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A Symposium in Honor of Frederick Sanger

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014 | 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM


INFORMATION and REGISTRATION: Further information, contact Gregory Best,

A scientist for the ages, Frederick Sanger developed methods to determine the structure of proteins, RNA, and DNA using his incisive recognition of the importance of structure in biology. Using
brilliant yet simple tools he determined how a small number of building blocks could lead to the complex functions of macromolecules. Long before most others, he intuited that the function of these
molecules must emanate from the arrangement - the sequence - of those building blocks. Armed with that knowledge, it was a straightforward task to apply chemical methods to determine those
sequences, work that earned him two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, one of only three scientists ever to receive two Nobel Prizes in science. His world-view of simplicity and humble self-confidence
shaped his science and generous interactions with his colleagues. He set a scientific and personal standard that inspired friends and students and became a bedrock of modern science.
Perhaps as much as science, Fred loved gardening and he was especially proud of his roses and dahlias. Like his science, they were beautiful.


KATY BROWN University of Cambridge
STANLEY COHEN Stanford University
TONY HUNTER Salk Institute
CLYDE HUTCHINSON Craig Venter Institute
ROGER KORNBERG Stanford University
MIKE LEVITT Stanford University
VICTOR LING Terry Fox Research Institute
ERLING NORRBY Swedish Royal Academy
HAMILTON SMITH Craig Venter Institute


TED FRIEDMANN UCSD School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, TONY HUNTER Salk Institute, SUSAN TAYLOR UCSD Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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From SCRIP Intelligence: Sanford-Burnham hires GSK exec Nisen to boost pharma cache

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in San Diego hired Perry Nisen from GlaxoSmithKline as its new CEO to bring the institute some pharma and biotech cache – and cash – as Sanford-Burnham sets its new strategy in motion for translating research into drugs and diagnostics through revenue-generating industry partnerships.

Sanford-Burnham outlined its new strategy earlier this year when it revealed a 10-year, $275m donation to the institute (, 10 March 2014). The new business plan is meant to boost research funding in the face of reduced National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant allocations by taking advantage of big pharma's need to refill its early-stage development pipeline. Dr Nisen told Scrip that Sanford-Burnham has what it needs to make that happen: a legacy of high-impact science and commercial development capabilities.

"It's one thing to say you want to make clinical science a reality and another thing to do it, but it's what I've been doing for the last 25 years," he said. "I hope to bring that experience to bear to this institution, which I think has all of the right pieces."

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Curtana Pharmaceuticals Awarded $7.6 Million Grant From The Cancer Prevention And Research Institute Of Texas

SAN DIEGO, CA – August 21, 2014 – Curtana Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held, preclinical stage pharmaceutical company developing the first targeted small molecule therapeutics for glioblastoma (GBM) and other brain cancers, today announced the award of a $7.6 million product development grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The grant provides Curtana with major funding for its lead cancer therapy program, which is focused on targeting the OLIG2 transcription factor. The company is relocating its corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas in conjunction with the grant award.

“The company’s award of the CPRIT product development grant is a significant testament to our technology platform and approach to treating glioblastoma,” stated Gregory Stein, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer, Curtana Pharmaceuticals. “The grant will enable us to move our research through the preclinical phase of development and one step closer to patients who currently have very limited treatment options."

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From SDCCD: California Legislature Approves Bill Enabling 15 Community Colleges to Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

The California Legislature today approved a historic bill that would allow a limited number of community colleges to grant four-year degrees.  Senate Bill 850, authored by Marty Block (D-San Diego) would establish a pilot program with 15 community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in select workforce majors.

Having been approved unanimously by the legislature, Governor Jerry Brown will now decide if California joins the 21 other states that allow community colleges to grant four-year degrees.  Unlike previous bills, however, SB 850 enjoys bi-partisan support and is widely touted as a way for the state to address its need to be competitive in areas of high workforce demand.  Governor Brown has until September 30 to act on the bill.

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From SCRIP Intelligence: WHO to convene ethics panel

An uproar has erupted over questions about why two American aid workers infected with Ebola were the first to receive an experimental drug, which has seemingly had positive results, although it's unclear whether the medicine, which has yet to undergo clinical testing, did indeed lead to their improved conditions.

There currently are no medicines or vaccines against Ebola approved for use in any country.There are, however, some investigational products under development – most of which are being funded by the US government.The World Health Organization (WHO) on 6 August said it plans to convene a panel of medical ethicists to explore the use of experimental treatment in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has now sickened 1,711 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with 932 of those dying.

Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who work for the nonprofit aid group Samaritan's Purse, both received a cocktail consisting of three humanized monoclonal antibodies, known as zMapp, from San Diego, California-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical (, 05 August 2014).

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