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Scripps Institute scientist wins share of Nobel, heads to Texas

October 3, 2011 |  9:22 am

Bruce Beutler

Bruce Beutler, chairman of the genetics department at the Scripps Research Institute, is one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine announced Monday.

Beutler, 53, won a share of the award for his work in immunology and how the immune system in mammals fights disease.

But the joy at the La Jolla research facility may be muted: Beutler is leaving Scripps this month to become founding director at a genetics research center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

In fact, he was on a plane to Dallas when news of the prize was announced Monday. A news conference is planned Tuesday in Dallas by the University of Texas.

Beutler was on the faculty at Southwestern Medical Center in the 1980s before coming to Scripps, where his late father was an acclaimed hematologist.

In a statement, UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Ann Fox hailed Beutler's work as "helping to build the future for all of us."

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Handout photo of Bruce Beutler. Credit: Peter Mosimann / Balzan Prize Foundation / EPA

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