Issuu on Google+

S A N F O R D - B U R N H A M

M E D I C A L

R E S E A R C H

I N S T I T U T E

Zooming In:

How Technology Helps Us See Science CONRAD PREBYS CENTER FOR CHEMICAL GENOMICS:

The People Behind the Robots

Shared Resources, Shared Success

VOLUME 1 NUMBER 3 | SUMMER 2011


FROM RESEARCH, THE POWER TO CURE.

FOUNDERS

Dr. William H. and Lillian Fishman HONORARY TRUSTEES

Roberta and Malin Burnham Joe Lewis Conrad T. Prebys T. Denny Sanford Trustees and Officers

Gregory T. Lucier CHAIRMAN

M. Wainwright Fishburn, Jr. VICE CHAIRMAN

John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer Professor and Donald Bren CHIEF Executive Chair

A Message from Dr. Kristiina Vuori 1 Zooming In: How Technology Helps Us See Science 2 The People Behind the Robots 4 Talking with a Donor: Mary Ellen Tiffany 6 Talking with a Scientist: Dr. Jamey Marth 7 Shared Resources, Shared Success 8 Federal Employees Support Sanford-Burnham 8 Upcoming Events 9 Recent Events 10 External Relations Profile: Stephanie Boumediene, M.P.H. 12 Touch Research 12 Scientists of Tomorrow: Digital Science 13 Partners in Science Back Cover

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D. President Professor and Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair Director, NCI-designated Cancer Center

Blair Blum Senior Vice President, External Relations

Elizabeth Birlet, M.A.

Gary F. Raisl, M.B.A., Ed.D.

Stephanie Boumediene, M.P.H.

Executive Vice President Chief Administrative Officer Chief Financial Officer Treasurer

Edgar Gillenwaters Philip Graham, M.B.A.

Margaret M. Dunbar

Vice Presidents, External Relations

Secretary

Arthur Brody Shehan Dissanayake, Ph.D. Pauline M. Foster David F. Hale Jeanne Herberger, Ph.D. Brent Jacobs James E. Jardon II Robert J. Lauer Robert A. Mandell Nicolas C. Nierenberg Douglas Obenshain Peter Preuss Stuart Tanz Jan Tuttleman, Ph.D., M.B.A. Andrew J. Viterbi, Ph.D. Carl Ware, Ph.D. Bobbi Warren Allen R. Weiss Gayle E. Wilson Diane Winokur EX-OFFICIO

Todd Golub, M.D. Science Advisory Board Chairman

Elizabeth Gianini Vice President, Government Relations

Kristina Meek, M.A. Portal Editor

ON THE COVER

Creative Fusion Design

Jonathan Ekman uses a state-of-the-art microscope in Sanford-Burnham’s Cellular Imaging Core, one of the Institute’s Shared Resources, located in Orlando. Photo by Michael Cairns.

www.sanfordburnham.org

Toll-free: 1-877-454-5702

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 • 858-646-3100

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona 6400 Sanger Road, Orlando, FL 32827 • 407-745-2000

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Santa Barbara 2324 Life Sciences Building, University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106 • 805-453-0259


A Message from

Dr. KristiinaVuori This year Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute celebrates 35 years of seeking cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases. The technology that we use to pursue our collaborative research has changed dramatically in that time. We are fortunate to have the use of extensive shared resources here at the Institute, which you will find discussed throughout this issue of Portal. They include state-of-the-art technologies; but, whatever technologies we use our focus remains the same. We strive to better manage, or perhaps even eradicate, as many diseases as we possibly can. In our Cancer Center, which I direct, we also celebrate 30 consecutive years of National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation this year. Our designation by the NCI was renewed last year with the highest rating of “outstanding,� accompanied by an unprecedented increase in funding. This national benchmark is an honor that we work each day to live up to. Our cancer research is motivated by the quest to discover new cancer-fighting tools. At Sanford-Burnham, we believe that collaboration is the catalyst for success and that removing the walls between disciplines encourages innovation. The interactions between researchers happen daily and can be as significant as a joint grant application or as casual as a discussion following a seminar. The potential for creativity and innovation is expanded by the constant exchange of

We strive to better manage, or perhaps even eradicate, as many diseases as we possibly can. ideas. We take great pride in the fact that ongoing research at the Cancer Center is yielding tangible medical benefits, including diagnostic procedures and novel therapeutic agents. Currently, two approved drugs and at least five experimental therapies for cancer that are in the final Phase III clinical trials can be traced to the work of SanfordBurnham scientists. I am proud of our 35 years of success here at the Institute and look forward to the contributions we will make going forward. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, and we look forward to your continued support.

