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Daily Business Report-Nov. 29, 2013

Daily Business Report-Nov. 29, 2013
The research involved three separate laboratory groups at The Scripps Research Institute. Shown here are key team members (left to right) Andrew Ward, Ian Wilson, Leopold Kong and Mansun Law. (Photo by Dave Freeman, courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.) 

Scientists Speed Efforts to Make

Effective Hepatitis C Vaccine

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal unexpected structural features of this protein and should greatly speed efforts to make an effective hepatitis C vaccine. The findings, which appear in today’s issue of the journal Science, focus on a protein known as E2 envelope glycoprotein.

The new picture of hepatitis C’s E2 protein, which the virus uses to infect liver cells, will aid in the design of a vaccine against the disease. (Image by Christina Corbaci, courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.)

The new picture of hepatitis C’s E2 protein, which the virus uses to infect liver cells, will aid in the design of a vaccine against the disease. (Image by Christina Corbaci, courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.)

“We’re excited by this development,” said Ian A. Wilson, a senior author of the new research with TSRI Assistant Professors Mansun Law and Andrew B. Ward. “It has been very hard to get a high resolution structure of E2 and it took years of painstaking work to finally accomplish that.”

Any successful hepatitis C vaccine is likely to target the E2 protein. Scientists already have isolated rare antibodies from patients that can bind E2 in ways that neutralize a broad range of viral strains.

“It took our team six years to crack this very difficult scientific problem, but we didn’t give up,” said Law. “Now that we can visualize the structural details of these binding sites, we can design vaccine molecules that mimic them.”

There has long been an urgent need for an effective vaccine against hepatitis C virus. Once confined to isolated geographical regions, the virus spread globally during the 20th century, chiefly via blood transfusions, unsterilized medical instruments and re-used hypodermic needles. Although hospitals have screened blood products for hepatitis C virus since the early 1990s, as many as 200 million people currently are thought to harbor the virus. These include more than 3 million people in the United States, where the virus is responsible for more deaths each year than HIV.


Interim Mayor Appoints Three Deputy COOs

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria has appointed three deputy chief operating officers who will each oversee the management of related departments. Tony Heinrichs will oversee public works, Jeff Sturak, internal operations, and Ron Villa, neighborhood services.  The appointments are effective Dec. 9.

Heinrichs is responsible for directing and coordinating managerial activities of the public works business center, which includes several departments, including Environmental Services, public utilities and public works, among others.

Sturak will be responsible for managing several sectors, including analytics and performance management, communications and human resources.

Villa will oversee the Commission for Arts & Culture, Development Services, Library, Park & Recreation, and the Department of Planning, Neighborhoods, and Economic Development.

 ‘Frida Kahlo’ Exhibit Producers Clarify Use of Replicas

Addressing concerns that the producers of “The Complete Frida Kahlo” exhibition in San Diego have not made it clear enough to the public that the paintings in the exhibition are replicas, they have added copy at the entrance of the exhibition, in the exhibition catalog, and in print ads.

The production team behind the exhibition, Global Entertainment Properties, which has overseen the production of marketing materials since its inception, has worked diligently from the beginning to inform the public of the nature of the exhibit, said Delle Willett, public relations consultant for the exhibit. In all other materials, it is stated that the paintings in the exhibition are replicas, hand-painted by master artists, Willett said.

The idea of using replicas to show the entire work of Frida Kahlo proved to be extraordinarily well-received over the five years that the exhibition was on display at the Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund in Baden-Baden, Germany, according to Martin Biallas, producer of the exhibition. “We are honored to have secured this fantastic collection of replicas allowing an experience unlike any other,” said Biallas. “Frida Kahlo’s original paintings are either in museums, private collections or lost. So these replicas, painted by masters, create the opportunity to see all of her work in a single place.”

“The Complete Frida Kahlo” is on display at NTC Liberty Station in Barracks 3 through Jan. 19. For more information:


J. Walcher Communications Adds Account Executive

Jenna Brossman has joined J. Walcher Communications as account executive. The agency also announced the promotions of Sandy Young to account supervisor and Ashley Shafer to assistant account executive. Brossman previously worked as an account executive at Cook + Schmid, where she managed multiple large-scale events, and worked at the Hotel del Coronado assisting with marketing initiatives. She earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.

Sandy Young has managed multiple accounts for the firm. She was a freelance writer for media outlets and  a columnist for She is secretary of the board of the Public Relations Society of America, San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter.

Ashley Shafer has been with the agency since 2012, assisting with the management and coordination of public and community relations for local and national accounts.


Balboa Park Explorer pass

Balboa Park Explorer pass


Explore Many Balboa Park Museums With Just One Pass

There’s an artsy way to walk off that turkey dinner: Head to Balboa Park and stroll through a bunch of museums. This would be costly, except for the new Balboa Park Explorer Pass. It gives pass holders unlimited admission all year long to 17 of the park’s museums and attractions.

The pass costs $129 for an individual and $199 for families with up to four kids. There is a senior/student price of $99. Families can hop from the Timken to the Mingei to the Model Railroad Museum without paying each admission price.

The pass went on sale this month and can be purchased at the Balboa Park Visitor Center and at a handful of museums. It is also available online at; or you can call (619) 239-0512.

The following museums are participating in the Balboa Park Explorer program:

Centro Cultural de la Raza

Japanese Friendship Garden

Mingei International Museum

Museum of Photographic Arts

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

San Diego Air and Space Museum

San Diego Art Institute-Museum of the Living Artist

San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum

San Diego History Center

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Museum of Man

San Diego Natural History Museum

The San Diego Museum of Art

Timken Museum of Art

Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

World Beat Center

— KPBS report

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: