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In Brief

Barbara Mason Receives R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has awarded the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award to Barbara Mason, Pearson Family Chair and Director of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

Mason is being honored for her advancements to the scientific understanding of alcoholism, its prevention and treatment. ASAM specifically highlighted her research into the neurobiology of alcohol use, which can serve as the foundation for the development of new pharmacotherapies to treat alcoholism. In fact, clinical trials run by her lab group have shown success for novel medications in this area, with implications for clinical practice.

Mason will be presented with the award on April 8, 2017, at the ASAM 48th Annual Conference in New Orleans, where she will also give a talk titled “Shedding New Light on an Old Problem: Novel Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder.”

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

Benjamin Cravatt Wins ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award

Benjamin Cravatt, professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and co-chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine, has received the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Chemical Biology Lectureship Award in recognition of his development of activity-based protein profiling technology.

The ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award is presented each year to honor a scientist whose contributions have had a major impact on research in the area of chemical biology. In a statement, ACS Chemical Biology Editor-in-Chief Laura L. Kiessling called Cravatt’s work “groundbreaking.”

“Through post-genomic profiling of the functional state of enzymes in complex proteomes, Professor Cravatt has identified key mammalian enzymes involved in regulation of lipid signaling pathways in cancer,” stated Kiessling. “Professor Cravatt’s technologies have been adopted by academic and industrial labs worldwide for broad-scale functional characterization of enzymes within biological systems, thus having far-reaching implications for our understanding of mammalian physiology and disease.”

Cravatt was presented with the award and gave an invited talk on April 4, 2017, at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. This is the second consecutive year a TSRI chemist has won the award; TSRI President and Scripps Family Chair Professor Peter G. Schultz received the award in 2016.

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

CA Blood Drive Scheduled for April 13

ScrippAssists will hold a San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) blood drive on the California campus on Thursday, April 13, from 9 AM to 2:30 PM.

Donors are asked to make an appointment on the SDBB website. Walk-in donors will be welcomed. Guidelines and eligibility requirements are also listed on the blood bank website. Donors should bring photo identification, a record of medications they currently take and a list of locations visited outside the United States in the past three years.

The SDBB bloodmobile will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the Skaggs/MBB building, 10596 N. Torrey Pines Road. All donors will automatically be entered into a prize raffle. For further information on the blood drive, contact project coordinator Leslie Madden at

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Professor Barbara Mason, Pearson Family Chair and Director of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at TSRI. (Photo by Dave Freeman.)

TSRI Professor Benjamin Cravatt, co-chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine. (Photo by BioMedical Graphics.)