In this issue


To inspire and educate—Salk’s Education Outreach is on a mission

Motivated by Jonas Salk’s admonition to “be good ancestors,” Education Outreach strives to inspire the next generation of scientists. By running programs like the Mobile Science Lab or High School Science Day among others, Education Outreach encourages scientific literacy, enthusiasm in science as a career, and awareness of the value of basic research.


Deepshika Ramanan—From iguana poop to breastmilk

Ramanan, a new assistant professor and microbiologist by training, made a chance discovery about animal gut bacteria that led to her fascination with breastmilk immunity.


New strategic plan provides roadmap for enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Salk

Groundbreaking scientific discoveries require talented people behind the scenes, and the more diverse those people are, the more groundbreaking their discoveries. At Salk, improving diversity, equity, and inclusion is a commitment to both scientific discovery and humanity.


Trinka Adamson—Supporting Salk science through animal care

Adamson, senior director of Salk’s Animal Resources Department, works to provide the highest quality veterinary medical care, husbandry, enrichment, and professional technical support to enable our scientists to conduct their animal research and make their bold discoveries.

Next Gen

Melissa Hernandez—Horses, hot sauce, and human brain research

Hernandez, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Professor Rusty Gage, journeyed up and down the west coast and turned from scientist to hot sauce entrepreneur and back before finally settling at Salk to study neuroscience.

President’s Letter

“Since the creation of the Institute, people have been the driving force of Salk’s scientific achievements. Jonas Salk sought out the brightest scientific minds—a cadre of Nobel Prize winners and other luminaries—to become the Institute’s first faculty.”

Gerald Joyce



Salk adds three new faculty members

Salk adds three new faculty members

Daniel Bayless joined Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory on September 1 as an assistant professor. His research focuses on the neuronal basis of sex differences that lead to complex behaviors such as social approach, aggression, and mating in mice. He received his PhD from Tulane University and completed his postdoctoral research at Stanford University. At Salk, […]
Assistant Professor  Christina Towers receives NIH New Innovator Award

Assistant Professor Christina Towers receives NIH New Innovator Award

Towers received a five-year, $2.85 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award from the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. Towers is one of 58 researchers to receive the award this year. With the award, Towers and her team will employ new tools and models to better understand cancer cells’ rapid […]
Investing in the future of innovation

Investing in the future of innovation

Launched in 2006 from the forward-thinking minds of then-Board Chair Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, Salk’s Innovation Grants is a vital program for supporting emerging science. The grants are designed to fund out-of-the-box ideas that hold significant promise but do not yet have the track record to gain support from more traditional funding sources. […]
Physician-scientist Jesse Dixon named Rita Allen Foundation Award Scholar

Physician-scientist Jesse Dixon named Rita Allen Foundation Award Scholar

Assistant Professor Jesse Dixon was one of nine scientists the Rita Allen Foundation named to its 2023 class of Rita Allen Foundation Scholars. The distinction is given to biomedical scientists whose research holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health. The selected scholars will receive grants of up to $110,000 annually for […]
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27th Annual Symphony at Salk

27th Annual Symphony at Salk

On August 19, a full audience of sponsors and community members was entertained by the sensational sounds of the San Diego Symphony, led by conductor Sean O’Loughlin, together with special guest Jennifer Hudson, at the 27th annual Symphony at Salk. The concert under the stars featured a mix of classical and Broadway numbers performed by […]
Full of Pride

Full of Pride

In honor of Pride Month in June, the Salk Pride Society hosted a celebration on campus with rainbow-colored drinks and food, games, and Pride trivia. Salk scientists and staff also joined the greater San Diego community on July 15 and 16, hosting a booth at the San Diego Pride Festival. Booth visitors had the opportunity […]
Alumni mixer and  baseball night

Alumni mixer and baseball night

As part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week (September 18-22), the Society of Research Fellows held an engaging discussion with a panel of alumni who had completed their postdoctoral training at the Institute before following a variety of career paths. The panel featured Maya Capelson, associate professor at San Diego State University; Lawrence Fourgeaud, principal scientist […]
Annual Salk Picnic delivered on fun, food, and community

Annual Salk Picnic delivered on fun, food, and community

Salk’s picnic featured a beautiful, sunny day full of games, good food, and even better community shared between scientists, staff, trainees, and their families on July 21. Held on the Institute’s North Lawn, the festivities included volleyball, corn hole, and table tennis tournaments, with winners of each crowned by the end of the day. An […]
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