Daily Business Report — Dec. 8, 2014
Researcher Liron Bar-Peled in a laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute.
Scripps Researcher Wins Top
Award for Young Scientists
A young scientist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla has won a prestigious, $25,000 prize for his work on how mammalian cell size is influenced by its environment.
Liron Bar-Peled was named the 2014 grand prize winner of the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, which recognizes innovative research by early-career scientists.
The prize is administered by four universities in Sweden, and Bar-Peled will receive the award in Stockholm on Tuesday.
In his grand-prize winning essay, Bar-Peled tries to answer a fundamental question in the area of cell and developmental biology: how eukaryotic cell growth is regulated by the environment.
The essay, “Size does matter,” was published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.
He highlights how multicellular organisms rely on cues from their environment to dictate cell size, and he describes how he and his colleagues studied the ways by which the mTORC1 signaling pathway — a master regulator of eukaryotic cell growth — can sense stimuli in its environment.
His team revealed that several mTORC1 components become mutated in certain human diseases, ranging from a primary immune disorder to glioblastoma and ovarian cancers. Their findings provide a better understanding of such diseases, and they may eventually be used to identify new ways of diagnosing and treating them.
— Times of San Diego
Ten-Building Office Complex in
Rancho Bernardo Sold for $22 Million
Parallel Capital Partners has completed the $22 million sale of One Technology Place, a 10-building, 152,730-square-foot office complex on 11.76 acres at 10905-10949 Technology Place in Rancho Bernardo. The property was sold to Palo Alto-based Menlo Equities Associates LLC.
Matt Root, CEO of San Diego-based Parallel Capital Partners, One Technology Place was part of his firm’s Creative Collection — a portfolio of 26 creative office, R&D and lab buildings in the tech-centric hub of Sorrento Valley and nearby Rancho Bernardo. Built in 1985, the complex recently underwent a $3 million renovation to capitalize on the industry’s shift toward creative office space.
Root said the renovated offices now all feature open interactive areas, instead of traditional cube spaces. “Our goal was to provide high quality, functional space for technology oriented companies,” he said. “With this in mind, we completed significant interior and exterior improvements to all office and common areas, as well as installed improved signage and new landscaping.”
Rancho Bernardo is home to high profile companies including Sony Electronics, Hewlett-Packard, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and General Atomics.
The complex is currently 75 percent leased, with anchor tenants including SDG&E and Systech Corporation.
Parallel Capital Partners was represented in the negotiations by Eastdil Secured.
Smith Consulting Architects was the architect for the exterior renovation, with Facility Solutions providing interior design coordination and Pacific Building Group the general contractor.
USC Trojans Will Play Nebraska
At the San Diego Holiday Bowl
The San Diego Bowl Game Association announced Sunday that USC will face Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl Dec. 27. It will be the Trojan’s first appearance in the game. Nebraska will be the first Big Ten team to play in the game since 1994. It played in the Holiday Bowl three times while it was a member of the Big 12 Conference, most recently in 2010.
The Cornhuskers are 9-3 and Trojans 8-4. The teams have one common opponent, Fresno State, which USC defeated 52-13 and Nebraska defeated 55-19.
The San Diego Bowl Game Association, which conducts the game, announced in June 2013 that it had signed a six-year agreement with the Big Ten Conference to supply a team beginning with the 2014 game, replacing the Big 12, which had annually supplied a team since 1995.
“We’ve had a great relationship with the Big 12, but we felt it was time for a change,” Holiday Bowl Executive Director Bruce Binkowski told City News Service in a 2013 interview. “We just thought it was time for a fresh look.”
One reason for the change — “the Big Ten has a lot of alumni in Southern California,” Binkowski said.
— City News Service
SDSU to Play Navy in Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego State Sunday accepted an invitation to play Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 23 at Qualcomm Stadium, the Aztecs’ fifth consecutive bowl appearance. The run of bowl games came after San Diego State went to just five bowls over the previous 43 seasons.
San Diego State is 7-5 this year, with all its victories coming by at least 10 points. The Midshipmen are 6-5 entering Saturday’s regular-season finale against Army and have won four of their last five games. They lead the nation in rushing, averaging 357.8 yards per game.
The teams have two common opponents, Air Force and San Jose State. The Aztecs defeated Air Force, 30-14, and San Jose State, 38-7, while the Midshipmen lost to Air Force, 30-21, and defeated San Jose State, 41-31.
San Diego State has won eight consecutive games against service academies.
City of San Diego’s Finances in Good Shape
The city of San Diego is on track to end the fiscal year almost on budget.
By the end of June, the city is expected to be over its $1.2 billion general fund budget by only $100,000, according to the Financial Management Department’s analysis of data from July through September.
The City Council will hear the department’s first quarter budget monitoring report today.
Seth Gates in the council’s Independent Budget Analyst’s Office, who helped review the report, said it shows the city’s finances are “outstanding” for the first time in years. “To be this close as of right now to adopted budget projections is a pretty good testament to what a quality job was done in projections and forecasting,” said Gates, a fiscal and policy analyst who’s worked for the city since 2009.
Gates said although the forecast is based on a small timeframe, it’s one of the best budget monitoring reports he’s seen.
The analysis projects San Diego will end the fiscal year spending less than expected on salaries because the city has so many openings. As of October, the city has 219 more vacancies than anticipated.
Additionally, the monitoring report shows the city is likely to bring in more money from sales and hotel room taxes thanks to more visitors.
SANDAG Board to Appeal Transportation
Plan Ruling to California Supreme Court
The San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors on Friday voted to appeal to the state Supreme Court a recent appellate ruling that rejected its schedule of transportation projects through 2050. Last month, a three-judge appellate panel split 2-1 against SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan, with the majority saying the plan did not meet state requirements for reducing greenhouse emissions.
Environmental groups have opposed SANDAG’s plan, contending it prioritizes freeway expansion over public transportation.
“We’ve done our absolute best to follow the law in everything we’ve done,” said Santee Councilman Jack Dale, the SANDAG board chairman. “At this point, the law needs to be clarified — not just for our region, but for every planning agency and city in California.”
The SANDAG board is made up of elected officials from local cities and the county of San Diego, and representatives of major local entities like the Navy.
The organization’s 2050 RTP was finalized in 2011, but its environmental impact report was challenged in court by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and other environmental groups.
In a statement, the foundation said it was disappointed that SANDAG chose to appeal.
— City News Service
Epic Chili Smackdown
The 5th annual SoNo Fest and Chili CookOff on Sunday gave San Diegans a chance to buy local, eat local and drink local — all for a good cause. The free holiday event, presented by San Diego Ceramic Connection and the McKinley Elementary School Foundation, attracted hundreds at 32nd and Thorn streets.