NIH awards $10.4 million to Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida

A group of researchers at the La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, campuses of The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $10.4 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish The Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center. This is a pilot program to discover small molecule tools for translating basic biomedical discoveries more quickly into medically relevant applications.

The screening center at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida together with nine screening centers from the public and private sectors, will comprise the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network (MLSCN), a part of the NIH's strategic funding plan, the Roadmap Initiative. The funds will be administered jointly by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) on behalf of NIH, and the work, which is scheduled to last three years, begins this month.

These centers will conduct high throughput screens against various biological targets to uncover "proof-of-concept" molecules useful in studying human health and in developing new treatments for human diseases.

"This sort of work has traditionally been done by pharmaceutical companies, never before in the public/non-profit sector," says Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner, M.D. "With this grant, the NIH has recognized the unique capabilities of our established researchers in La Jolla with our newest investigators and equipment in Palm Beach County."

"Our goal is to provide tools for the broad scientific community so that we can accelerate the pace of the application of chemical biology to the understanding of physiology and pathophysiology," says Scripps Research Professor Hugh Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., who is the principal investigator on the grant.

"Congratulations to The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, Dr. Richard Lerner, Dr. Hugh Rosen, and the enti

Contact: Keith McKeown
Scripps Research Institute

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