Salk Institute
Long lab
Society of Research Fellows
Society of Research Fellows

The Salk Society of Research Fellows (SRF) is a group comprised of graduate and postdoctoral trainees. The goal of the SRF is to foster a sense of community among the research community at the Salk Institute. SRF activities, organized by a volunteer committee of postdoctoral and student representatives, include the Salk Ambassador Program and SalkFEST.

SRF activities are organized by a volunteer committee of postdoctoral and student representatives. Meetings are in the Fellows room at 12:30 p.m., on the second Thursday of every month, lunch is provided. Please check the Salk calendar for any changes to the room location.

SRF is currently looking for enthusiastic postdoc and student volunteers to join our committee. Be a part of an exciting team involved in organizing career development events and other activities on campus.

The Ambassador Program

What is it?

What is it? If you would be willing to be a contact for an incoming scientist and give them guidance and information about the San Diego area, please read on!
Click here to


Perhaps the most visible SRF event, SalkFEST is a monthly "happy hour" held on one Friday of each month in the courtyard during nice weather, and in the Foyer during the winter. Attendance is open only to the Salk community, and it is a great chance for some informal social interaction. SalkFEST also helps introduce the new members of our community.

For the rest of 2014, SalkFESTs are scheduled on May 30, June 20, July 25, August 15, September 26, October 10, November 21, and December 19. Please join us!

Salk Featured Fellow

The Featured Fellow series allows a productive postdoc or graduate student to present his or her work in an informal seminar setting. The Featured Fellow series is in the Trustees Room at noon on the first Wednesday of every month. Lunch is provided.

The Salk Holiday Food Drive

Our sincerest thanks to all who participated in the food drive. We surpassed our 2500 pound goal and collected 2632 pounds of food, enough to feed over 2000 people!!! Once again, the Salk community has demonstrated their generosity.

This year's contest winner was the Genomic Analysis Laboratory, bringing in over 23 pounds of food per person!

We would also like to give honorable mentions to the laboratories/groups who did a great job in collecting over a hundred pounds each:

  • Genetics (334 pounds)
  • Molecular Neurobiology (232 pounds)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience (166 pounds)
  • Neuronal Structure and Function (166 pounds)
  • Library (162 pounds)
  • Chemical Biology and Proteomics (128 pounds)
  • Regulatory Biology (126 pounds)
  • Gene Expression (104 pounds)

We would also like to sincerely thank Jim Crowe and the shipping department for all of their help.

Additional thanks to Ranveer Jayani, Shigeki Miyake-Stoner, Jeff Murry, Talitha Van Der Meulen, Mariana Haedo, Jeniffer Hernandez, Rafael Demarco, and the members of SRF who helped with the barrel pickup.


Through a combination of government programs and partnerships with more than 260 San Diego County non-profit charities, SDFB acts as a central repository and distribution point for government and donated food. Funded by foundations, grants, USDA, corporations, sponsors and individual donors, SDFB distributes more than 10 million pounds of food annually to individuals, families and a network of non-profit organizations (e.g., soup kitchens, shelters, low-income daycare centers, senior centers, and disability programs) that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county.

For more information, please visit their website at:
Thanks again to everyone for their participation!

Future Workshops

To be announced.

Past Workshops

  • 2013 Academic Leadership Symposium
    Salk, Sanford Burnham, TSRI, and UCSD teamed-up to present the 2013 Academic Leadership Symposium. The sessions were based on the highly successful BWF-HHMI Course in Scientific Management for the Beginning Academic Investigator. This was an intensive scientific management 2-day course designed to equip postdocs and junior faculty with the knowledge and professional competencies to lead innovative and productive programs. Sessions covered leadership, communication, motivation, time management, navigating tenure, and marketing your science. Salk’s very own Dr. Tony Hunter was this year’s keynote speaker! Symposium was presented February 22-23, 2013.
  • Career Transition to Industry: Cultural Aspects & Best Practices for a Successful Transition & Career
    presented by Bio4Front

    Course Mission
    Provide an introductory overview of the life sciences industry designed to increase effectiveness and personal success in the workplace, provide awareness of corporate culture and practices, prepare and equip you for the road ahead.

    This was a one-day course developed for postdocs who are thinking of entering the life sciences industry. Participants gained an appreciation of corporate culture and practice, and developed an understanding of industry priorities in the different operational areas, including intellectual property, regulatory affairs, product development and project management. The course format emphasized class participation and group discussion with networking opportunities through the day.

