February 2013

The Scripps Research Institute

At the Forefront


Focus On:

Brad Morrison, Cecilia Marcondes, and Bruno ContiFormer postdoctoral fellow Brad Morrison, Assistant Professor Cecilia Marcondes and Professor Bruno Conti.

Promising Research for Parkinson's

The Scripps Research Institute has recently made significant strides in the quest to better understand Parkinson's disease. In December, Professor Bruno Conti and a team of TSRI researchers pinpointed a key factor controlling damage to brain cells in a mouse model of Parkinson's. Ultimately, these findings could lead to new targets for the disease that could be used to prevent damage to the brain.

And just last month, researchers at Scripps Florida found that blocking the interaction of a critical enzyme could be a novel way to prevent neuron degeneration in patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.



Milestones in Medical Science:

Hans Renata, Qianghui Zhou, and Phil BaranProfessor Phil Baran (right) with paper co-authors: graduate student Hans Renata and Research Associate Qianghui Zhou.

Simplified Steroid Production Promises New Drugs and Lower Costs

A complex type of steroids used in heart failure medications and other drugs has been near-impossible to produce synthetically on a large scale. These natural compounds, known as polyhydroxylated steroids, occur naturally in some plants and marine organisms, but the process of creating them in a laboratory involved so many steps that replicating them became impractical – until now.

A team of TSRI researchers has pioneered a practical way to make large quantities of the potent compound.



Other News:

Professor Thomas BurrisProfessor Thomas Burris

New Compound Reverses Fatty Liver Disease

A team from the Scripps Florida campus has created the first synthetic compound that reverses the effects of fatty liver disease, a serious metabolic condition in which an abnormal amount of fat buildup develops in the liver. The disease, which affects between 10 and 24 percent of the general population, frequently leads to more serious conditions including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The compound – known as SR9238 – is the first compound to effectively suppress lipid or fat production in the liver.


Facts & Figures

More than one million Americans currently suffer from Parkinson's disease. While approximately four percent of people with Parkinson's are diagnosed before the age of 50, incidence increases with age.

The future of medicine

Through developing the science behind new medications, treatments and technologies, TSRI gives hope to millions of people all over the world. Your generosity can impact the future of medicine.

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TSRI workshop connects researchers with high school educators

For the second year in a row, Scripps Florida hosted a workshop for biology and chemistry teachers from a dozen Palm Beach County high schools.

Post-doctoral researchers from the institute taught classes as part of the "Scripps Florida InSPIRE" workshop, which focused on developing laboratory skills and hands-on science experiences.

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