The Scripps Research Institute

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Profile of The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is a large, independent nonprofit research foundation that focuses on the biomedical sciences. Scripps Researchers are currently pursuing topics with the potential for global impact such as alcoholism, heroin addiction, and cancer. TSRI has even been ranked 1st globally for the quality and impact of its science by Nature magazine. The recent research from Scripps with the most impact has been its work with the Zika virus and HIV.

Below you will find our full overview of the Scripps Research Institute, focusing on their current research endeavors, their global impact, and recent media coverage.

Current Research

Research at TSRI generally falls within 3 categories: Life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences. It is not possible to include every line of current research underway due to the volume of that research and the lack of publicly available information. However, we have found and summarized three of the more widely published research endeavors ongoing at TSRI.

One of the avenues of research currently being examined within TSRI concerns alcoholism and, specifically, the difficulty many find in quitting. When an alcoholic quits drinking, they often experience severe stress in response to abstinence, eventually driving many to drink again. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, if the scientists are able to identify the molecular mechanism responsible for that stress response, it would allow for the development of new therapies.

Other Scripps scientists are examining another addiction related issue, although this time as it concerns heroin. In this instance, scientist Kim Janda aims to create a vaccine that will allow the body to "fight off heroin molecules" as if it were a virus.

Cancer also concerns TSRI scientists, including those currently attempting to develop a method of preventing metastasis. They were recently able to identify a protein, LTBP3, which fuels the chain reaction that allows tumors to grow new blood vessels through which cancer then spreads throughout the body.

Global impact

Evaluating the impact of TSRI's work can be difficult because the result of most research is more research. Given that, the metric most often utilized to assess the impact of a given publication is the Altmetric Attention Score. This score represents the amount of attention and citations a publication receives, with the end result being a visually appealing graphic that is displayed by publishers, authors, and research institutions.

Nature publishes an index each year of the 200 research institutions with the widest global impact. The 2017 index was led by TSRI, beating some illustrious names from around the world, including MIT and Kyoto University. The rank each institute receives is based in large part on their Altmetric Score. According to TSRI's Altmetric Scores, the areas in which they have had the greatest impact are the Zika virus and HIV. In the former, TSRI scientists identified multiple routes of the Zika virus infecting people in the United States, while in the latter, researchers have been engaged in an attempt to determine what neutralizes HIV antibodies.

Recent Media Coverage

TSRI has been featured in many media publications in just the first two months of 2018. For example, the news of their 1st rank status was found in the San Diego Union Tribune. Another story picked up by several publications concerns a recent donation the research institute received for its graduate program. The Skaggs family foundation made a donation in January of an amount that has only been reported as at least $10 million to establish fellowships for the TSRI graduate program. Furthermore, each of the studies mentioned within this overview have been picked up by major publications.


The Scripps Research Institute Exerts a great deal of impact through the research it performs. That impact is not always directly noticeable by the general public, but the media certainly takes note, as does the rest of the research community.