Scripps Names UC Berkeley Chemist Marletta as New President

2/21/11Follow @xconomy

The Scripps Research Institute, one of San Diego’s leading nonprofit research institutions, has officially named UC Berkeley chemistry researcher Michael Marletta as its new incoming president.

Marletta, 60, will join the Scripps faculty on July 1, and formally take over from Richard Lerner as president on Jan. 1, 2012, Scripps said yesterday in a statement. News of the leadership switch to Marletta was first reported by Xconomy on Jan. 31.

“I am honored to be named to lead one of the premier research institutions in the world,” Marletta said in a statement.

Marletta’s research career has focused on the nexus of chemistry and biology, and he is acknowledged as a pioneer in discovering the role of nitric oxide, which plays a key role in communication between cells, Scripps said in a statement.

Scripps has grown significantly during Lerner’s 25 years at the helm. It now has more than 3,000 employees between its campuses in San Diego and Jupiter, FL, and more than 540 faculty and scientific and professional staff. Lerner told the San Diego Union-Tribune he’s stepping down because “25 years is long enough in that job, and I want to spend more time with my experiments.”

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