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Irwin and Joan Jacobs Establish $10 Million Challenge Fund at Salk

Chairman of the Salk's Board of Trustees Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, have established a $10 million challenge fund to support the creation of 10 endowed chairs for senior scientists at the Institute.

The Joan Klein and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientist Endowed Chair Challenge will match $1 million for up to 10 individual contributions of $2 million, thus providing each chair with a $3 million endowment. Each $2 million donor will have the right to name the chair they are endowing, which will provide key support for research at Salk.

"As traditional government funding sources that have supported the scientists of the Salk Institute are stagnant or diminishing, the urgency to address our ability to recruit, support, and retain the very finest of the scientific community cannot be overstated," says Salk's Interim President, Nobel Laureate Roger Guillemin. "The creation of 10 endowed chairs will make a transformative difference to the resources available to those whose work is critical to the future of the Institute."

The Challenge was launched in April and will last until 10 chairs are funded or no later than December 31, 2009.

"We are deeply appreciative of Joan and Irwin Jacobs' generosity and vision. The chair Challenge provides an opportunity to significantly increase the number of endowed chairs at the Institute," says Salk Executive Vice President Dr. Marsha Chandler. "This $10 million leadership gift, together with contributions from other philanthropists, will ensure that Salk's extraordinary scientists can continue to carry out their groundbreaking work on our campus."

Irwin, co-founder and chairman of Qualcomm, and Joan provided the lead gift to establish the Crick-Jacobs Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology in 2004 and have since provided additional major gifts for Salk's very successful Innovation Grants program.

In choosing to establish the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Leadership Challenge, Irwin Jacobs said: "Salk has drawn together an immensely talented cadre of scientists from all over the world. They bring commitment, creativity, and passion to the discovery process. Currently, the faculty boasts three Nobel laureates, six Howard Hughes Medical investigators, and 14 members of the National Academy of Science. Through this matching gift, Joan and I are inviting others to support these superb scientists."