President's Letter

Dear Friends,

A few members of our staff recently began a project to preserve and archive original 16mm film that was taken during the Institute’s earliest days more than half a century ago. Subject notes that are written on tape on the old film canisters—Jonas Salk’s vaccine reports from the mid-1950s, interviews with the late Nobel Laureate and Salk Professor Renato Dulbecco, reels of the original meetings of Salk Fellows in La Jolla—remind us how the Salk Institute is deeply steeped in a history of discovery.

With our history as a guide and the goal of revealing answers to some of science’s most challenging questions as our focus, the adventure of discovery continues every day at the Institute. At Salk, we explore the very foundations of life for the benefit of all. From our many labs to our landmark courtyard, conversations and collaborations help shape new and innovative approaches to the big questions we are working to answer. The Harnessing Plants and Conquering Cancer Initiatives are two of the most recent examples that have resulted from this effort.

We are so very thankful for the passionate community of individuals and organizations dedicated to Salk, helping to guide the Institute and empower our researchers to transform the future of humanity as Jonas Salk did.  This support is the cornerstone on which our future will be built. Because of this commitment, the Institute is able to remain dedicated to asking big questions and tackling challenging ideas in biology, as you’ll see in this edition of Inside Salk.

What is past is indeed prologue at Salk; it has set the stage for an incredible amount of progress. Our feature in this edition focuses on the 10th anniversary of the creation of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, made possible by the longtime support of the NOMIS Foundation. Our pioneering work in immunology harkens back to the global implications of Jonas Salk’s discovery of the polio vaccine. NOMIS Center members strive for similar breakthroughs, seeking to unleash the power of the immune system against cancer and other illnesses. Led by Professor Susan Kaech, the NOMIS Center is uncovering processes by which the body responds to injury and infection, as well as mechanisms related to the microbiome and inflammation, to develop entirely new lines of treatments for myriad diseases.

Additionally, this edition of Inside Salk highlights the numerous accolades received by and discoveries coming from our remarkable researchers, as well as exciting updates about the Institute. Yet everything within these pages can be traced back to the community of individuals and organizations that stand with Salk. Every Salk advocate is on this journey with us; collectively they are part of the storied legacy of discovery that the Salk Institute embodies, and they play a central role in securing its future.


Fred H. Gage
President, Salk Institute

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