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D. President, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute Professor and Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair Director, NCI-designated Cancer Center

www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

1


M

uch of the technology that makes current scientific research possible focuses on allowing human beings to observe things. This sounds pretty simple, but when you consider that researchers study objects that are incredibly tiny, three-dimensional, ever-changing, and often exist inside a living organism, you can understand how the simple act of looking at something can be quite complicated. All three of Sanford-Burnham’s facilities, in San Diego, Orlando and Santa Barbara, are home to innovative technologies. From incredibly powerful microscopes to uniquely tailored software, technology gives researchers the tools they will need to better understand, and therefore revolutionize, human health. One of the most well-known ways to “zoom in” on cells or other small objects is to use a microscope. Various types of microscopes available today allow researchers to view things in ways never before possible.

2

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org

“You can see a cell by eye, using a standard microscope,” explains Sanford-Burnham associate professor Dr. Dorit Hanein, “But you can’t see individual molecules that way. A cell is on the micrometer scale (one-thousandth of a millimeter), while an individual molecule is on the nanometer scale (one-millionth of a millimeter). That’s like the difference between walking from San Diego to San Francisco, versus walking from here to the moon.” Dr. Hanein’s lab is combining two types of microscopy techniques to observe biological processes as they actually exist in live cells. Scientists in Dr. Nicholas Cosford’s San Diego laboratory are working with a 3D software platform. This is one more example of a tool that gives researchers a new way to see the materials they work with—in this case, proteins. The program breaks down 3D images of known protein structures to find chemical fragments that might bind a particular protein that malfunctions in disease – first steps in finding new medicines.


Meanwhile, in Orlando, Dr. Masanobu Komatsu uses a laser confocal microscope to produce three dimensional images and animations of blood vessels that feed tumors. Use of this advanced technology empowers Dr. Komatsu’s research into the regulation and remodeling of blood vessel growth to aid in the treatment of cancer and heart disease. At the Center for Nanomedicine (CNM), a partnership between Sanford-Burnham and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), researchers study objects roughly 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. Drs. Erkki Ruoslahti and Jamey Marth are diligently seeking new ways to apply nanotechnology engineering expertise to biological problems. (Nanotechnology is the ability to engineer matter at the atomic scale.) Dr. Ruoslahti is best known for his work with “vascular zip codes,” which allow a medication to be delivered to a specific site within the body while minimizing collateral damage. Working with experts from the field of physics, Dr. Ruoslahti’s lab recently developed an instrument that can detect

objects as small as just a few nanometers. This innovation detects and counts tiny particles as they flow through the instrument – as many as 500,000 particles per second. Dr. Marth works with nano-sized “smart devices,” vehicles that can also deliver medicines to specific sites. One way that Dr. Marth is better able to see and share the implications of his work is using the AlloSphere. The AlloSphere is a one-of-a-kind multi-media facility originally developed by Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin (pictured below with Dr. Marth) to visualize music. Serendipitously, the three-story, spherical structure is located just a quick stroll away from Dr. Marth’s lab. Walking into the AlloSphere is nothing short of breathtaking. On entering, you emerge onto a catwalk and find yourself surrounded, 360 degrees, by 3D visual stimuli and sound. Using this technology, Dr. Marth and other researchers can literally walk inside their data, both seeing and hearing biological processes in real time. Other examples of Sanford-Burnham’s technology can be found in this issue of Portal, and many others on our website, www. sanfordburnham.org and blog, http://beaker. sanfordburnham.org. See for yourself how technology accelerates medical research.

Zooming In:

How Technology Helps Us See Science Dr. Marth and other researchers can literally walk inside their data, both seeing and hearing biological processes in real time. www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

3


CONRAD PREBYS CENTER FOR CHEMICAL GENOMICS:

The People Behind the Robots

Carlton Gasior monitors a robot arm in the Prebys Center.

