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									     B S N 
      S a n f o r d   |   B u r n h a m

Vol. 12                              Feb 2011
               Editorial commentary:
           The BUZZ got a prominent twin

Last  year,  Google  introduced  a  new  messaging  tool  named Buzz.  Strikingly,  BSN's 
newsletter The BUZZ and Google's Buzz share more than just a name. Their common 
mission is to inform the community and share updates. Without doubt, 2010 has been 
an exciting year following Buzz's perspective: Google's Buzz had to face a first lawsuit 
with subsequent $8.5 million settlement. While BSN at Sanford‐Burnham operates on 
a slightly different budget (all voluntarily), our track record is just positive compared 
to  Google's  internet  tool: The  BUZZ goes  into  its  twelfth  round  and  proudly  looks 
back to a packed schedule of BSN events. We report on the new BSN leadership, the 
nation‐wide  recognition  of  postdoctoral  efforts  and  how  this  translates  at  Sanford‐
Burnham, the 2010 Fishman Fund Award winners, several social events including the 
Chinese New Year Happy Hour, celebrating the October fest and much more.                
                                          Our       new 
                                          Kumsta  and 
                                           Wilkie,  two 
         Rachel and Caroline                 dedicated               Eric and Amy 
just  took  over  the  reins  from  Eric  Lau  and  Amy  Howes.  We’d  like  to  cordially  thank 
both Eric and Amy for all their hard work and for their dedication to BSN – after all, 
BSN  had  to  take  over  important  duties  and  responsibilities  including  career 
development, from HR, since the postdoctoral office was abandoned when Dr Huong 
Huynh left the Institute in February 2010. Thankfully, with Kathrin Keune (artsbased) 
we  found  an  ambitious  and  enthusiastic  consultant  for  us  Postdocs  (see  also 
Overview of Events) and with our strong leader team we are looking forward to an 
exciting  year  full  of  career  development  opportunities,  social  events,  and  of  course 
many  scientific  events,  including  the  Outstanding  Scientist  Seminar  and  the  Annual 
Poster Symposium. Stay tuned! 
We hope you will enjoy the latest issue of The BUZZ! 
Melanie M. Hoefer, Stefan Grotegut, Fabian V. Filipp 
The BUZZ Editors 

            Contents of The BUZZ No.12



Editorial                              1
The BUZZ No. 12 Contents               2
Overview of BSN events                 3-5
2009 Annual Poster Symposium           6-7
Interview with the new BSN chair       8-11
Halloween 2009                         12
Brewery and Winery Tour                13
Lunar New Year Happy Hour              14
Career Development: Consulting         15
Sam’s Movie Nights                     16
Postdoc Appreciation Day               17
In memoriam: Mary Bradley              18
Fishman Fund Award Winners             19-20
Halloween 2010 – Party Boat            21
2010 Annual Poster Symposium           22
Acknowledgments                        23

BSN list of latest and future events


Oct 24: W ine & Beer Tasting Tour

Nov 20: Poster Sym posium at The Catamaran Resort
           H otel; Key Note Lecture: Dr. Ronald Evans

Oct 24: Fam ily H allow een party with Bouncing Castle
           for the kids

Dec 16:    Buzz Vol. 11 published


Feb 12: BSN poster session at “Frontiers in Biomedical
          Science 2010” sym posium in Lake Nona

Feb 26: BSN H appy H our ‘Lunar New Year’

M ar 22: Ski Trip to Big Bear

Apr 14: Paintball trip to Ramona - cancelled

Apr 17 : BSN at the O pera: La Traviata incl. backstage tour

Apr 23: BSN Annual Vendor Show with Happy Hour

M ay 16: BSN M ovie Night - Cinema under the Stars:

June: BSN sponsored Soccer W orld Cup

July: M itochondrial Research Interest Group

Aug 13: BSN Sum m er H appy Hour

Aug 30: Career Developm ent Seminar: Presentation
           Skills (w ith Kathrin Keune)
Oct 7: Career Developm ent Opportunities:
         - Presentation Skills (with Kathrin Keune)
         - Sem inar w ith M cKinsey

Oct 14: BSN O ktoberfest

Oct 29: H allow een Party Boat

Nov 16: Career Developm ent Seminar: Presentation
         Skills (w ith Kathrin Keune)

Nov 19: BSN Poster Sym posium at the Bahia
         Resort, Key Note Speaker: Brian Kennedy

Nov 16: BSN W elcom e Lunch

Dec 5: BSN M ovie Night - Cinema under the
         Stars: The Big Lebowski


Jan/Feb: BUZ Z Vol. 12

Jan: BSN event planning committee meeting (if you are interested in
       attending please em ail: ckumsta@

