In this issue

In The News

Joan and Irwin Jacobs — A perfect match

Joan and Irwin Jacobs donate $100 million, a transformative gift, helping to launch Salk’s five-year, $500M philanthropic and scientific Campaign for the Future.

Frontiers

How computational biology is making us smarter

The Salk Institute is embracing the artificial intelligence revolution and inventing new ways to investigate life. Machine learning, deep learning and other AI techniques are being used to probe massive data sets, identify useful information and make accurate predictions.

Insights

Natalie Luhtala — Shaping pancreatic cancer research to have real world applications

This year, Staff Scientist Natalie Luhtala celebrates her 10-year work anniversary at the Institute. In her current role, she’s directing a project examining an elusive signaling pathway to identify new targets for treating pancreatic cancer.

Next Gen

Laura Newman — From mitochondria to craft beer and back

Laura Newman, a Salk postdoctoral researcher, fell in love with science in a lab in college and switched from a medical program to pursuing biochemistry and developmental biology. At Salk, her main focus is on how cells can recognize when they’re sick or damaged in order to activate the immune system for cell survival.

President’s Letter

“Science is changing rapidly, with powerful new technologies, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and new approaches to conduct multi-omic sequencing and analysis, creating new ways to approach some of biology’s biggest problems.”

Fred H. Gage
President

Discoveries

Spotlight

Funding Unique, Promising Ideas: The 2021 Salk Innovation Grants

Funding Unique, Promising Ideas: The 2021 Salk Innovation Grants

Thanks to the forward-thinking minds of longtime Salk supporters Irwin and Joan Jacobs, every year since 2009 Salk’s Innovation Grants Program has rewarded out-of-the-box ideas that hold significant promise but may not yet have the track record to attract funding from more traditional sources. With awards given semiannually by peer review, Salk’s Innovation Grants Program is critical for catalyzing emerging science with the power to redefine the future.
Kay Tye selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Kay Tye selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Professor Kay Tye was selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, joining a prestigious group of more than 250 HHMI investigators across the United States who are tackling important scientific questions. Tye, who is a member of the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory and holds the Wylie Vale Chair, is known for her seminal work on the neural-circuit basis of emotion that leads to motivated behaviors, such as social interaction, reward-seeking and avoidance.

Christina Towers recognized as one of 2021’s Women of Influence in Life Sciences

Christina Towers recognized as one of 2021’s Women of Influence in Life Sciences

Assistant Professor Christina Towers was recognized as one of 2021’s Women of Influence in the Life Sciences by the San Diego Business Journal. Towers focuses on uncovering how cancer cells recycle both their own nutrients and the power-generating structures called mitochondria in order to survive. Her research could lead to decreased cancer recurrence and improved cancer patient outcomes.

Tatyana Sharpee wins Delano Award for Computational Biosciences

Tatyana Sharpee wins Delano Award for Computational Biosciences

Professor Tatyana Sharpee, who holds the Edwin K. Hunter Chair, was awarded the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The award recognizes the innovative development or application of computer technology to enhance research in the life sciences at the molecular level. Sharpee’s lab studies how the brain and other biological systems work and uses information theory to quantify the activity of neurons.

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Events

Salk Awards Medal of Research Excellence to Cori Bargmann

Salk Awards Medal of Research Excellence to Cori Bargmann

On November 11, the Institute awarded neurobiologist and geneticist Cori Bargmann its prestigious Medal for Research Excellence, which recognizes a scientist who has made significant contributions in the area of basic scientific research. Bargmann leads the science program at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and is the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at The Rockefeller University.
Conquering Cancer Summit

Conquering Cancer Summit

On September 1, Salk supporters gathered in-person and virtually to attend the Institute’s Conquering Cancer Summit and learn how Salk researchers are working to cut cancer’s fuel lines to attack deadly tumors. The event highlighted Salk’s collaborative effort to exploit the connection between cancer and metabolism and uncover new therapeutic strategies.
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