4

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org


The big, yellow robotic arms in Sanford-Burnham’s Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics (Prebys Center) receive a lot of attention. They have appeared on television and in newspapers, and we have shared many photos of them with our supporters. The robots are indeed fascinating and represent a significant investment in translational research. But it is important to remember the people who actually make the Prebys Center—a resource spanning East and West Coast campuses—so unique and significant. The Prebys Center, named in honor of a generous 2009 gift from Conrad Prebys, screens chemical compounds by the hundreds of thousands to find the precious few that could potentially become new medicines. Robots transfer small trays to dispensers where sound waves deposit reagents into thousands of tiny wells. Powerful scanners and computers analyze the data. But the human eye may still be our most valuable technology. “Our eyes can see a lot more data than we give them credit for,” explains Layton Smith, Ph.D., Director of Drug Discovery in Orlando. “We notice subtleties of shape and texture that we can use the microscope to measure, features that traditional high-throughput screening methods ignore. An image has all kinds of data in it that a traditional method can miss.” Dr. Smith’s office is just across the hallway from the Prebys Center. “The robots are really amazing,” he says, “just mesmerizing to watch. But the time and effort that it

takes to hit ‘go’ on that piece of equipment is enormous. It requires the concerted actions of 10 to 25 people with overlapping, but still very distinct skill sets.” Michael Jackson, Ph.D., based in San Diego, is Vice President of Drug Discovery and Development. He expanded on Dr. Smith’s observation, “It’s a collection of people from different disciplines and it’s that diversity that makes all the difference.” The people involved in this concerted effort are experts in high-throughput drug screening, biochemical and cell-based experiments, medicinal chemistry, exploratory pharmacology, pre-clinical models of disease and informatics. At any one time, the Prebys Center is working on about 70 projects. Meeting that demand requires constant communication between the San Diego and Orlando teams. “We’re in contact all day, every day,” reports Dr. Smith. At times, a whole experiment, with all of its component parts, may be transferred from one location to the other. “We spend a great deal of time to ensure a seamless handoff,” says Dr. Jackson. The collaborative nature of the Institute makes working together to maximize the potential of the technology natural. Dr. Smith concludes, “The two [locations] are symbiotic. This is a powerful combination that is distinctive for Sanford-Burnham.” “Once a screen is complete, sorting through all the data

and deciding what to do next becomes more of an art than a science,” Dr. Jackson elaborates. An assay, or test, can turn up a number of different possibilities that may or may not yield results if pursued. At times, researchers must take an informed chance on what is the most promising

A group of researchers in the Prebys Center share their results.

option. “There’s a lot of judgment and experience that informs the choice. That is the art of drug discovery.” The Prebys Center is one of four National Institute of Health-designated comprehensive screening centers in the country, a designation Dr. Smith describes as “an enormous honor.” He continues, “The Institute worked hard to earn it and we strive to live up to the expectations.” Yes, it’s an honor, but more importantly it’s a validation of our expertise. Researchers around the country access this facility, making it a national resource. The Center and its people represent one very important avenue by which SanfordBurnham pursues its charge, “From Research, the Power to Cure.”

www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

5


TALKING WITH A DONOR

Following a dream and turning it into a reality is something Mary Ellen Tiffany knows a lot about. In 1988, she traveled to Santa Barbara, California on business. She was impressed with the community and the lifestyle and hoped to visit again one day. Then personal tragedy struck with the loss of two siblings – one at age 54 from a brain aneurysm and another shortly thereafter to stroke at age 59. Mary Ellen remembers then asking herself, “How long am I going to live? What do I really want to do with my life? This was before the Bucket List, but I knew the top thing was to move to California. I came here determined that I was going to live my dreams.”

Living Your Dreams:

Mary Ellen Tiffany

She quit her job and moved to Santa Barbara, where she is Vice President in the Wealth Management Division of Montecito Bank and Trust. “My position allows me to meet a lot of people. With the bank’s mission and focus on making our community a better place to live, employees are encouraged to give of ourselves to organizations that we can support.” She also sits on the boards of several local non-profit organizations. It was through the Santa Barbara Symphony that Mary Ellen first met Dr. Jamey Marth, co-founder of the UC Santa Barbara/ Sanford-Burnham Center for Nanomedicine (CNM). “SanfordBurnham has brought something truly unique to our community. There is a natural fit between the two institutions.” For Mary Ellen, it was an easy decision to support SanfordBurnham’s research at CNM. “Sanford-Burnham is the future of medicine. I wish I could be around 90 years from now to see how many lives have been affected by all of the research advances they are making today.” With all of her involvement in the community, Mary Ellen still makes time to take care of herself. “I walk every day – I call it meditation in motion. It helps me center myself and I take the time to be mindful of the incredible blessings I have in my life with family, friends, health. We all need to be proactive about our health – our good health allows us to do so many things, and that includes helping others.” Mary Ellen thinks about her late siblings often and her hopes for medical research. “Their deaths really made me think about how fragile our lifetimes really are, and how we all need to help one another. I would love to encourage people to participate in the success of Sanford-Burnham and the Center for Nanomedicine through donations. It may not be necessarily a $1 million donation, but whatever the donation, every little bit helps.”

