Maher, who has been a senior staff scientist at Salk since 2004, will continue her work screening for compounds that could slow or stop the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Two of her compounds are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s (see this issue’s Discoveries for details).
“Salk is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated scientist as Pam, and we are thrilled to appoint her as research professor,” says Salk President Rusty Gage.
Maher, who is also the head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, uses compounds derived from natural products, such as strawberries, turmeric and cannabis, in order to treat the cellular aging and memory loss observed in Alzheimer’s. Her team has taken multiple drug candidates from conception in the laboratory into clinical trials. Currently, two of these compounds, CMS121 and J147, are in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. In mice, these compounds protected neurons and prevented the molecular changes that are associated with aging.
Maher was previously awarded the Edward N. & Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery and the Michael J. Fox Award for Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Parkinson’s Disease. She currently has five NIH-funded grants to examine the relationship between aging, inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Joan and Irwin Jacobs — A perfect matchJoan and Irwin Jacobs donate $100 million, a transformative gift, helping to launch Salk’s five-year, $500M philanthropic and scientific Campaign for the Future.
- How computational biology is making us smarterThe 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.
- Dan Tierney – Biology Meets TechnologyDan Tierney is no stranger to big data. When Tierney founded a financial technology firm in the late 1990s, long before he joined the Salk Institute’s Board of Trustees, he was fascinated by emerging computational approaches that could crunch data and reveal hidden truths.
- Natalie Luhtala — Shaping pancreatic cancer research to have real world applicationsThis 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.
- Laura Newman — From mitochondria to craft beer and backLaura 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.