Feb: M ardi G ras H appy H our

M ar: Poster Sym posium Lake Nona

M ar: Ski Trip

Apr: O utstanding Scientist Seminar

M ay: Corona Spa trip

M ay: M ovie Night

June: Career Developm ent Seminar

Sept: Annual Poster Sym posium

To be continued…
2009 Poster Symposium:
Burnham's scientists meet at Mission Beach to discuss
their research
                                                                          FABIAN V. FILIPP

The Burnham Science Network held the 8th Burnham Annual Poster Symposium at Mission
Beach at the beautiful Catamaran Resort Hotel. The event had a great turnout and was
supported by 25 vendors.

Ronald Evans, Howard Hughes Professor at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, started off the day by
referring to Sarah Palin's book currently scoring Nr. 1 on Amazon. In politics, you have to buy
into lobbies—as a molecule you are integrated into a complex
signaling network. During his key note, Evans asked about the                "Everything is
magic link between physiology and circadian rhythms: "We should              About
think of both as the same, since both are self regulating, adaptive,         Metabolism."
re-occurring process, and must reset themselves every day." Given
this close connection, Evans came back to Palin's unexpected
success as writer, and told the audience that he will call his next book "Everything is about
metabolism." In fact, even behavior has a metabolic, physiological and circadian basis." On a
molecular level, circadian clocks work with feedback loops.
An accelerator is working while a repressor is pushing the brake at the time. Such a system
will show periodic behavior and build a molecular clock. Evans introduces hormones as
controlling regulators of these networks. Hormone will change amplitudes and periods of the
rhythmic waves and by that cause a certain physiological behavior. Interestingly, messing
around with such important regulators will have devastating consequences—at a molecular
level as well as shift worker. Eating when you want to sleep, being forced to sleep when you
want to be awake is enough to increase your basic glucose levels and resistance against
insulin, eventually circadian disruption highly increases the risk for obesity.

The day at the Catamaran hotel
was all about the science at
Burnham.        More   than     80
researchers had submitted their
abstract to be presented this year.
Out of this large pool Miklos
Bekes, Wenqing Cai, Flavio
Cimadamore, Joseph Mazar, Misa
Suzuki, and Mingjun Zhang were
selected to present their research
to their colleagues.

Joseph Mazar, from the Burnham Lake Nona site in Florida, also received the prize for the
best presentation. He tries to identify micro RNAs as biomarker in human melanoma.

Melanoma is a disease of anomalous differentiation in melanocytes. Joseph postulated that
biological products expressed during tumorigenesis contribute to melanoma pathogenesis.
Identification of these products may lead to novel diagnostic biomarkers as well as to new
therapeutic targets. He explained, "In order to find out whether your target miRNA is relevant
we had a look at patient samples. Many affected target genes turned out to have a common
roles in metastatic migration or tissue invasion."

                                  Before the lectures, Evans joined Burnham's postdoctoral and
  "After 5 Years of               graduate students for career and mentoring session. He gave
  ‘Postdocking’,                  the young scientists the following advice, "We are very good
  Your Training                   at getting scientific projects started. However, very much like
  Period is Over."                in chess, the hard part is to end the game—similar to
                                  wrapping up a scientific story!" Evans talked about the hiring
process, "I go for people and I want to get to know them. I never stipulate that they have to
bring in funding, although I appreciate that of course. I'm seeking for strategic people." Evans
recommends, "As a postdoc you need to move up in time. It is one thing to being in a firm,
running the business is a whole different story.
After 5 years of postdocking, your training period is over. After that period, maintaining
funding and getting a faculty appointment will be increasingly challenging." In science the
currency is publications. Evans explains, "A Ph.D. opens up lots
of different career opportunities. You can move in and out of             "In Science,
science, if you keep on publishing. You have to be strategic if           Writing often
you want to keep the flexibility and mobility in every stage of your      freshens up your
career." He comes back to the postdoc application process, "I             Perspective and
am looking for people and for quality. Good people will be able to        tells You if You
tackle almost every technique they are challenged with. It comes          are at the Fore
back to being proactive. Do you ask critical questions that make          Front of a Field."
you stand out? Young investigators will find opportunities were it
is not safe! Evans recommend every postdoc to write at least
one review during their time, "In science, writing often freshens up your perspective and tells
you if you are at the fore front of a field."

Caroline Kumsta and Rachel Wilkie 
at helm of BSN Sanford‐Burnham 
Interview  with  the  Burnham  Science  Network  Chairs 
reveals goals for 2011 

(Interview conducted by Fabian V. Filipp) 



The Buzz: Why do you think is it important for young 
scientists to get organized in a science network like BSN? 

