President's Letter

Dear Friends,

One thing that has become abundantly clear to me in my short time serving as Salk’s president is that the Institute is continually reinventing itself—it is a wellspring of fresh ideas and surprising discoveries.

This is, of course, the result of Jonas Salk’s vision for this wonderful place, which he built as a “crucible of creativity.” The building itself is special: stunning architecture that inspires and enables the best science. So, too, is the Institute’s unique culture. When Jonas Salk founded the Institute, he gathered together some of the world’s best thinkers, and that ethos of collaborative genius has persisted through the decades.

Salk’s scientists are now, as always, brilliant, inspiring and intensely curious. They have the generosity of mind and spirit to pursue biological knowledge for its own sake, while always keeping in mind the tremendous benefit such knowledge can have on improving lives.

Throughout history, we have witnessed time and time again the impacts of fundamental science on our understanding of the world and on human wellbeing. Jonas Salk’s discovery of the polio vaccine stands as a shining example of this. As I look out to the future, there is a wonderful path that lies ahead of us. We have tremendous possibilities in science right now, thanks to a convergence of a critical mass of deep knowledge with the emergence of powerful new technologies.

Suddenly, we can ask questions we’d never dare to ask and formulate ideas that spur entirely new paradigms. It is a truly exhilarating time. I am honored to be a part of it and to lead the Salk Institute into a new era of biological inquiry and understanding.

Elizabeth Blackburn
President, Salk Institute

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