News Nuggets: Scripps rotator cuff study, Scientist of the Year, La Jolla town hall, Grinch book sequel, more

Dr. Darryl D’Lima, director of orthopedic research for SCORE at Scripps Clinic
Dr. Darryl D’Lima, director of orthopedic research for SCORE at Scripps Clinic, is leading an investigation on rotator cuff repair.
(Scripps Clinic)

Scripps Health receives $2.7 million to develop lab-grown shoulder tendon tissue

Scripps Health in La Jolla has received a $2.7 million research grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to investigate the use of stem cells to develop lab-grown tendon tissue for repairing rotator cuff injuries.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder and allow for its extensive range of motion.

The funding will support the initiative’s discovery phase, to be conducted over the next three years at the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education (SCORE) at Scripps Clinic on Torrey Pines Mesa. Researchers plan to develop a series of lab tests called assays to assess and measure the makeup of the tendon cells and develop the tendon material in the lab. They also will aim to demonstrate proof of concept by conducting tendon repair in animals using the biologically engineered tendons. The approach will not be used in humans during the discovery phase.

The new approach is intended to eventually benefit older patients with large rotator cuff tears resulting from degeneration over time.

Scripps Oceanography director to be honored as Scientist of the Year

Margaret Leinen, director of UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, stands with UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, or ARCS, will honor Margaret Leinen, director of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, as its 2023 Scientist of the Year.

Leinen is an ocean biogeochemist and paleoceanographer whose research includes the study of ocean carbon cycling and the role of the oceans in climate. Leinen is co-chair of the Decade Advisory Board for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. In 2017-18, Leinen was a U.S. State Department science envoy for the oceans to Latin America and the Pacific.

ARCS is a national organization founded 65 years ago. Its San Diego branch, one of 15 nationally, has raised more than $12 million and funded over 1,550 Ph.D. Scholars locally since its inception in 1985.

The Scientist of the Year celebration, ARCS’ largest fundraising event, will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla. Learn more at

San Diego Councilman Joe LaCava to hold La Jolla town hall

San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, will hold a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at the La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd.

LaCava will “address some of the things he’s working on” and listen to residents’ comments and questions, according to his representative Steve Hadley.

Hadley said another town hall will be held in May, once Mayor Todd Gloria has proposed next fiscal year’s budget.

Grinch book sequel coming in September

Fans of legendary late children’s author and La Jolla resident Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — might find their hearts growing three sizes in the next holiday season with the release of a sequel to the 1957 classic book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Beyond the Shelf is a monthly column about the activities and people at the La Jolla/Riford Library.

Feb. 27, 2023

The new book picks up a year after the original, and like the first, carries a lesson about the true spirit of the holidays, according to Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books.

The sequel, titled “How the Grinch Lost Christmas!” is not based on a newly discovered Seuss manuscript but was written and illustrated by an author and an artist with experience in the Dr. Seuss universe.

The original Grinch book has sold nearly 10 million copies in North America alone and, like other Seuss books, has been translated into multiple languages. It was made into a 1966 animated TV special narrated by Boris Karloff, a 2000 live-action movie starring Jim Carrey and a computer-animated film in 2018 with Benedict Cumberbatch providing the voice of the Grinch.

The new book, scheduled for release Sept. 5, was written by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz. Heim has written Seuss-themed books such as “If I Ran Your School” and “I Am the Cat in the Hat.” Ruiz has illustrated the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library books for more than two decades. — Associated Press

Online fundraiser aims to help family of late Duke’s La Jolla GM

Shaughn Helliar, general manager of Duke's La Jolla restaurant, died Feb. 25.
Shaughn Helliar, general manager of Duke’s La Jolla restaurant, died Feb. 25.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the family of Shaughn Helliar, general manager of Duke’s La Jolla restaurant, who died Feb. 25.

Donations to the online effort are intended to go to Helliar’s wife, Celia, and children, Scarlett and Flynn, for their ongoing financial needs.

“At Duke’s La Jolla, Shaughn mentored hundreds of employees and managers, passing along his wisdom, sharing his vast experience and keeping Duke’s legacy alive through his hard work and caring aloha,” according to campaign organizer Jackie Reed. “Shaughn was steadfast in community involvement, hosting local sports teams, supporting local events and surf programs and organizing volunteer teams for Father Joe’s Villages. His influence inside and outside of Duke’s was profound, impactful and lasting.”

Helliar, a native of Australia, had been Duke’s only GM since its opening in 2015. His cause of death was not disclosed.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, March 6, at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 7713 Girard Ave., La Jolla.

As of March 1, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $46,000. To contribute, go to

Rummage sale will help support La Jolla Meals On Wheels

La Jolla Meals On Wheels, a nonprofit organization that serves homebound senior citizens in La Jolla and University City, has been named a 2023 grantee by The Thursday Club Foundation, which will fund that grant and those to 14 other nonprofits through proceeds from the 94th annual Thursday Club Rummage Sale.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 11, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at the Balboa Park Activity Center in San Diego.

“The grant will pay for program expenses incurred by our Senior Nutrition Program providing low-sodium, diabetic-friendly, subsidized healthy meals that are delivered at no charge by volunteers to low-income seniors in need,” said La Jolla Meals On Wheels program director Jane Semelsberger. Through the program, clients receive one hot meal (lunch) and one cold meal (dinner) daily, plus their beverage of choice.

The Thursday Club will accept sellable donations through Wednesday, March 8. For more information or to donate, call (619) 224-5264 or visit

For more information about La Jolla Meals On Wheels, call (858) 452-0391 or visit

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla donates $4,700 to local schools

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla President Craig Gagliardi with members of the La Jolla High School robotics team,
Kiwanis Club of La Jolla President Craig Gagliardi stands with members of the La Jolla High School robotics team, which received a $1,000 donation from Kiwanis.
(Kiwanis Club of La Jolla)

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla donated $4,700 at its Feb. 24 meeting to be used by students at two local public schools.

Paul Stephens, a faculty member at La Jolla High School, received a check for $3,700. The grant will be used to help Muirlands Middle School students participate in the annual East Coast spring trip, which Stephens has led for 19 years.

Members of the La Jolla High robotics team received a check for $1,000 to help support the team at an upcoming competition.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff


11:00 a.m. March 1, 2023: This article was updated to include the GoFundMe campaign for the family of Shaughn Helliar.