Rebecca Dickinson Welch, Bill Gerwick, Martin Dickinson, and Margaret Leinen.

Cutting-Edge Scripps Research Facility Dedicated to Dickinson Foundation

Donors funded purchase of new instrument to be used for research in marine drug discovery

A recent gift from The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation to Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has supported the purchase of a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer to be used for innovative research in marine drug discovery.

The research facility in which the new instrument is housed was officially named “The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility” during a dedication ceremony held June 6 on the Scripps campus.

NMR spectrometer
The NMR spectrometer.

The NMR spectrometer is a vital tool that will enable researchers in the Scripps Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine (CMBB)—as well as other Scripps researchers—to examine the structures of molecules at high resolution. These molecules, discovered during marine drug discovery research, could present solutions for treating some of the antibiotic resistant diseases and infections facing society today.

CMBB Director Bill Gerwick spoke about the importance of this gift and how it will help Scripps remain at the forefront of marine drug discovery—particularly through gene sequencing and structural analysis of natural products derived from the sea.

“We’re deeply appreciative for what this new instrument is going to do for CMBB, our research and our training of students, and really, for the entire institution,” said Gerwick, a distinguished professor of oceanography and pharmaceutical sciences at Scripps and UC San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Scripps Director Margaret Leinen also expressed her gratitude for the donation and discussed the world-class research opportunities the NMR instrument will provide for Scripps students and other early career researchers.

“Thank you so much to the Dickinson family and to the Dickinson Foundation for your support,” said Leinen, vice chancellor of marine sciences at UC San Diego. “You have enabled Scripps and all of UC San Diego to work in a critically important area—and you have endowed that capability with the best in the world.”

In addition to the generous donation that funded the NMR instrument, the Dickinson Foundation provides first-year graduate students with one-year fellowships at Scripps, support that is critical to attracting the best and brightest students to Scripps and UC San Diego.

Rebecca Dickinson Welch and Martin Dickinson accepted the plaque from Scripps on behalf of the Dickinson Foundation.

“Our foundation has always been dedicated to the health and research in sciences, and we have just been so impressed with what you do out here at Scripps,” said Rebecca Dickinson Welch, a member of the board of Dickinson trustees. “We are so proud to be able to continue to support you, so just continue to do what you do and continue to inspire us.”

Martin Dickinson, president of the Dickinson Foundation, also spoke kind words of support at the ceremony. “We wish you the most success—although I don’t need to do that because you are successful,” he said. “We’re very privileged to be able to have contributed to this, and so I want to thank you for that.”

The NMR Facility and supporting equipment will help Scripps delve deeper into its study of human health and the oceans, a strategic initiative which also involves collaborators across campus including UC San Diego’s School of Medicine, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Moores Cancer Center, among others. 

To learn more about philanthropic opportunities at Scripps, please visit:

Related Image Gallery: NMR Dedication Ceremony

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