Caroline Kumsta: I think it is important to be involved in the community. It will not only increase your 
awareness of current events and changes at the Institute but it also gives you a chance to shape the 
experience that you have at your workplace. 

Rachel Wilkie: Absolutely right. The more people that get involved the easier it is to make changes 
happen. Our network facilitates the opportunity for young researchers to organize the activities that 
they want and need to increase their scientific knowledge, skills, and network so that they can leave 
Sanford‐Burnham equipped to make an impact on the scientific community. 
                                                                           “We will continue ensuring that
                                                                           the voice of postdocs is heard by
                                                                           Sanford-Burnham administration
The Buzz: What are your goals for BSN for 2011?                            and their needs met.”

Rachel  Wilkie:  We  will  continue  ensuring  that  the  voice  of  postdocs  is  heard  by  Sanford‐Burnham 
administration and their needs met. Our annual poster symposium has made quite an impact over the 
past  decade.  The  Institute  will  celebrate  its  35th  Anniversary  this  year,  a  great  opportunity  to  join 
efforts  with  Sanford‐Burnham's  leadership  to  set  national  standards  in  advanced  postdoctoral 

Caroline  Kumsta:  In  2010,  the  HR  department  underwent  fundamental  restructuring.  During  this 
process  the  Office  for  Postdoctoral  Affairs  unfortunately  got  lost.  There  is  a  strong  need  for  re‐
establishing postdoctoral services and commitment to excellence in training, education, and research. 
Postdoctoral Fellows make a vital contribution to Sanford‐Burnham's success by generating new ideas 

                                                       - 8 -
and  publishing  research  results.  Currently,  our  postdoctoral  association  has  taken  over  the  task  to 
bridge and communicate between researchers and administration. One of the most important issues 
                                                      that we have been trying to resolve is the fellowship 
    “There is a strong need for re-establishing
    postdoctoral services and commitment to           penalty*. In addition, it is also important to increase 
    excellence in research, education, and
                                                      the presentation skills and networking opportunities 
                                                      for young scientists. 

Rachel Wilkie: Sanford‐Burnham is ranked one of the world's top organizations for the impact of its 
research publications. Therefore, mentoring by the PIs at Sanford‐Burnham can help guide postdocs 
to  acquire  the  skills  and  produce  high  impact  publications  necessary  to  establish  an  independent 
career. Particularly in 2011, there will be a concerted effort to provide more workshops that will help 
to develop writing, oral presentation, leadership, and budgeting skills which are all important for the 
transition from postdoc to independent investigators, industry, or teaching. 


The Buzz: Why is the Burnham Science Network special?             “The Poster Symposium motivated me to
                                                                  [...] contribute to a stimulating work
Caroline  Kumsta:  During  the  2009  Poster  Symposium,          environment.”

about three months into my fellowship at the Institute, I got to know a lot of different people. Today, 
many of these colleagues are friends or collaborators, or both! The event motivated me to attend BSN 
meetings, be part of the Institute's active group, and contribute to a stimulating work environment. 

Rachel Wilkie: Some of the events that have stuck to my mind were BSN's 10 year Anniversary Happy 
Hour. Despite the drizzle, there was a huge turnout and we celebrated the decade of hard work by 
the organization with a live band. It is great to hear that our efforts are recognized even outside our 
institutional  boundaries.  Seeing  how  well  Nobel  Prize  Winner  Dr.  Roger  Tsien  related  to  the 
Postdoctoral community during the BSN Outstanding Scientist Seminar was super inspiring. 


The Buzz: How did the experience to be at the helm of the Burnham Science Network influence your 
Postdoctoral perspective? 

Caroline  Kumsta:  Taking  responsibility  as  chair  of  BSN  increased  my  exposure  to  the  scientific 
community.  Having  worked  at  the  University  of  Michigan,  Northwestern  University  and  now  the 

                                                     - 9 -
Sanford‐Burnham  Institute  has  taught  me  the  importance  of  a  collaborative  scientific  environment. 
Creating and maintaining collaborative relationships and being involved in the scientific community is 
for me the real perk of being a part of BSN.  

