As this edition of Scripps Research Magazine goes to print, the world remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, a historic public health crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The virus has upended the lives of people around the globe, causing widespread economic hardship, sickness and loss of life.
The pandemic has tested our public health, civil and medical establishments in a way that is unprecedented in recent history. It is humbling to see the modern world struggle against a pathogenic threat not so different from those faced by our ancient ancestors.
There is good reason, however, to be hopeful. While science can never move too fast when lives are in jeopardy, the scientific community acted with remarkable speed to respond to SARS-CoV-2. In a short amount of time, we have learned a tremendous amount about the virus and made rapid progress in developing medical therapies against it.
Scripps Research has been at the vanguard of these scientific efforts, and I am proud of the contributions everyone in our community has made toward tackling this urgent threat to human health. Many of our labs dropped everything to focus their considerable capabilities on studying the novel coronavirus, and throughout the pandemic dedicated staff members have taken on new roles and responsibilities as we shift priorities with the evolving health and safety landscape. Much of this issue of Scripps Research Magazine is dedicated to our groundbreaking COVID-19 research and the herculean effort that ensured our critical work could continue during the pandemic. Please know we are working night and day to put COVID-19 where it belongs—as part of history and not part of our lives.
Finally, it is important to recognize that the progress being made at Scripps Research and by the worldwide scientific community is the work of many smart, creative and dedicated people of diverse races, ethnicities and experiences. With the great many challenges facing our communities today, we are united around our shared purpose of building a brighter and healthier future for all. These are tough times, but I hope that reading these pages leaves you optimistic, as I am, for what lies ahead.
Peter Schultz, PhD
President and CEO, Scripps Research