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Richard Lerner steps down as head of Scripps Research Institute

Michael Marletta to take over as president and CEO of the non-profit biomedical research organisation

Dr Richard Lerner has left his position as president and CEO of the Scripps Research Institute following 20 years in charge.

He will be replaced by Dr Michael Marletta, who moves to Scripps Research from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as chair of the department of chemistry as well as holding several other biochemistry-related roles.

Dr Michael A Marletta - Scripps Research
Dr Michael Marletta

Lerner was elected the non-profit biomedical research organisation's first president in 1991 when the institute was founded following the separation of the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic into two divisions. He had previously been head of the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic since 1987.

During his time at Scripps Research, Lerner has overseen the growth of the organisation's laboratory space in La Jolla, California, by threefold, with levels of staff also increasing from 700 to more than 3,000.

The former the California Scientist of the Year Award winner also led the launch of a Scripps campus in Florida.

The new president and CEO, Marletta, is a former recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and is described as a 'pioneer' in discovering the role of nitric oxide in communication between cells.

"I'm excited by the opportunity to advance the institute's mission, creating knowledge in the biosciences and applying that knowledge to understanding and curing human disease," he said.

"I also look forward to working with all the dynamic, committed people who make the Institute's work possible."

6th January 2012

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