Scripps Research professor Stuart Lipton, MD, PhD

Stuart Lipton, MD, PhD, the Step Family Endowed Chair, professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Co-Founding Director (with Jeff Kelly) of the Neurodegeneration New Medicines Center at Scripps Research, has won the 2023 Discovery Award from the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM). Lipton is receiving this award for discovering the chemical redox reaction of protein S-nitrosylation, which occurs when a molecule related to nitric oxide (NO) binds to a sulfur atom on a cysteine amino-acid residue within a protein. He demonstrated that this reaction plays a critical role in health and disease, including neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

SfRBM grants the Discovery Award to scientists who have contributed high-impact redox research within the last five years. This award, which is given at a minimum of once every five years, recognizes a significant discovery in the field. It includes a $2,500 prize, the title of Fellow of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and an invitation to publish a review article for Free Radical Biology & Medicine, SfRBM’s journal. As the 2023 awardee, Lipton will also be giving a featured lecture at the SfRBM-SFRRI 2023 Conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay held November 15-18, 2023. Lipton’s lecture is titled, “’Dark Matter’ Pathways of Protein Transnitrosylation Injure Synapses in Alzheimer’s Disease.” 

At Scripps Research, Lipton’s lab focuses on identifying and harnessing molecular signaling pathways to prevent the neuronal and synaptic injury that happens as we age and in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Recently, his lab discovered a similar type of damage in neurodevelopmental maladies such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Through his research, he has made numerous groundbreaking contributions to the neuroscience field, including the discovery of S-nitrosylation. He is also known for developing and patenting memantine (Namenda®, NamendaXR®, Namzaric®), one of only two drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s.

Lipton is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine and the DZNE award lecture, and he is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and American Neurological Association (ANA). In addition to his work at Scripps Research, Lipton is a practicing clinical neurologist at University of California, San Diego and an adjunct professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine.