Like everyone else, I’ve been transfixed by the dramatic first images of distant nebulas and galaxies produced by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope.

The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful space observatory ever created and has offered an unprecedented look at the far reaches of our universe. 

The product of thousands of scientists and engineers teaming up to create something remarkable, the telescope is a reminder that smart and dedicated people working together, especially when they bring diverse skills and insights to bear, is the most reliable recipe for transformative innovation. 

In this issue of Scripps Research Magazine, you’ll encounter numerous examples of scientists joining forces to tackle the most pressing problems in biomedical research. For instance, as the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, our recently launched Center for Antiviral Medicinesand Pandemic Preparedness received substantial support from the National Institutes of Health to combat coronaviruses and other viruses with the potential to cause future pandemics. The multidisciplinary center combines the outstanding virology expertise of Scripps Research with the drug discovery infrastructure of Calibr to speed the discovery of drugs against potentially dangerous viruses. 

Another interdisciplinary enterprise, the Neurodegeneration New Medicines Center, similarly brings together experts from fields such as neuroscience, chemistry, and drug discovery to find new ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias—diseases of aging that have proven particularly resistant to medical intervention. The new center will focus on deciphering the biological pathways involved in these neurodegenerative disorders while also developing new medicines for treating them—again merging basic biomedical research with drug development. 

These new centers are just a couple of recent examples of the many collaborations at Scripps Research that overcome the traditional academic silos of scientific fields, institutional departments, and individual laboratories and scientists. While NASA’s new space telescope has given us an invaluable look into the distant past, Scripps Research teams are busy making scientific breakthroughs that enable the life-changing medicines of the future. 

scripps research magazine fall 2020 president peter schultz signature

Peter Schultz, PhD
President and CEO, Scripps Research