    1. Introduction: What is a company, what is meant by corporate culture, how research in industry differs from academic research and what they have in common, why it is important to be aware of new developments and trends affecting the industry.
    2. Working in a Regulated Industry: Why the Life Sciences Industry is regulated, how products are regulated and who regulates them, how systems insure product quality, why good practices are good business practice, how adherence to regulation is likely to affect you daily.
    3. Creating and Protecting Intellectual Property: how intellectual property has value, how patents are filed and used, how drug patents work, how to keep a trade secret, why confidentiality is important, what you can do to optimize your companies IP value.
    4. Project Planning and Management: how principles of product management enable successful execution of complex tasks, how a project’s scope is designed and who is involved, how cost, time and quality are balanced in planning and executing a project, how to manage an ongoing project and control scope creep.
    5. Developing Your Professional Skills: Building a skill set, understanding team dynamics, planning effective meetings, developing leadership skills, developing and using your network skills.
    Workshop was presented on February 1, 2013.

  • 2013 San Diego Postdoc New Year's Party
    Included postdocs, graduate students, and postdoc “alums” from La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, Salk Institute, Sanford-Burnham Institute & UCSD. Party was held on January 17, 2013
  • Salk Trainee Science Day
    A one-day on-site symposium for Salk trainees, to give trainees the opportunity to learn about fellow colleagues' work across the many disciplines at Salk. The day included talks (selected from abstracts) by Salk students and postdocs, a poster session, and a final keynote lecture by Dr. Eric Topel. Symposium was presented on September 13, 2012.
  • SD ScienceMySDscience
    MySDscience is San Diego's leading online scientific networking site aimed at fostering scientific collaborations, professional development and science education for those in the greater San Diego area. Consider joining and sharing your thoughts or insights by blogging or just connecting with other colleagues. Join the Salk group for group discussions or create a group for your lab.
  • National Postdoc AssociationThe Salk Institute is a sustaining member institution with the National Postdoctoral Association, which means that Salk postdoctoral trainees are eligible for a free affiliate membership with the NPA. To become an affiliate member, eligible individuals need to create a profile on NPA’s site using your Salk e-mail address. When that is complete, go to the Online Store and request affiliate membership (Please note: you must complete the profile in order to access the relevant section of the online store).
    For full instructions on membership, click here.
  • Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Nature Jobs
  • Science's Next Wave
  • GrantsNet
Elena Blanco Suarez

Elena Blanco Suarez
Research Associate – Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

Abby Buchwalter

Abby Buchwalter
Research Associate – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Amy Firth

Amy Firth
Research Associate – Laboratory of Genetics

Jon Hetzel

Jonathan Hetzel
Graduate Student – Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology

Pablo HollsteinPablo Hollstein
Research Associate – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory
Anwesh Kamireddy

Anwesh Kamireddy
Graduate Student – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Paul Laddis

Paul Laddis
Graduate Student – Vision Center Laboratory

Portia Lombardo

Portia Lombardo
Graduate Student – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Natalie Luhtala

Natalie Luhtala
Research Associate – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Carol Quayle

Carol Quayle
Research Associate – Laboratory of Genetics

Amy Rommel
Research Associate – Laboratory of Genetics

Laura Tan

Laura Tan
Research Associate – Laboratory of Neuronal Structure and Function

Christy Trejo

Christy Trejo
Research Associate – Gene Expression Laboratory

Suneer Verma Suneer Verma
Graduate Student – Laboratory of Genetics
Zhuzhu Zhang Zhuzhu Zhang
Research Associate – Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology
Clodagh O'Shea

Faculty Liaison –Clodagh O'Shea
Associate Professor – Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Faculty Liaison –Nicola Allen
Assistant Professor – Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

B. Bea Rajsombath

Administrative Liaison – B. Bea Rajsombath
Manager, Postdoctoral & Graduate Programs – Academic Services

The Salk Institute Grants Administration Office assists members of the faculty and scientific staff in identifying funding opportunities and preparing proposals to government and private agencies. It also performs grant and contract negotiations and monitors awards to assure compliance with funding agency requirements. Visit the Grants Administration website (salk intranet link).

After you peruse this list and identify an agency, explore it further on the web. If you decide to submit an application, please contact Grants Administration (Lisa, x1309) and they will assist with proposal preparation. Specifically, they will prepare any necessary budgets, provide your sponsor's other support information, assist with filling out the face page (given sufficient--additional--notice, assistance with other forms may be provided), review the application for adherence to agency guidelines, obtain signatures, make copies of the proposal, ship, and provide a final copy. The deadline for submitting the final version of your application to Grants Administration is three business days prior to the agency deadline.

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