Daily Business Report-Nov. 29, 2013
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.
“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: www.completefrida.com.
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 SanDiegoBargainMama.com. 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.
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 balboapark.org/explorer; 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