Rachel  Wilkie:  Helen  Keller,  deaf  blind  author  and  role    “You can’t       build an       outstanding
model,  said  once:  “Alone  we  can  do  so  little;  together    environment       without       exceptional
we  can  do  so  much.”  You  can’t  build  an  outstanding 
environment without exceptional people. The Burnham Science Network needs you, and so does the 
Institute.  Coming  from  the  small  country  of  New  Zealand  it  was  quite  intimidating  interviewing  at 
SBMRI with its outstanding reputation. As soon as I arrived at Burnham, I became involved with BSN 
helping  out  wherever  I  could  and  planned  happy  hours  and  weekend  excursions.  Looking  back,  I 
learned that many of the skills that I acquired in my sport organization back home, easily translated 
into planning scientific and social events. Today, communicating my research through lay publications 
or speaking in front of an audience is a fun experience. 

Caroline Kumsta: ‘Postdocking’ in the US has been a tremendous experience for me. Mentoring and 
preparation for leadership are the two most important components of advanced training at Sanford‐
Burnham. Postdocs drive innovative research and are key to high impact publications. In the US, the 
acceptance  of  junior  faculty  is  much  higher,  compared  to  German  universities  where  I  did  my 
undergraduate  research.  There,  the  patriarchic  system  can  delay  your  scientific  adolescence  and 
dependence.  Scientific  independence  of  course  comes  at  the  price  of  financial  pressure;  and  so 
training in grantsmanship is key to survival as junior PI. I have also followed the Institute’s mission of 
embracing  collaboration,  and  work  closely  together  with  two  different  labs  here.  It  is  a  rewarding 
experience  to  combine  different  sub‐specialties  and 
expertise to focus on a common scientific goal. 
                                                                   “Being an active part of our Science
                                                                   Network gives you a head start into
The Buzz: What recommendations do you have for young 
                                                                   your career as an independent
scientists at Sanford‐Burnham?                                     scientist.”

Rachel  Wilkie:  Sanford‐Burnham’s  breadth  of  talented  faculty  and  excellent  collaborative 
environment  make  it  possible  for  Postdoctoral  Fellows  to  gain  experience  in  fields  that  may  not  be 
strictly  related  to  their  primary  area  of  research.  Also,  having  so  many  world  renowned  research 
centers and universities within a few miles radius you can find and speak to an expert in almost any 

                                                      - 10 -
field you desire making San Diego a unique Mecca for Science. 

Caroline Kumsta: The concept of scientific collaboration is strongly reflected in our work with BSN. An 
academic  career  includes  many  non‐scientific  commitments,  such  as  hosting  guest  scientists, 
committee  services,  organizing  seminar  series,  as  well  as  mentoring  students  and  managing 
interdisciplinary  projects.  Being  an  active  part  of  our  Science  Network,  you  are  already  heavily 
exposed to many of these aspects giving you a head start into your career as an independent scientist. 


The Buzz: Thank you for this interview! 


*)  Editorial  Note:  The  fellowship  penalty  describes  the  circumstance  that  the  stipends  Postdocs 
    receive  from  NIH  or  other  sources  are  classified  as  unearned  income.  As  the  PI  or  the  Institute 
    often  is  not  supplementing,  the  consequences  are  that  Postdocs  are  not  allowed  to  obtain  the 
    same benefits as other employees, e.g. any IRA or SBMRI‐sponsored retirement programs or the 
    Institute’s  life  insurance  coverage.  Since  no  FICA  fees  are  paid,  they  are  also  not  contributing 
    towards  their  social  security  account  and  are  not  eligible  for  EDD‐sponsored  paid  family  or 
    maternity leave although providing their own income. 



In the next issue, The Buzz talks to George Kyriazis, founder and chair of BSN at Lake Nona. 


