The Scripps Research Institute announced Friday the appointment of chemist and long-time faculty member Peter G. Schultz as CEO and biologist Steve A. Kay, currently a dean at the University of Southern California, as president.
Schultz is director of the nearby California Institute for Biomedical Research and a successful entrepreneur who has led major drug discovery efforts in both the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Kay, a former faculty member, is dean of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at USC.
The two succeed James Paulson, who took over as acting president and CEO in August 2014 after a proposed merger with USC was abandoned and then CEO Michael Marletta resigned.
“I am delighted that Pete and Steve will assume leadership roles at TSRI,” said Dick Gephardt, chair of the board of trustees and a former majority leader of the House of Representatives. “Their shared vision of creating a unique position for the institute at the forefront of basic and translational research is tremendously exciting. I expect great things to come.”
“After 16 years on the faculty, I am delighted with the opportunity to give back to the institute in a leadership role,” said Schultz. “I have a tremendous respect for TSRI’s commitment to scientific excellence, and the collegiality and entrepreneurial spirit of the faculty. These qualities are key as we move forward into a new era of biomedical research in which TSRI will play a leadership role.”
“I welcome the opportunity to return to Scripps,” said Kay, “and to realize a vision of combining the institute’s world-class reputation in basic biological and chemical sciences with the ability to advance novel therapeutics for major unmet medical needs.”
Gephardt noted that Schultz will take the lead in developing long-term strategy and external alliances, with a focus on building “bench-to-bedside” research capabilities, while Kay will spearhead the academic and operational activities of the institute.
Schultz assumes his role immediately, while Kay will begin as president-elect as he transitions from USC. Gephardt also thanked Paulson for his service during the transition, saying, “I would like to extend my deepest thanks for his meaningful leadership during this critical transition.”
La Jolla-based Scripps Research is one of the world’s largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. The institute employs some 2,700 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL.
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