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In Brief

Catherine Cheng receives NEI grant to study cataracts

Catherine Cheng, PhD, a staff scientist in Velia Fowler’s lab, has received a grant of nearly $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute to study the role of Eph-ephrin bidirectional signaling in eye lens transparency and homeostasis.

Cheng’s research focuses on the pathways in cells that can contribute to cataracts. Despite decades of study, cataracts, defined as any opacity in the lens, remain the leading cause of blindness in the world, and there are no non-surgical treatments to prevent or delay cataracts. 

Her two-year project will focus on revealing the roles of the proteins EphA2 and ephrin-A5 in maintaining lens transparency and determining the mechanisms for cataractogenesis when Eph-ephrin signaling is disrupted. Cheng and her colleagues hope to shed light on the signaling pathways in the lens that are important maintaining transparency as we age.

“This data will provide a better understanding of coordinated signaling mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis in normal lenses, which may lead to the development of new non-surgical approaches to delay or prevent age-related cataract formation,” writes Cheng in her project description.  

The number of the grant is 1R21EY027389.

CA Biosafety Committee meeting materials due March 2

To receive consideration at the next TSRI Institutional Biosafety Committee, registration documents must be submitted to Environmental Health and Safety by Friday, March 2, via email to The meeting will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 14 in Building 3301, P2 conference room.

CA Onsite Clinic scheduled for March 7

The next onsite immunization clinic on the California campus will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 7 in the Hazen Theory building, rooms 203/205. Appointments are not needed.

Conducted by Sharp Rees-Stealy staff, the clinic will provide hepatitis B vaccination free of charge to all TSRI employees. Environmental Health & Safety Occupational Medicine must pre-authorize all other procedures based on the employee's working conditions. These procedures include tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines and other titers, immunizations and procedures.

Supriya Srinivasan to present Faculty Lecture on March 14

Supriya Srinivasan, PhD, TSRI assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine, will continue the Faculty Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 14, with a presentation, “Neuroendocrine Control of Body Fat Metabolism: Lessons from C. elegans.”

The lecture begins at 4 p.m. 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.

Photo: Canadian group visits campus to learn about addiction research

lab visit
Public health and law enforcement officials from several provinces in Canada visited the California campus of The Scripps Research Institute this week to learn about promising efforts in Kim Janda's (left) lab to design a vaccine against opioid abuse. (Photo by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt)

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cathy cheng
Catherine Cheng, PhD, will lead the new project at TSRI.


















Supriya Srinivasan, PhD, TSRI assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine.