A decade of discovery

On April 10, the Salk Institute celebrated the 10th anniversary of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis. The anniversary symposium, titled “The Power Within – Harnessing Our Immune System for Better Health,” brought together experts in immunology, virology and infectious diseases, including the Center’s director, Professor Susan Kaech. As part of this celebration, the symposium featured the inaugural Melvin Cohn Lectures and Awards as well as a keynote presentation by Sonia Shah, author of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond.

Salk Women & Science honors award donors and recipients alike

The spring Women & Science event on March 13 celebrated the generosity of two Salk professors emeritae, Suzanne Bourgeois and Ursula Bellugi. Bourgeois established the Suzanne Bourgeois Women & Science Fund to advance the work of female Salk faculty while the Salk Trailblazer award was renamed in honor of Bellugi, who established an endowed fund to support those who have pioneered changes within the STEAM fields. At the event, Salk Professor Tatyana Sharpee gave a talk and fifteen scientists were awarded travel or professional development grants, while seven received Women & Science Special Awards. Three students were also recognized.

LEICHTAG and HPI at Salk

Supporters of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative gathered on May 2 at the Leichtag Foundation Commons to celebrate the $35 million endorsement by The Audacious Project of Salk’s unique solution to use the power of plants to fight global climate change.

Institute Council sees a lot of heart

The fifth annual meeting of the Salk Institute Council was held on May 1, 2019, with a keynote address by Beth Sirull, president of the Jewish Community Foundation, who shared how community foundations engage, educate and inspire generations of givers. Salk ambassadors and philanthropic leaders heard updates on scientific initiatives, witnessed beating heart cells under a microscope in the Stem Cell Core, and toured the state-of-the-art plant growth chambers.

Education Outreach hosts booth on EXPO Day

Salk’s Education Outreach program participated in the 11th annual STEM Festival of Science and Engineering EXPO Day at Petco Park on March 2, 2019. Booth volunteers like Joanne Wang (left) showed visitors how to extract DNA, completing over 500 extractions throughout the day. The Festival attracts tens of thousands of science enthusiasts each year. Salk Education Outreach is proud to be a founding member of the celebration.

Salk alumni return to campus

Salk welcomed alumni back to campus on June 5, 2019, for an engaging discussion and opportunity to connect with both familiar and new faces. The Society of Research Fellows (SRF) introduced four Salk alumni panel speakers—Leanne Chukoskie, Maximiliano D’Angelo, Scott Struthers and Gene Yeo—who shared their experiences about pursuing both academic and industry career paths. Afterwards, alumni and current Salk scientists enjoyed hors d’oeuvres while reconnecting.

Conquering Cancer Summit

On May 28, Salk supporters came to the Institute for an update on the Conquering Cancer Initiative and to learn about progress in pancreatic cancer research. Keynote speaker Lisa Niemi Swayze, widow of actor Patrick Swayze, spoke about her late husband’s battle with pancreatic cancer, and CCI Advisory Committee Chair Tim Schoen moderated a panel that included Salk Cancer Center faculty Ronald Evans, Tony Hunter and Dannielle Engle. Salk President Rusty Gage and Cancer Center Director Reuben Shaw emceed the evening.

A mentor and mentee perspective on research

Salk Professor Geoffrey Wahl and Assistant Professor Dannielle Engle, who trained in Wahl’s lab as a graduate student, described their journeys to become scientists and their approach to tackle one of the most difficult public health problems we face today: cancer. They offered a unique perspective behind the scenes of the mentor/mentee relationship essential to encourage young scientists and shared their work in identifying vulnerabilities in breast and pancreatic cancer.

Music series ends on a high note

The Salk Science & Music Series concluded its season on April 28, 2019, with a presentation by Assistant Professor Sung Han, who spoke about his research on the neurological underpinnings of pain, and music by the Brubeck Brothers Jazz Quartet. This was the second time the Brubeck Brothers have performed at Salk to a sold-out crowd. The 2019-2020 season will open on November 3.

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