6

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org


TALKING WITH A SCIENTIST

Dr. Jamey Marth Hitting the Target Dr. Jamey Marth is committed to making large strides in medical research, one nanoparticle at a time. As director and co-founder of the Center for Nanomedicine (CNM), Sanford-Burnham’s unique collaborative effort with UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), he knows that the groundbreaking nanomedical research being done there has the ability to change the future of medicine. “There are a lot of diseases that we still don’t understand,” says Dr. Marth. “With nanomedicine, we have the ability to combine multiple technologies with biology to really expand our toolkit for detecting, treating and finding the origins of, and treatments for, disease.” For Dr. Marth, the CNM is the perfect place to make this new science happen. “We are combining the expertise of two top-ranked research institutes, both known for their individual successes respectively in biomedical research and the physical sciences. It is still rare to have two major powerhouses combine their talents and to focus in

an area that has so much promise for the future of medicine.” He continued, “Nationally, there is a lot of talk about inter-disciplinary research, but few places actually make it happen in a way that produces tangible results. CNM is one of those places.” And results are quickly taking place. This past year, Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti, cofounder of CNM, published a pioneering paper on the use of nano-technology in cancer treatment. His work seeks the ability to target a drug to an exact spot and then infiltrate a tumor. Dr. Marth said “To be able to target a drug to the place in the body where it is needed is the ultimate goal of nanomedicine.” What inspires Dr. Marth to keep that goal in sight every day? As with many researchers, his is a personal story. “All of us have friends or family members who have suffered from disease. Even though I am from a long-lived family, much of my family suffered from or succumbed to cancer or infectious disease. Other people may suffer from diseases such as diabetes.

These are all diseases that are still mysterious – what initially causes them and how to intervene most effectively. That’s the inspiration that drives us to make a difference… to stop some of those diseases and to preserve human life for it to be lived to its fullest.” While dedicated to his current research, Dr. Marth predicts great things for CNM, looking five or ten years ahead. “We are going to see a quantum leap in how medicine is practiced and patients are treated,” explains Dr. Marth. “I believe CNM will play a major role in this. We are working to bring four things together: the discovery of disease origins, new diagnostic tools for early warning of disease, the ability to target drugs to specific tissues and cells and technologies that precisely deliver multiple drugs at the same time.”

www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

7


Shared Resources, Shared Success The screening equipment in the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, described on page 5, is just one example of the amazing technological resources utilized and shared by Sanford-Burnham researchers. The Institute’s strategic use of shared resources sets it apart from most scientific and academic institutions. Here, researchers regularly share high-tech equipment and the knowledge to use it, reflecting Sanford-Burnham’s collaborative culture. Dr. Craig Hauser, Vice President for Scientific Resources, oversees the Institute’s 30 core facilities, which are shared amongst its faculty at the San Diego, Orlando and Santa Barbara campuses. These facilities provide advanced technology, expertise and instrumentation to investigators that may not be easily acquired or accessible by individual labs. Sharing helps the Institute make the most of its precious funds from grants, philanthropy and business development. “We work hard to organize our Shared Resources so that they really work for the whole Institute,” says Dr. Hauser. “Straightforward access to these cores makes the Principal Investigators’ labs more efficient and accelerates their scientific progress. It allows them to tackle new questions without the normal barriers found elsewhere.” The equipment, which ranges from powerful microscopes to high-speed cell sorters, is highly advanced. “Modern equipment has gotten so complex that you can’t just walk up and use it,” explains Hauser. Therefore, most of Sanford-

Burnham’s technology cores are led by Ph.D.-level scientists with a high level of expertise. “Their job is to help everyone who comes in the door.”

An Orlando scientist operates the Pharmacology Core’s Tecan robot.

An important benefit of the shared infrastructure is that it helps facilitate the writing of large, collaborative grants. A group of researchers can combine and synthesize their collective knowledge with ready access to advanced technologies, magnifying results. This is one reason that the Institute is able to leverage donation dollars ten to one in the form of grants. Looking ahead, sophisticated technological resources will play a significant role in the Institute’s continued success and will take the Institute into the realm of personalized medicine, as well as other areas of discovery yet unimagined.

