Scripps Research honored two of its faculty members for their outstanding service to the institute during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two honorees are Kristian Andersen, PhD, professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, and John Teijaro, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology. Each is receiving the Scripps Research Exceptional Service Award and $25,000. 

“Across the board, our faculty have performed admirably during this pandemic,” says Peter Schultz, PhD, President and CEO of the institute. “They have continued to pursue critical scientific investigations and made key discoveries in a truly challenging environment. Kristian and John, in particular, have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their service to Scripps Research and are very deserving of this recognition.” 

Shortly after the identification of an outbreak near Wuhan, China, Andersen helped the institute leadership design and implement the protocols that allowed essential scientific work on the institute’s two campuses to continue while protecting the health and safety of on-campus personnel. Andersen also became a respected advisor to local and national governments and he and his team initiated a program called SEARCH in which they applied genomics to help understand and mitigate the disease’s spread in the San Diego area. 

Teijaro and his laboratory team have been spearheading animal studies that enable the institute’s ongoing, critical research into SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind the pandemic. Due to the urgency of the situation, they have taken on additional work and produced results more rapidly than under normal circumstances. The information they are delivering to other Scripps Research faculty is helping accelerate understanding of COVID-19 as well as opening paths to developing much-needed drugs and therapeutics. 

“This past year has highlighted a very impressive collaborative effort by the entire scientific community,” says Jamie Williamson, PhD, executive vice president of Research and Academic Affairs at the institute. “And none more so than here at Scripps Research. It is my pleasure to recognize the exceptional contributions made by two of our faculty members during these extraordinary times.”