Inside Salk; Salk Insitute

Executive Message

William Brody

William R. Brody

Across the globe, quality of leadership is at the center of our consciousness and the public dialogue—about the U.S. government, health care policy, the strength of our economy and the political arena—and in connection with international leaders in many sensitive areas of the world.

In much the same way, leadership is also on our minds here at the Salk Institute, mainly because the extraordinary leadership of our faculty, staff and board is enabling us to remain at the forefront of scientific innovation and discovery, despite the challenges posed by the outside world. I witness it on a daily basis, and it is publicly noted again and again in the many appointments, honors, awards and accolades that organizations from around the globe bestow on our science and our faculty.

You are part of an institution that attracts and supports many high-caliber individuals who contribute to the Institute's success, and as you read through this issue of Inside Salk, I'm sure you will be proud to learn about some recent examples of this kind of recognition. You will read about Terry Sejnowski, who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering; Robert MacWright, newly appointed as executive director of the Salk Institute's Office of Technology Management and Development; Edward M. Callaway, who was named a 2010 AAAS fellow; Conrad T. Prebys, who created an endowed chair in vision research; John Young, whose article was noted by Science Watch as the most cited paper in his field; as well as Fred "Rusty" Gage's landmark stem cell grant for Parkinson's research, and the trailblazing opening of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center, which inspired our lead story. What is more, in April we welcomed two new extraordinary leaders to our board of trustees, Dr. Benjamin H. Lewis and Ms. Faye H. Russell. That is leadership.

During my career, I have had the pleasure of leading large, groundbreaking institutions. I have come to appreciate, intuitively, that successful leadership engenders programmatic, scientific and environmental diversity. At Salk the diversity of our work is part of our basic infrastructure, and it is unmatched. So many of you play a critical role in our ability to implement and grow our scientific environment, which is rich in collaboration and creativity, and we are most grateful for your continued commitment and support. Salk's success and the many acknowledgements it has received are a direct result of your leadership.

In all of our communications, we continue to grow and enhance the areas that you have indicated are of the greatest interest, which is why I hope you will enjoy a couple of new features that are debuting in this issue of Inside Salk. I invite you to visit a new feature showcasing one of our postdoctoral researchers. In addition, I have written a new column, The Insider's View: Sutton's law and chronic Illness. As we continue to bring new ideas and perspectives, we look forward to your feedback.