Federal Employees Support Sanford-Burnham In 2010, Sanford-Burnham proudly became part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), a national fundraising opportunity that allows federal employees to contribute to non-profit organizations that fit their interests. These employees are able to search a large database of groups by category and choose which they would like to support through payroll deductions. Hundreds of people from across the country selected Sanford-Burnham as their chosen recipient. Thanks to their support, the Institute has made a strong showing for an organization in its first year with the CFC. The Institute will be included in the CFC again for 2011, so if you or someone you know is employed by the federal government, please consider this convenient method of supporting medical research.

Thank you to all who donated! We look forward to your continued support.

8

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org


Upcoming UPCOMING EVENTS

July 7–10, 2011

Central Coast Wine Classic

Sanford-Burnham is honored to be named the exclusive Fund-to-Need beneficiary of this year’s Central Coast Wine Classic, held at multiple venues throughout the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo region. The Center for Nanomedicine will be in the spotlight throughout the 4-day event, which includes gourmet dinners, wine tastings and an auction of rare and fine wines. Auction proceeds will directly benefit Sanford-Burnham. To register for the Central Coast Wine Classic please call (805) 453-0259 or visit www.centralcoastwineclassic.org.

September 8, 2011

Fishman Fund Awards Ceremony and Reception Each September, the Fishman Fund Awards are given to exceptional postdoctoral researchers. The Institute’s founders, Dr. William and Lillian Fishman, understood the importance of supporting young scientific talent. The Fishman Fund honors this tradition. The reception and award ceremony will be held on our La Jolla campus. Visit www.fishmanfund.org or call (858) 646-3100 x3420 for more information.

September 22, 2011

Supporter Recognition Special Event Sanford-Burnham Lake Nona will recognize its supporters at a special event. Details will follow soon!

October 15, 2011

35th Anniversary Gala: Mining for a Cure As always, the Sanford-Burnham gala will be a one-of-a-kind event. This year’s theme will transport you to Gold Rush-era California where you might just turn up some treasure. Look for your invitation in the mail in July, or visit www.sanfordburnhamevents.org for information.

November 3, 2011

Bring It! Orlando: Game On for Medical Research!

Save the date and get ready to harness your “powers” for a “super” event at the Hard Rock Live Orlando. For more information visit www.bringitorlando.org.

Stay up-to-date about our events by following us on Twitter:

@SBI_Events.

www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

9


Recent Bring It! 2011 - LuAnn Beardmore and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford prepare to answer some rock-n-roll trivia.

Bring It! 2011 - The winning team, organized by Paul Jacobson, celebrates their victory.

Bring It! 2011 - Above: Philip Graham, Peter J. Preuss, Erin Preuss, and Kem Graham enjoy food, drinks, and DJ-ed music before the games begin. Right: Duane and Renee Roth arrive at the event amid flashing cameras.

10

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org


Events RECENT EVENTS

In April, Sanford-Burnham Trustee Stuart Tanz and his wife, Karen, hosted a “friendraiser” at New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design, to introduce new friends to the Institute.

Armi and Al Williams hosted a dinner at their home for former Fishman Fund Award winners. Pictured here are Kristi Hull, Ph.D., awardwinners Fabian Filipp, Ph.D., and Peter Teriete, Ph.D.

Dr. Dan Kelly addressed two hundred people from across the Reena Horowitz was honored at the state of Florida at Sanford-Burnham Lake Nona’s Frontiers in Salvation Army’s 2011 Women of Biomedical Science symposium in February. Dedication ceremony for her work with Sanford-Burnham and the Fishman Fund.

The Coalition for Border Prosperity enjoyed a lunch at SanfordBurnham hosted by Malin Burnham (far left). Duane Roth and Mary Walshok attended, and Dr. Ze’ev Ronai (far right) spoke to the group.

Sanford-Burnham invited former donors from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center to a reception on March 3. Malin Burnham was there to welcome guests like Reo Carr.

