Re-Imagined Institute Council Marks Second Year

More than 40 members of the Salk Institute Council (formerly the International Council) convened for the second annual meeting May 11 to discuss Salk science and ways to advance the Institute’s mission. With faculty liaison Reuben Shaw and co-chairs Salkexcellerator Laing Rikkers and Trustee Rich Heyman, the council toured labs, joined faculty roundtable talks and posed for posterity on the travertine courtyard.

Salk Hosts First Philanthropy Summit

Curing cancer, funding STEM education and forging frontiers in neuroscience were among the lofty themes explored during the inaugural Breakthrough Biomedical Philanthropy held May 12-13 at the Salk Institute. Drawing science and philanthropy thought leaders from across the country, the summit, a revitalized program of the former Tax Seminar, included keynote addresses by Salk’s President Elizabeth Blackburn and Trustee Ted Waitt.

Exploring The Epigenome

The long-held belief that the sequence of genes was all that was needed to understand an organism’s biology was put under the microscope at the Back to Basics lecture delivered last spring by Salk Professor Joseph Ecker. Before a full audience in the Conrad Prebys Auditorium, Ecker described recent research in the field of epigenetics and how the findings are influencing our understanding of human health.

Supporting Rising Stars

Early career scientists Nausica Arnoult, Amandine Chaix, Wei-Mien (Mendy) Hsu, Liang Song and Mako Yamamoto were honored at the second annual Salk Women & Science Special Awards Initiative ceremony, where they received funds from $165,000 specifically raised to help support female researchers conducting high-risk research projects. Salk Trustee Haeyong Kong Tang hosted the March 30 program, which began with a conversation with President Elizabeth Blackburn moderated by Senior Vice President/CFO Kim Witmer.

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

The fourth annual Explore Salk open house welcomed nearly 2,000 people to the Institute on April 16 for an up-close examination of Salk science through lab tours and interactive activities from pipetting to planting.

Highlights included Professor Satchidananda Panda’s talk on circadian rhythms and the community debut of new Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn, who spoke to a packed auditorium about her career in telomere and telomerase research.

Salk Preps For Pedal ’16

Team SCC, Salk’s Cancer Center cycling group, shifted into high gear this summer to train for the fourth annual Pedal the Cause fundraising ride for cancer research. Rebranded this year as Padres Pedal the Cause, the November 12-13 event will feature courses of varying lengths and challenges beginning and ending at Petco Park. This spring, Salk joined Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rady Children’s Hospital in receiving $1.3 million in grant funding from the 2015 ride.

To learn more about Padres Pedal the Cause, or to find out how to join Salk’s road warriors, visit or contact Jamie Simon at

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