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In Brief

TSRI Students Win Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three doctoral students in The Scripps Research Institute’s (TSRI) Graduate Program have received prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The highly competitive annual fellowship program recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The fellowships include a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and opportunities for international research and professional development.

On TSRI’s Florida campus, Sophia Park, a graduate student in the lab of Associate Professor Srinivasa Subramaniam, was awarded a fellowship for her research on a protein complex called mTORC1, which centrally regulates cellular metabolism in response to both internal and external stimuli.

“Sophia deserves this prestigious NSF fellowship. I am very confident that this will boost her potential to make new scientific discoveries and positively impact society,” said Subramaniam. “I am very proud to be teaming up with her as a mentor.”

Both award recipients on the TSRI California campus are members of the Department of Chemistry. Joseph Derosa, a graduate student in the lab of Assistant Professor Keary Engle, is developing new tools in synthetic chemistry, focusing on development of efficient transition-metal catalyzed methodology. David Peters, a graduate student in the lab of Professor Floyd Romesberg, studies chemical synthesis.

“We are thrilled two of our students have been awarded coveted NSF fellowships to support their graduate work in chemistry at TSRI,” said Dale Boger, co-chair of the TSRI Department of Chemistry. “It is a tribute to their talents, and their advisors, that two of the limited number of such fellowships were awarded to chemistry Ph.D. students at TSRI this year.”

Graduate students at TSRI have been frequent recipients of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, with 19 current students now holding one of the awards. Moreover, 15 prospective graduate students who recently interviewed for TSRI’s Graduate Program were among the 2017 recipients of the NSF fellowship. In the weeks ahead, many of these outstanding students may join the ranks of TSRI’s program, bringing their ideas, enthusiasm and research acumen to the program.

TSRI’s Graduate Program is highly regarded for its interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to scientific discovery and graduate education in biomedical research. According to U.S. News & World Report, TSRI’s program ranks seventh overall in chemistry and ninth overall in the biological sciences, in addition to second in the specialty of biochemistry and sixth in organic chemistry.

Learn more about the TSRI Graduate Program

Learn more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Upcoming CA Postdoc Open Mic Nights

The Open Mic Night Spring Session is about to start, and the TSRI Society of Fellows (SoF) is seeking speakers! SoF and their partners will host one Open Mic Night per month on Wednesdays at 6 PM at the Bella Vista Social Club. The dates this session are April 19, May 17, June 14 and July 19.

Each event will begin with two five-minute talks from the guest judges, followed by five-minute postdoc or advanced graduate student talks. Talks will be followed by networking time with postdocs/grad students from all seven local research institutes and representatives from local businesses and biotechs. Happy hour will run until 8 PM, with appetizers provided thanks to generous sponsors.

If you would like to give a talk, or for more info, please visit or email

FL Earth Day Cleanup April 22

Scripps Florida colleagues and family members are invited to join the 2017 Earth Day Cleanup on April 22 from 9 AM to noon. Volunteers will help clean the Scripps Florida “Adopt-A-Spot” in Palm Beach County. For more information, contact Scripps Florida Green Team member Peter Norris at or x2041.

At The Auditorium: Jazz and Classical Piano

On April 7 at 7:30 PM, explore the rich history of mainstream jazz with the Joe Lovano Classic Quartet. The group includes Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano, Leo Genovese on piano, Peter Slavov on bass and Lamy Istrefi on drums. For more information, go to the Athenaeum Jazz website.

And on April 29 at 8:00 PM, the La Jolla Music Society welcomes the return of Russian pianist Nikolay Khozyainov. Winner of the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition, Khozyainov will play pieces by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Schumann. Visit the La Jolla Music Society website for more information.

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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Why did you choose the TSRI Graduate Program?

"I chose to attend TSRI because of the wide array of research opportunities that I could explore within the realm of biochemistry, as well as the opportunity to have an outstanding doctoral training," says Sophia Park. (Photo courtesy TSRI Graduate Program.)

"As an undergraduate interested in applying passion of organometallic chemistry to drug discovery, I sought to elevate my skills at an institution with brilliant faculty members that could ultimately serve as my mentors," says Joseph Derosa. (Photo courtesy Joseph Derosa.)

"First, the research in my areas of interest was not only cutting edge, but also truly translational research, having the potential to have a direct and immediate impact. This was something I knew would keep me excited to do my research each and every day. Second, the collaborative environment was noticeable even upon my visit as a prospective student," says David Peters. (Photo courtesy David Peters.)