www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

11


External Relations Profile: Stephanie Boumediene, M.P.H. Stephanie Boumediene, M.P.H., is Vice President of External Relations in Santa Barbara. Ms. Boumediene is responsible for all aspects of the philanthropic development process for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute’s Center for Nanomedicine (CNM), while supporting the Institute’s national fundraising efforts. She works closely with Dr. Jamey Marth, Director of CNM, to achieve fundraising goals that include the acquisition of support for research as well as the focus on community awareness. Ms. Boumediene grew up in Santa Barbara, and has spent much of her career in the development/ fundraising fields supporting the international non-profit sector, holding senior management positions in the U.S. and abroad in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. She has worked as an Executive Director for an international health non-profit, as well as private consulting projects focused on public health and healthcare in the Arab Gulf States and North Africa. Prior to these positions, she worked for the United Nations in Switzerland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Office for North Africa, based in Algiers, Algeria. Most recently, Ms. Boumediene worked as a Planned Giving/ Development Officer for the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross. Ms. Boumediene holds a Master in Public Health, Health Services from UCLA, and is currently completing a Doctorate in Public Health, Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health. Ms. Boumediene welcomes interested visitors looking to tour the Center for Nanomedicine and experience the exciting nanomedicine project at the AlloSphere. Please contact Ms. Boumediene at (805) 453-0259 or sboumediene@sanfordburnham.org.

Touch Research Sanford-Burnham’s expert knowledge of human health can now be at your fingertips, thanks to a suite of new iPad applications, or “apps” that have recently been released. Our new apps have been designed exclusively for Sanford-Burnham and its supporters for use on the Apple iPad or iPad2. You will find these interactive tools both educational and entertaining. “Touch Research” allows you to view a 360-degree image of the body and some quick examples of Sanford-Burnham’s research areas that aim to improve human health. For example, the link highlighted on the neck leads to information about spinal cord research. The information is compact and easy to understand. “Cell Explorer” challenges you to look at images and guess whether they are cells of the body or famous works of art. You may be surprised at some of the similarities. You will learn just a bit about each of the cells, which represent research taking place at the Institute. Other available apps include downloadable videos and publications about the Institute, including Portal. All of the apps will be augmented and updated as time goes on, so stay tuned. To download the Sanford-Burnham apps, go to Apple’s App Store.

12

PORTAL | www.sanfordburnham.org


SCIENTISTS OF TOMORROW

In each issue of Portal we include an article written for middle school to high school-aged students. Please share this article with the youth in your life, and help us encourage the scientists of tomorrow.

Digital Science

Throughout this issue of Portal there are examples of high-tech devices that scientists use in their research. You probably use a lot of technological tools yourself, sometimes just for fun, but sometimes for learning. You can use those tools to make some scientific discoveries of your own. You probably use the internet to do homework, such as researching scientific topics. Maybe you have become really knowledgeable about a certain topic, for example, heart disease. Once you’re an expert, you can share information and ideas on a wiki—many schools have their very own wikis for this purpose, but many others exist. Or, you can show off what you know on question-and-answer sites, such as Quora or Yahoo Answers. Scientists know the importance of communicating their knowledge, so this will be good experience if you want to be a scientist someday. But you don’t have to stay stuck in front of your computer. There are numerous things to explore outdoors, and one of them might just become your next awesome science project. You could take pictures of insects or plants. Then you can go home, upload these to your computer and study them in all sorts of ways. You can enlarge your photos, zoom in, or color certain areas to make them stand out. Compare them to photos you find on the internet to help you identify different species. You can be a scientist at home, making your own discoveries. If you have a smart phone, an iPod or iPad, there are tons of apps you can use to explore science. Molecules is an app that allows you to see molecules in three dimensions and manipulate them using your fingers. Atom in a Box lets you look at atoms and their particles up close. Virtual flashcards such as Netter’s Anatomy can help you remember the names of nerves, arteries, and other parts of the body. Also, be sure to check out Sanford-Burnham’s apps, described on the facing page. This summer, switch on your curiosity and use technological tools to learn something new or to expand your knowledge about a certain subject. You can either do this on your own or bring along a parent or a friend to hear different perspectives. Tell us how else you use technology to learn science! Post your thoughts on our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/ sanfordburnham or talk to us on Twitter at @SBI_Events. www.sanfordburnham.org | PORTAL

13


Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage 10901 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037

PARTNERS IN SCIENCE

PAID

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Dr. Devanjan Sikder and Marilyn Swan Dr. Devanjan Sikder, assistant professor in the Metabolic Signaling and Disease program, recently showed Sanford-Burnham supporter Marilyn Swan around his Lake Nona lab. Marilyn has been following Dr. Sikder’s work for some time now, and has gotten to know him both as a researcher she admires and as a friend. Dr. Sikder studies the role of Orexin, a naturally occurring neuron signaling molecule in the brain, and its effects on obesity, diabetes, and cancer. “Dev has a remarkable way of making his research

Dr. Sikder shows Marilyn some of the equipment he uses in his lab.

understandable to people who don’t have a medical background,” Marilyn says. “He has such passion for his research.”


Portal - Volume 1, Number 3