February 2009  View e-mail online  
The Scripps Research Institute
An e-Newsletter for Philanthropists

Focus On

Understanding a Deadly
Brain Infection

The first lesson that a scientist learns is to question every belief and assumption.

This is the essence of what Scripps Research Associate Professor Dorian McGavern was doing when he lead a team to study brain damage caused by acute viral meningitis – and what he found revamps common scientific beliefs about how such potentially lethal infections ravage the brain.

"This is a paradigm shift in how we think about some forms of meningitis and possibly other infections," he explains.

Milestones in Medical Science

The Quest to Understand Alzheimer's Causes

Since Alzheimer's disease was first described in 1906, scientists have been on a quest to understand its causes. An important step in that quest was made recently when Scripps Research scientists uncovered a novel mechanism that is believed to play a role in the development of the condition.

The discovery, made by a team led by Professor Gary Bokoch and postdoctoral fellow Timothy Huang, points toward potential new drug targets that could enhance neuron survival and limit the reach of Alzheimer's.

Other News

A New Way of Fighting the Flu

When it comes to deadly epidemic strains of the flu virus, the body's own immune response can be the most dangerous factor of all.

"We know that many of those who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic were young people, those with the strongest immune systems whose bodies mounted the strongest immunopathologic responses," explains Scripps Research Professor Michael Oldstone.

With the threat of a bird flu pandemic looming, Oldstone and his Scripps Research colleague Hugh Rosen have now found a potential method of tamping down on this dangerous immune response.


Facts & Figures
Scripps Research scientists have identified a small, synthetic molecule that can control the fate of embryonic stem cells, and have turned stem cells into heart muscles in lab studies.
Share Your Story

Invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join you in celebrating the life of a loved one, and supporting the tireless work that scientific research requires. It's now easy to create a dedicated tribute or memorial page on the Scripps Research website.

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Stepping Up

With key sources of funding shrinking, the scientific field faces a major challenge in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest minds. San Diego philanthropist, businessman, and community leader John Moores emphasized the importance of meeting this challenge when he contributed the first gift of $2.1 million to the Scripps Research Institute's new $50 million initiative to recruit new world-class scientists and sustain and expand its important work.

"I hope my support will encourage the community and my fellow Institute Trustees to join me in developing and sustaining Scripps Research's most vital resource – it's scientific talent," Moores said when the gift was announced.

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