by a reception in the Beckman Building first-floor galleria.

For further information, see the Faculty Lecture Series webpage. The series is supported by an endowment from the Cochrane-Cartan families, established by TSRI Professor Emeritus Charles G. Cochrane.

CA Scripps Outstanding Speakers Toastmasters Club Welcomes New Members

All TSRI scientists and staff are invited to attend Scripps Outstanding Speakers (SOS) Toastmasters Club meetings every Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:30 PM in the Immunology East Conference Room (2nd floor). A club Open House will be held on March 8, 12:30 to 1:30 PM (lunch will be provided).

SOS Toastmasters is a friendly, supportive group dedicated to improving speaking and leadership skills in front of small and large audiences. For more information, go to

Upcoming CA Career Development Events

March 10: Videotaped Mock Interviews
Need practice for nonacademic interviews? The Career & Postdoctoral Services Office is offering a videotaped mock interview and feedback session in a small group setting. Hear constructive comments about your verbal responses and body language from the facilitators and your peers. Your answers will be videotaped and critiqued on the spot as you take turns fielding standard HR screening questions. Interview attire is not required.

The session will be held Friday, March 10, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM in the CA Graduate Office Small Conference Room. An RVSP is required at

March 13: Convey Your Science with Posters
Are you a research associate or graduate student presenting a poster at a conference or a symposium? Do you wonder how judges score your poster? Do you want your poster to stand out? If your answer is yes, the TSRI Career & Postdoctoral Services Office invites you to learn how to design a poster to effectively convey your research.

The workshop will be held Friday, March 13, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM in the CA Graduate Office Seminar Room. An RSVP is required at

Wee Companions Volunteers Needed March 1

ScrippsAssists invites animal lovers on the California campus to volunteer with San Diego nonprofit group Wee Companions, a rescue organization focusing on small exotic animals, on Wednesday, March 1, from 6 to 8 PM.

Volunteers will help clean and set up guinea pig cages and sort through donations at the Wee Companions Adoption Center located near UTC. No animals will be handled on this project.

Wee Companions also seeks volunteers for such services as foster homes for small animals (rats, guinea pigs or other animals), adoption counseling and clerical and staff work.

To volunteer or for more information, please email ScrippsAssists Project Lead Sasha Moola at

CA ScrippsAssists ElderHelp Event March 5

ScrippsAssists is pleased to be working with ElderHelp at their Essence of Life Awards Recognition Social and Charity Auction on Sunday, March 5, 2017. This year, ElderHelp celebrates 43 years of providing support for seniors to live independently and with dignity in their homes. Over the years, ElderHelp has assisted over 200,000 seniors throughout San Diego County.

Volunteers are needed to help facilitate the event to be held at the Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma. Volunteers should arrive at 12:30 PM to help set up and be trained and should expect to stay through 6:00 PM. Responsibilities will include

  • Setting up
  • Checking in and greeting
  • Monitoring auction tables
  • Facilitating a wine grab
  • Helping facilitate live auction
  • Helping to distribute items/check-out
  • Cleaning up

Dress code for volunteers is business casual. Light refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jessica Sheu-Gruttadauria at or x4-7569. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, please visit

At The Auditorium: Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra and Violinist Caroline Goulding

The Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra will perform at The Auditorium at TSRI on March 4, 2017, at 3:00 PM. The orchestra is dedicated to the study and performance of music written and arranged for traditional East European folk instruments, such as the balalaika, domra, bayan and gusli. For more information, visit the orchestra’s website.

Violinist Caroline Goulding will perform at The Auditorium at TSRI on March 5, 2017, at 3:00 PM. She will be playing a program titled “Storytelling,” featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Szymanowski and Enescu. This is the latest in the La Jolla Music Society’s Discovery Series. For more information, visit

The Auditorium at TSRI is located at 10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, 92121. Directions and parking information are located on The Auditorium’s website.

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TSRI Associate Professor Andrew Ward (Photo by John Dole.)

Ben Shen, TSRI professor and co-chair of the Department of Chemistry (Photo by James McEntee.)