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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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July 9, 2014

No Scripps/USC

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Posted by Derek

The proposed Scripps/USC deal is off, according to reporters Gary Robbins and Bradley Fikes at the San Diego Union-Tribune. No details on what comes next, though - but something presumably does come next.

Comments (14) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: General Scientific News


1. on July 9, 2014 3:59 PM writes...

So the original problem still remains resolved. Who will fill up the financial black hole?

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2. enotty on July 9, 2014 8:36 PM writes...

Only UCSD makes any sense in multiple dimensions.

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3. ? on July 10, 2014 10:47 AM writes...

Why are the scientists at the institute angry at the president? They are just scientists and they should focus on their science not the administrative decisions. The most important thing for them is to get funded and the merger will probably help them get the money they need. Unfortunately, there is too much politics in science and in the mind of scientists.

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4. A on July 10, 2014 11:27 AM writes...

The problem is that UCSD doesn't need TSRI. They occasionally poach a proff from Scripps when they get tried of the soft money game, but UCSD already has Salk, SIO, and a big new building for stem cell collaboration with Sandford/Burnham. Yes TSRIs chem department is miles better than UCSD, but thats about it. Not sure thats worth 400 million a year.

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5. ESIMS on July 10, 2014 11:32 AM writes...

Only a small crowd of people with power were angry = those who fear to lose influence. I haven't encountered any bench scientist that was angry...

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6. anon on July 10, 2014 11:47 AM writes...

Why are the scientists at the institute angry at the president?

Well, without warning or discussion, he wants to merge with a school that is not even in the top 50 in any relevant research area.

Would North Carolina basketball players like to see their team and their schedule merged with that of Prairie Valley A&M?

The communication aspect is big. You could talk to Richard Lerner. Marletta? He seems like a used car salesman.

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7. bad wolf on July 10, 2014 1:16 PM writes...

Maybe Scripps didn't get the message from the recent high-level poaches and transfers, so here goes: It's a buyer's market for top-flight chemistry departments these days.

Maybe Pfizer should buy them directly?

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8. Jack Welch on July 10, 2014 2:47 PM writes...

@3 In a soft money institution, faculty pay their own salaries, and their overheads and grants pay for 86% of the budget at Scripps. They all have skin in the game. The president has not brought much in, and seems to lack the competence and good faith and proper governance of a passable CEO

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9. Go Trojans on July 10, 2014 5:15 PM writes...

@9 So you think scripps should stay that way? Why is an 86% overhead a good thing? People are condemning him for doing stuff he should be doing, raising money. Maybe instead of getting poached every year (hello Ray Stevens) they could start to make some big hires themselves. The place was starting to go to shit before Marletta even got to scripps.

@6 Lerner is a good scientist, but don't kid yourself into thinking he was a good president. By all accounts Marletta seems like a normal person (maybe this is why so many of the faculty here have a problem with him) who was only acting with direction for the board of trustees. Who gives a shit about the name? How does the science change if a different institution's name is on it?

Above all else, the professors at TSRI are afraid of changing the status quo and know that if they had a modicum of oversight they wouldn't be able to get away with half the shit they get away with now. The amount of shady shit that goes on at Scripps is truly remarkable. Every single person who actually works in the lab was in favor of this merger.

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10. George RR Martin on July 10, 2014 6:39 PM writes...

Marletta's situation is like when Jon Snow got stabbed by the rest of Night Watch at the end of book 5 of Game of Thrones

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11. a on July 11, 2014 8:31 AM writes...

The amount of shady shit that goes on at Scripps is truly remarkable. Every single person who actually works in the lab was in favor of this merger.

Tell us stories, mr trojan! We want gossip!

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12. milkshake on July 11, 2014 10:25 AM writes...

"The amount of shady shit that goes on at Scripps is truly remarkable."

I worked for Scripps Florida for 5 and half years. (The first synthetic chemist they hired). You have no idea.

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13. TSRI-SRI maybe? on July 12, 2014 12:18 PM writes...

Just a thought, but maybe SRI and TSRI can join forces? SRI seems to have a solid track record of royalty-bearing spin-offs/outs. They also have to fight off SF Area biotechs from poaching their biology and chemistry talent. Besides, TSRI is bereft of solid engineering and computer science.

@Milkshake: Maybe TSRI-FL should just merge with a "local" university. Tallahassee might as well be La Jolla. As an ironic twist, maybe the "real" Professor Taxol can join their faculty!

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14. ShadyLady on July 13, 2014 9:31 PM writes...

@3@8@9@10 Fair or not, the overwhelming majority of Scripps' faculty voted no confidence in the Marletta presidency. Although different people voted for different reasons, this in no way was an effort by a limited number of rabble rousers. Dr. Marletta is as good a scientist as there can be, but his governing style was poorly suited to the institution and the moment. I hope he gets the respect he deserves after he steps down.

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