Ilia Droujinine
Ilia Droujinine, PhD, Scripps Research fellow.

Ilia Droujinine, PhD, a Scripps Research fellow and principal investigator in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research, has received the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation Research Scholar Award to continue studying how organs communicate with each other in the body—specifically for digestive diseases, obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

Each year, the AGA grants Research Scholar Awards to early-career faculty who are working toward an independent career in digestive disease research. The $300,000 award is distributed over three years, helping support emerging investigators who have already made considerable strides in their research. In 2023, Droujinine was one of six scientists to receive such an award.

At Scripps Research, Droujinine is a pioneer in the inter-organ communication field. His research focuses on the proteins that form communication networks between organs, and how this inter-organ communication goes awry in disease. While it’s been historically challenging to understand the origins and destinations of these signaling proteins, his lab is using high-throughput approaches to track and uncover the most physiologically- and disease-relevant factors. With the AGA award, Droujinine will be investigating the secreted proteins that mediate progression of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and which can then be targeted as therapies for these diseases.

Droujinine is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, most recently including being one of the inaugural recipients of the Collaborative Innovation Fund at Scripps Research, Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Grants for Junior Faculty, Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation Award, the Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award from the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the HMS Innovation Grant Program Research Award from Harvard Medical School and the Alumni Gold Medal from the University of Waterloo.