                                                       - 11 -
BSN Winery and Brewery Tour 2009 
By Fabian V. Filipp 
The Burnham Science Network chose a sunny October weekend to 
explore  one  of  North  County  San  Diego's  best‐kept  secrets.  The 
Bernardo  Winery  is  San  Diego's  oldest  operating  winery.  In  1889 
Sicilians  came  to  the  San  Bernardo  Rancho  area  to  establish 
vineyards  and  olive  tree  gardens.  Similar  to  an  antique  Italian 
village,  around  the  winery  grounds  there  are  small  hand  craft 
shops, housing works by original and unique artists in San Diego.  
                                                          Within the charming feel of the romantic winery the 
                                                          Burnhamites  sampled  culinary  delights  and  selected 
                                                      San  Diego  is  home  to  more  than  two  dozen  local 
                                                      breweries.  For  our  tasting  tour  we  picked  the  Lost 
                                                      Abbey  Brewery  and  the  Stone  Brewing  Co.,  both 
                                                      located  in  San  Marcos.  The  Lost  Abbey  is  a  true 
                                                      microbrewery with hand brewed and limited releases 
                                                      of  specialty  beers.  The  spicy,  smoky,  malty,  even 
                                                      chocolatey tastes of the Lost Abbey Ales blur the lines 
between beer, liquor and wine making. Each beer is brewed and barreled to a unique makeup. During 
a  private  tour  through  the  brew  house  and  bottling  facility,  we  learned  that  the  approximately  100 
aged barrels are tapped, tasted, and released on a “when‐they‐are‐ready” basis. 
The  Stone  Brewing  World  was  voted  many 
times  best  brewery  in  San  Diego.  Its  mascot, 
the gargoyle, wards off modern day evil spirits 
such  as  chemical  preservatives,  additives,  and 
adjuncts.  We  had  the  chance  to  visit  the  large 
scale  high‐tech  fermenters  that  produce  50,000 
                                                     gallons  of  beer  every  day  using  only  the  four  basic 
                                                     ingredients,  water,  malt,  hops,  yeast.  In  the  tasting 
                                                     room  we  experienced  Southern  California's 
                                                     interpretation  of  the  classic  British  pale  ale  style,  the 
                                                     Stone Pale Ale. In contrast to this deep amber colored 
                                                     yet  still  light  in  taste  beer,  the  Arrogant  Bastard  kept 
                                                     the  promise  of  its  name  –  its  belligerent  happiness 
                                                     creates a mordant dark amber monster. If you missed 
                                                     that  experience,  the  only  way  to  find  out  what  that 
                                                     means is to taste one yourself!
                                                 The  Bounce  Bus  toured  the  happy  crowd  through  the 
whole tour. The Burnhamites started seated and arrived dancing. The tasting was a fun and unique 
experience for all participants and will hopefully be repeated soon again. 

Lunar New Year Happy Hour 
                                                                                      By Amy Howes 
                                                                     One  mission  of  the  graduate 
                                                                     student  and  postdoc  network 
                                                                     (BSN)  is  to  bring  the  SBMRI 
                                                                     community  together  for  social 
                                                                     networking.  At  the  Lunar  New 
                                                                     Year  Happy  Hour,  on  February 
                                                                     26th,  this  mission  was  definitely 
                                                                     accomplished.  Scientists  and  non‐
                                                                     scientists alike turned out to enjoy 
                                                                     the  sandwiches,  fruit,  veggies, 
                                                                     chips, and drinks provided by BSN. 
                                                                     The  line  for  food  stretched  the 
length of Chairmen’s Hall for more than an hour, but there were plenty of refreshments for all 
patient  attendees!  The  festivities  continued  until  “closing  time.”  To  celebrate  the  start  of  the 
new lunar year, The Year of the Tiger, everyone received a red envelope with a surprise inside. 
Sometimes  that  was  a  piece  of 
Chinese  candy;  other  times  that 
was  a  pair  of  movie  tickets!  It 
seemed  that  most  people 
received  what  the  organizers  of 
BSN intended – an enhancement 
in  the  day‐to‐day  life  of  the 
postdoc  or  grad  student  – 
whether it be through free food, 
drinks,  a  time  to  relax,  or  a 
chance  to  meet  co‐workers. 
Special  thanks  to  Rachel  Wilkie 
and Sam Reed for organizing the 
wonderful event, and to all those 
BSN members who helped with set‐up and clean up! If you are interested in making more of 
these happy hour events a reality, check out our new BSN page on the internal website under 
the Academic Support tab and attend an organizing meeting. We’d love to welcome you to the 
group!  Most  importantly,  we  look  forward  to  seeing  ALL  of  you  again  at  the  next  BSN  Happy 
Hour and other BSN‐organized events! May this year bring you even more success! 

Career Development: The world of business and consulting is seeking
savvy scientists
                                                                                      By Fabian V. Filipp

A Ph.D. prepares you for more than just a career at the bench. Strategic thinking, the ability to navigate an
unknown setting, and finding an optimal solution are attractive assets in the world of business. The
Burnham Science Network invited Andreas Bermig, Ph.D. and Johannes Steegmann, Ph.D. from the
German consulting firm McKinsey to give hands-on advice on how to transition into consulting.

