In this issue


Leading with technology—Salk scientists develop new means of discovery

Our scientists continue to push technological limits to—among other things—store more excess atmospheric carbon in deeper plant roots, study pancreatic cancer more accurately, follow cellular activity in real time more clearly, and track all kinds of motion more easily.


Dannielle Engle—Putting patients first

Engle, an assistant professor, has a deeply personal connection to pancreatic cancer that changed her career trajectory and made her want to focus on the disease. Inside Salk sat down with Engle to find out more about her dedication to finding better treatment options.


Salk Institute receives $50 million from Hess Corporation

This gift will advance Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative—an effort to mitigate climate change by optimizing plants and supporting wetlands to increase capture of excess atmospheric carbon—and establish the new Hess Center for Plant Science.


Weiwei Fan—Life is energy

Fan, a staff scientist in Professor Ronald Evans’ lab, studies mitochondria because he feels drawn to understanding how these energy generators within our cells function and the natural variations that exist between individuals.

In Memoriam

Françoise Gilot—Art icon, author, and wife of Institute founder Jonas Salk

Salk and Gilot’s union perfectly captured the core institutional belief that there is an inextricable link between art and science. Gilot, who died June 6, 2023, at the age of 101, served as Honorary Chair of Symphony at Salk every year since the event’s inception in 1996.

Next Gen

Natanella Illouz-Eliaz—Recipe for a plant biologist: Tomatoes, failure, and perseverance

Illouz-Eliaz, a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Joseph Ecker’s lab, grew up in Israel near the border with Lebanon, where high-pitched sirens periodically drove her family into bomb shelters for safety. But her parents insisted that she get the best education possible.

Alumni Journeys

Richard Heyman—From Salk to biotech and back

Heyman, a scientist and entrepreneur who has founded numerous biotechnology companies, currently serves as vice chair of Salk’s Board of Trustees, but his Salk story actually began when he was a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Professor Ronald Evans.

President’s Letter

“Collaboration among our community members is what makes Salk special. I believe it is the defining characteristic that sets our Institute apart and what will allow us to continue to honor the vision Jonas Salk had for this magnificent ‘cathedral of science’.”

Gerald Joyce


Professor Susan Kaech elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Susan Kaech elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Kaech, director of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She shares the honor with some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from science and technology, business, public affairs, education, the humanities, and the arts. Kaech and the new class of nearly 270 […]
Leading through innovation and collaboration

Leading through innovation and collaboration

Launched in 2006 from the forward-thinking minds of then-Board Chair Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, Salk’s Innovation Grants are a vital program to continue 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 […]
Kavli Small  Equipment Grants

Kavli Small Equipment Grants

Seven Salk faculty members received 2023 Kavli Small Equipment Grants, which provide funds to buy or build small equipment designed to strengthen research capacity and capability. The grant has a total funding amount of $200,000, and awards range from a minimum of $10,000 up to $100,000. This year, the research area focus was labs working […]
Salk promotes five faculty members in genetics, structural biology, immunobiology, and neuroscience

Salk promotes five faculty members in genetics, structural biology, immunobiology, and neuroscience

These five faculty members have demonstrated leadership in their disciplines, pushing the boundaries of basic scientific research. Assistant Professors Sung Han, Dmitry Lyumkis, and Graham McVicker were promoted to associate professors, and Associate Professors Sreekanth “Shrek” Chalasani and Ye Zheng were promoted to professors. The promotions were based on Salk faculty and nonresident fellow recommendations […]
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Science & Justice Series

Science & Justice Series

On May 25, Salk held the inaugural event in the new Science & Justice Series, a unique opportunity to learn about the intersection of and contradictions between science and law. During the event, Salk Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mallory Zaslav and General Counsel Julia Miller hosted Salk Professor Thomas Albright and civil […]
Salk Honors International Women’s Day

Salk Honors International Women’s Day

On March 7, Salk members gathered to celebrate the achievements women have made socially, economically, culturally, and politically in our world, and challenged participants to embrace equity and broaden and deepen the impact of women. Salk’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team and the Salk Women & Science program hosted “Accelerating Women’s Path to Impact,” a […]
Salk community learns about the legacy of Jonas Salk

Salk community learns about the legacy of Jonas Salk

On March 29, the Institute was honored to host Jonathan and Peter Salk, sons of founder Jonas Salk. Jonathan shared personal reflections, writings, and photos of their father. The program included a live chat with former Salk President Rusty Gage and questions from Salk scientists and staff.
Padres Pedal the Cause

Padres Pedal the Cause

In this year’s Padres Pedal the Cause event on April 18, Team Salk Cancer Center raised more than $44,000 for local cancer research, which includes projects on Salk’s campus. Pedal the Cause is Curebound’s largest annual fundraising event, with participants biking, running, walking, and spinning to support cancer research. Since 2013, the event has raised […]
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