Newswise - La Jolla, CA - February 20, 2011 - Renowned biochemist Michael A. Marletta, PhD, has been named by the Board of Trustees today as the next president of The Scripps Research Institute, effective January 1, 2012. He will succeed President Richard A. Lerner, MD, who has led the institution for 25 years.
Marletta, past Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Co-Director of the Chemical Biology Graduate Program, Aldo DeBenedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, will join the Scripps Research faculty on July 1, 2011, and become President and CEO January 1, 2012.
"We are thrilled Michael is assuming this important role," said Dick Gephardt, President/CEO of Gephardt Government Affairs and Lead Trustee of the Scripps Research Board of Trustees. "We are confident Michael's leadership and vision will ensure the Institute's continued preeminence in biomedical research and graduate education."
"I am honored to be named to lead one of the premier research institutions in the world," said Marletta. "Richard Lerner's leadership over the past 25 years has been nothing short of brilliant. His accomplishments as President coupled with a long and distinguished research career, are simply amazing. In addition to my excitement about being asked to serve as president, I am thrilled about moving my research program to Scripps Research and working with my new Scripps Research colleagues to push forward the Institute's legacy of creating knowledge, improving healthcare, and educating the next generation of scientists."
Like The Scripps Research Institute as a whole, Marletta-a former recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship-has focused his research on the intersection of chemistry and biology. He is acknowledged as a pioneer in discovering the role of nitric oxide, a critical player in communication between cells.
Lerner, who will continue to lead his groundbreaking research program at the Institute after his tenure as president, said, "Please join me in welcoming Michael Marletta to Scripps Research. I have great confidence in his abilities and look forward to working with him during the transition and beyond. Given Michael's expertise, we can be secure in the knowledge that the flagship programs of the Institute will continue to thrive."
"We are extremely pleased to announce Michael Marletta as the next president of The Scripps Research Institute," said Lawrence C. Horowitz, MD, member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, who spoke on behalf of the Committee as a whole. "His extensive and distinguished professional background, passion for science and education, and ability to lead strategically embody the ideal mix of talent and vision to carry Scripps Research into the future."
Horowitz added that the Board is deeply grateful to Lerner for his extraordinary contributions, and expresses confidence Lerner and Marletta will work together to assure a seamless transition.
Celebrations welcoming Marletta, honoring Lerner, and marking the 50th anniversary of the institute's focus on biomedical research are planned throughout the year.
About Michael Marletta
Michael A. Marletta was born in Rochester, New York, in 1951. After completing an AB at the State University of New York (SUNY), Fredonia, (1973), a PhD from UC San Francisco (1978) with George L. Kenyon, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1978 - 80) with Christopher T. Walsh, he joined the faculty at MIT as assistant professor in 1980. He was promoted to associate professor in 1986. In 1987, he moved to the University of Michigan as associate professor in its College of Pharmacy and Medical School. In 1991, he was promoted to professor and appointed the John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. In 1997, he was named to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Marletta moved to UC Berkeley in 2001. At that time, he also received joint appointments at UC San Francisco and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
He is the recipient of dozens of awards and honors, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1995); election to the Institute of Medicine (1999); Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan (2000); election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001); and election to the National Academy of Sciences (2006).
Marletta currently serves on the editorial boards of ACS Chemical Biology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as other journals. A member of the HHMI Science Review Board and the Fredonia College Foundation Board of Directors, he also serves on the scientific advisory boards of Lycera, Viamet Pharmaceuticals, and N30 Pharma, and is a co-founder of Omniox, Inc.
Marletta is married to Margaret Gutowski and they have a 15 year old son, Matthew.
About The Scripps Research Institute
The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. The institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Scripps Research currently employs approximately 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. The institute's graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, is ranked among the top ten such programs in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.