In science, everything begins with questions—big questions— such as how cancer recurs, how aging takes place or what initiates Alzheimer’s disease. Then focused inquiries—what turns on a particular gene, how it impacts a molecular pathway and how it is expressed in an organism, for example—help guide continual progress. It is through this rigorous analytical process, sparked by imagination and carried out through painstaking laboratory studies, that fundamental questions lead to transformative answers.
Today the most pressing questions in biological science relate to cancer, neuroscience, aging and genomics. In the long history of science, no breakthrough has ever come without the human mind taking a fresh look at a long-standing conundrum. Salk scientists do this daily. And people like you make it possible.
Life is highly complex, and up to the present, there has been no effective way to consistently study the intersections of seemingly unrelated biological phenomena and how they impact one another. New tools such as bioinformatics, high-throughput sequencing and biophotonics now make it possible for researchers to discover linkages between molecular systems, opening the door to new kinds of cross-disciplinary collaborations that promise to accelerate the pace of discovery. This integrative, holistic approach is the future of science, and at Salk, it is already part of the present.