Bermig pointed out: "Only 50% of our people have a
business background. McKinsey has a history of
developing and retaining its employees. Every new
consultant has 5-9 weeks of training in the first 2
years.” Work in consulting requires the ability to
quickly grasp new topics and to approach them in an
analytical and structured way ― this is usually also the
approach a scientist takes. For Ph.D. level scientists,
consulting provides a possibility to gain first hand
experience in the business world with a huge variety of topics from all industries (e.g. consumer goods or
pharma) to all functions (e.g. strategy or marketing) in an international setting. McKinsey offers later stage
scientists to start as experienced hire with an advanced degree background ― which is usually as Associate
Consultant. Steegmann illustrated a typical workweek: “Working closely together with our clients is key to
a successful project. During the week we usually spend a great amount at the client's site doing interviews,
workshops, or joint problem solving session. Friday is our home office day to complete analyses and

The seminar was a great success; the two guests from Munich got exactly three slides into their presentation
before they were stormed by questions. The event turned into a networking hour including more than 40
German scientists from Sanford-Burnham, Salk, TSRI, UCSD and USD. Everybody agreed on many
fruitful parallels between the world of science and business. A leader in both, science or business, has to cut
a project to advance the overall goal; a leader has to achieve sustained success with limited resources but
most importantly a leader has provide a vision for his team.

McKinsey is constantly looking for new consultants with a savvy mind. Similar opportunities exist within
the US office ― please check for further information.

                                                                                       A BRIEF HISTORY OF
[Lights,_Camera_-_Happy_Hour!]                                                          MOTION PICTURES
                                                                                1891: Edison Laboratories invents the
Motion pictures were invented in      Way back in 2010 (the year we
the 1890s as a convenient, mostly     made contact), BSN started hosting        1927: Warner Bros. ushers in the new
painless way for large groups to      movie nights at Cinema Under the          era of ‘talking pictures’ with its release
                                                                                of The Jazz Singer. By the end of
avoid thinking about their personal   Stars. Much as the U.S.                   the decade, all Hollywood
problems or examining their           Government subsidizes the price of        productions feature sound.
socioeconomic plight. Cinema's        Twinkies to chemically castrate poor
effectiveness as a legalized opiate   people, BSN subsidizes your cost          1950s: Cinemas introduce the
for the masses is second only to      to hang out at Cinema Under the           ‘widescreen’ format in an attempt to
television.                           Stars!                                    compete with television.

By far, the single greatest advance                                             1970s: The phenomenal success of
in the history of film came when       FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICE, YOU         Jaws and Star Wars signals the rise
                                      GET A MOVIE, DRINKS & SNACKS, AND         of the modern ‘blockbuster.’
Doug Yeagley began showing
                                      A CONVINCING SIMULACRUM OF
movies on the outdoor patio                                                     1980s: Movie studios try to legally
                                      HUMAN SOCIAL INTERACTION.
behind his hair salon in Mission                                                ban home ownership of VCRs as a
Hills. Though insignificant when                                                 ‘violation of copyright.’
compared to the size of the           We'll be hosting more movie
Universe or Russell Crowe's ego,      nights next year, and we look             1990s: Robot actors gain legitimacy
movie buffs consider Cinema           forward to seeing you there! No           when David Duchovny lands a starring
Under the Stars to be the             hour of life is wasted that is spent in   role in The X-files, blazing the trail for
awesomest place on Earth.                                                       such tinseltown droids as Acting Unit
                                      a zero-gravity recliner, watching
                                                                                0.8, Thespomat, and Calculon.
                                      mindless entertainment and stuffing
                                      empty calories into your face.            2000s: Computer Generated Imagery
                                                                                ruins everything.

                        When adjusted for inflation:                            In the 1920s, Hollywood produced an
                        • Gone with the Wind is the highest grossing movie      average of 800 feature films per year.
                        ever released (Star Wars is a close second).
                        • John Williams composed the music for 40% of the
                                                                                Mac and Me is the worst movie ever
                        top 20 highest-grossing films of all time.
                                                              [1]               made.
                        • Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window earned more at
       FUN FACTS        the box office than Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    N ational Postdoc Appreciation
       Day at Sanford - Bur nham
      Medical Research Institute
           September 20 th and 21 st , 2010

- Postdoctoral Fellows are appreciated locally, and recognized nationally -

In honor of the 2nd National Postdoc Appreciation Event, the Sanford-Burnham
Community Support Office, Sherri Marinovich, together with the Human Recourse
team invited all Postdocs for a delicious barbecue lunch in Chairman’s Hall and
outside patio. Highly committed faculty members, including Profs. Bill Stallcup, Carl
Ware, and Guy Salvesen devotedly served the delicious meals and drinks. One day
later, Postdocs at SBMRI Lake Nona received a similar special treatment with Profs.
Daniel Kelly, Bjorn Tyrberg, Tod Gulick, and Zhen Jiang showing appreciation. The
SBMRI Postdocs are grateful for the recognition and thankful to all who planned,
hosted, and participated in the National Postdoc Appreciation Event at the Sanford-
Burnham Medical Research Institute. Across the nation, there were 141 events at 87
institutions in 31 states ─ more than twice than at the inaugural event last year.

