Inside Salk; Salk Insitute

Executive Message

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William R. Brody

Dear Friends,

As medical and scientific challenges go, there can be little question that cancer remains among the most enigmatic, confounding and vexing. But every day at the Salk Institute, investigators are learning more and more about the mechanisms behind the 100+ diseases called cancer, offering hope that someday incremental advances from their labs will coalesce into significant discoveries that lead to new, more effective treatments. From where I stand, that's a tremendously exciting prospect.

This issue of Inside Salk celebrates the important discoveries that our scientists have made (and will continue to make) in the quest for new understanding of cancer and new therapeutic alternatives. Our cover story introduces the diverse, yet complementary, work of some of our leading cancer researchers, while our One on One feature reveals a different side of Geoff Wahl, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory, who has devoted his life to studying the disease, with a special focus on breast cancer. Our Next Generation article shines a spotlight on postdoc Ignacio Sancho-Martinez, whose wide-ranging interests freely cross boundaries, including possible connections between the way the body regenerates damaged organs and ways to approach cancer cells using reprogramming techniques.

These advances reflect the Institute's extraordinary strength in cancer research, and it's one of the reasons why cancer is a key scientific initiative of the Campaign for Salk. Few institutions are as well equipped to tackle the riddles of the condition, and by generating the resources to bolster support for cancer studies at the Institute, the initiative promises to accelerate the pace of discovery and bring us closer to the day when cancer is outwitted by the therapies employed against it.

Complementing the stories on cancer research is a feature on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and how its support of Salk scientists has transformed their work and an article on Lei Wang's fascinating breakthroughs with artificial amino acids.

I hope you'll enjoy reading about the latest science and related goings-on here at Salk. I firmly believe that our successes are your successes because nothing we do would be possible without the support of friends like you. All of us at the Institute are most grateful for your friendship.