Since the creation of the Institute, people have been the driving force of Salk’s scientific achievements. Jonas Salk sought out the brightest scientific minds—a cadre of Nobel Prize winners and other luminaries—to become the Institute’s first faculty. Through the years, it’s been people who have pushed Salk science to new heights, positioning this relatively small, basic science research institute to world-renowned status.
Every day, people in our labs make scientific breakthroughs, collaborating with each other across fields of research. People in our administrative and service departments keep the Salk engine running. And it’s our early-career researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who continually bring optimism, curiosity, and a fresh perspective to the bench.
In this spirit, and in keeping with the Institute’s long history of teamwork, collaboration, and revolutionary breakthroughs, we recently launched the Office of People & Culture.
The objective of this new department is to align personnel with goals and metrics, while underscoring that ongoing scientific achievements are a result of close partnerships and inclusivity within a culture of belonging, trust, and respect. The Office of People & Culture at Salk supports collaboration of the key functions of Human Resources, the Pre & Postdoctoral Office, and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
As you will see in this issue of Inside Salk, it’s the people who make our scientific success possible, and this certainly includes you, a loyal supporter of the Institute.
In our cover story, you’ll discover how the people who make up Salk’s Education Outreach team are on a mission to introduce as many San Diego County students as possible to the groundbreaking scientific research at Salk, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of scientists.
Additionally, Assistant Professor Deepshika Ramanan discusses her childhood in India and what motivates her to discover how mothers and babies influence each other’s immune systems. Postdoctoral Researcher Melissa Hernandez shares her departure from and return to San Diego, as she revisits her childhood roots while conducting electrophysiology research at Salk after many years away in Oregon. And we hear how Trinka Adamson’s lifelong love of animals drew her into the lab and ultimately to her current role as senior director of Salk’s Animal Resources Department.
Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to you for your partnership this year. As 2023 comes to an end, I will always hold the year in special regard thanks to the overwhelmingly support I have received in my new role as the Institute’s president. I am excited by the promise of a bright future for Salk science, which is due in significant part to the generosity of supporters like you. May you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy new year.
Salk Institute President