Great news came only a few days after
the event: on September 23, 2010 the BSN Sanford-Burnham and all of the
U.S. House of Representatives passed Postdoc community would like to thank
H.RES. 1545! This resolution nationally the faculty and administration at the
recognizes the accomplishments and Institute for your support and creativity
contributions Postdocs make for in making this National Postdoc
innovation and research and also Appreciation Event a wonderful and
recognizes their career development and memorable experience for us!
other professional needs. It thus
officially supports the designation of ‘‘National Postdoc Appreciation Week’’.

Mark your calendar for 2011 ─ the next National Postdoc Appreciation Week will
take place from September 19-23!

                                                 Fabian V. Filipp and Stefan Grotegut



Do you know the woman behind the Bradley
Innovation Plaza at our Institute’s La Jolla site?
                                                     Lillian Fishman at the opening ceremony 
                                                     of Bradley Innovation Plaza 

                                     Mary Bradley was a great cheerleader for science
                                     and one of our most enthusiastic advocates. She
                                     knew very well that postdocs carry the bulk of the
                                     workload in the lab, and never ceased to show
                                     and express her amazement and admiration for
                                     the work we do. Together with her friends Lillian
                                     Fishman and Reena Horowitz, she founded the
                                     Fishman Fund to support outstanding postdocs.

                                     Mary had quite an exciting life: Born in Chicago,
                                     she inherited part of the renowned Florsheim Shoe
                                     Company. She was married four times (among her
                                     husbands was the famous actor-singer Allan
                                     Jones who starred in several film musicals) and
       Lillian, Mary and Reena       was a very famous figure in thoroughbred racing
                                     circles, with her best-known horse, Cougar II.

Despite this, Mary remained humble, never interested in
talking about her past. Whenever I met with her, she was
always eager to hear about the newest advances in science in
general, and learn about my own research. Although she had
no formal scientific education, she proved very knowledgeable
and well informed. Mary always asked just the right questions
– in fact, it would have been very stimulating to share a bench
with her ! She is a real loss for the Sanford-Burnham
Institute, especially for the postdoc community.

Mary Elizabeth Florsheim Bradley, 90 years of age, passed away on Friday, February 5,
2010, at her home in Rancho Santa Fe. She was buried next to her late husband,
Robert Bradley, in Los Angeles on February 11, 2010.

I know many of us deeply miss her remarkable personality. What remains for us leaving
behind, is to cherish our memories of Mary - she was such a wonderful person!

 Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellows honored in 2010
 Fishman Fund Award Ceremony
                                                       Fabian V. Filipp and Melanie M. Hoefer

Taking the step from a postdoctoral scholar towards an independent lab leader does not
happen over night. Both, mentorship and institutional support are required to translate ideas
into reality. Leadership training, grantsmanship, communication in cross-disciplinary teams,
conference participation, business skills, industry partnerships are resources that can
leverage a future career in biomedical sciences.
Having realized the need for advanced
postdoctoral training and career development,        The Fishman Fund seeks to provide
the Fishman Fund was initiated almost ten years
ago in honor of Dr. William and Lillian Fishman,               assistance for outstanding
the founders of the La Jolla Cancer Research
Foundation, now Sanford-Burnham Institute.
                                                     postdoctoral fellows as they provide
Each year postdoctoral scholars at Sanford-         their professional development and
Burnham are invited to submit their applications
                                                      advance their training to become
for the Fishman Fund Award. This award
recognizes the postdocs’ commitment to basic                    accomplished scientists.
biomedical research and furthers their education
and career development. From a large pool of
applications, Drs. David Castro, Stefan Grotegut,
George Kyriazis, Gaurav Sharma, and Sachie Yamaji were selected as winners of the 2010
Fishman Fund Award for Postdoctoral Career Development. Their personal career goals and
research excellence convinced the selection committee consisting of Drs. Eva Engvall, Craig
Hauser and Martin Denzel, to honor them as outstanding postdoctoral fellows:

                                                            From left to right: David Castro, Stefan
                                                            Grotegut, Reena Horowitz, Malin
                                                            Burnham, George Kyriazis, and Gaurav

Dr. David Castro studies cancer stem cells, a new class of tumor initiating cells. His strategy
is to re-program cancer cells by instructing the stem cells to differentiate into benign, non-
tumorigenic cells.
Dr. Stefan Grotegut is interested in protein ubiquitination, a process that marks proteins for
degradation and helps to maintain cellular homeostasis. In the context of cancer, clearing
cells of excessive or malfunctioning proteins is critical and can contribute to severe
Dr. George Kyriazis from Sanford-Burnham Lake Nona, has discovered a novel way to
stimulate insulin secretion in pancreatic endocrine cells. This mechanism will unveil
therapeutic approaches to manage type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Gaurav Sharma uses drug-loaded nanoparticles to target tumor-associated
macrophages, white blood cells that promote tumor progression and metastasis. He is
approach using nanotechnology is particularly promising to develop novel anti-cancer
Dr. Sachie Yamaji studies DNA damage in the context of virally induced liver cancer. She
found a way to abrogate the self-renewing capacity of liver cells, promising to replace organ
transplantation, which currently is the only cure of the disease.

On September 14,
2010, the Award
Ceremony was held
at    the     Fishman
Auditorium, followed
by a reception in
Chairmen’s        Hall.
Reena Horowitz and
Malin        Burnham
hosted the event and
Drs. John Reed and
Randall         Woods
(Fishman          Fund
Advisory         Board
Member) introduced
the audience to the
the Fishman Fund and how postdocs contribute to the research conducted at the Institute.
Finally, the winners were announced and given the opportunity to present their career goals
and research. New this year, an additional award was given to Dr. Stefan Grotegut: he also
received the Founders Prize, presented in honor of Mary Bradley, Reena Horowitz, and
Jeanne Jones.

                                  Ship Ahoy!
                                                      By Caroline Kumsta

The annual Halloween party organized by BSN took us for the first time off the
Sanford-Burnham campus. Clowns, skeletons, princesses and vampires lined up at
8:30 pm to get onto the Point Loma vessel for appetizers, drinks, music and a
                              tremendous view of the San Diego Harbor. The
                              party boat had three passenger decks, a full
                              bar and
                              floor on
                              the lower
                              deck was

                                entertained by a live DJ and packed with dancing
                                sailors and pirates. The most creative disguises
                                were rewarded with best costume prizes: They
were given to Che Guevara (best male), the homemade Broccoli costume (best
female) and the Super Mario Bros characters (best group). There was a tremendous
turnout and everyone had a fantastic time! If you missed it – come and join us for
the 2011 Halloween Party!

The scientific community of Sanford-Burnham comes together at the
2010 BSN Poster Symposium
                                                        By Caroline Kumsta and Fabian V. Filipp

This year's BSN Poster Symposium took
place at the Bahia Resort Hotel at
Mission Bay on November 19th. The
annual event thrives to connect the
whole scientific community at SBMRI.

As in the previous years, the day started
with a delicious brunch and lively chat
on mentoring with Dr. Brian Kennedy,
the keynote speaker for this year’s
symposium. Dr. Kennedy is the CEO of
the Buck Institute for Age Research and
has an international reputation for his
work in the basic biology of aging. In his
keynote address “TOR, translation, and
aging – targeting aging to attack disease”, he framed aging as a cause rather than
a consequence of cellular and neuronal decline. Targeting aging directly may be an effective
‘broadspectrum’ approach to improve age-related conditions including cardiovascular,
neurodegenerative, metabolic and metastatic diseases.

                                                  The late morning and early afternoon was
                                                  reserved for talks from competitively selected
                                                  young researchers; Drs. Eric Lau, Joseph
                                                  Lancman, XiangYang Xie, Ana Miletic Sedy,
                                                  Motti Gerlic, Yunchao Chang, and Gaurav
                                                  Sharma all demonstrated the innovation and
                                                  diversity that drive the science at Sanford-
                                                  Burnham. With his talk on pancreatic
                                                  progenitor cells in the model organism
                                                  zebrafish, Dr. Joseph Lancman showed how
                                                  disciplinary boundaries are dropped to
                                                  develop new strategies for diabetes therapy.
                                                  Dr. Lancman won the Best Speaker Award for
                                                  his outstanding presentation. Jochen Maurer's
Poster on patient-specific cancer stem cells and future therapeutic targets was selected as the
Best Poster.

The day ended with a relaxing happy hour to
further discuss new insights over a glass of
wine or beer. The beach resort proofed to be a
perfect venue to host the 9th BSN Symposium.
The interactive day packed with talks and over
50 posters, was a good opportunity to catch up
with the latest science at the Institute or start
new collaborations. Don’t miss out on next
years BSN Poster Symposium!

Also many thanks to Eric Lau and Rachel Wilkie!

                             Do you enjoy the BSN Happy Hours?

                                    How about The BUZZ?

                                   The Poster Symposium?

                                  The Outstanding Scientist


Contact any BSN member
or Caroline Kumsta (
or Rachel Wilkie (

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