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Support to Salk Comes in Many Different Forms

Dear Friends,

It's become very clear to me, now more than ever, that for a leading research institute to survive, let alone thrive, it is necessary to look beyond a reliance on traditional government funding sources, which in recent years have stagnated — and even diminished in some cases. Your philanthropic contributions have never been so crucial to continue Salk's stellar record of scientific discovery to improve human health.

Whether we are training young scientists, equipping our labs with the latest technology, or working toward the latest breakthrough in research, all of our progress is based on your generosity, and no gift is too small to have an impact. At Salk, we are working to steadily increase our donor base, and thankfully, we are beginning to see the fruit of our effort.

I'll give you some examples. Several recent gifts, including a first-time contribution of $20,000 from the David F. and Margaret T. Grohne Family Foundation, have provided Salk researchers unparalleled flexibility to explore their most creative ideas – normally not afforded through government funds. Newly elected Board of Trustee member Caryl Philips generously supported the Technology and Instrumentation Fund with a $250,000 gift earlier this year, and has since agreed to contribute an additional $250,000 to the same fund, which helps Salk researchers develop and implement cutting-edge technologies – a major component to scientific discoveries.

I am tremendously grateful for the ongoing generosity and vision of our Trustees. G.H. "Heini" Thyssen recently contributed $11.5 million through the Nomis Foundation to launch the Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program; Irwin and Joan Jacobs have established a $10 million Leadership Challenge Fund to create 10 endowed chairs for senior scientists; and Ted Waitt has just awarded Salk a $20 million grant to launch the Advanced Biophotonics Center and the Waitt Challenge Grant. Each of these extraordinary gifts fulfill important components of the Institute's scientific strategic plan and provide crucial funding to recruit additional scientists whose expertise will provide new collaborative opportunities with existing faculty to combat human disease.

The steady commitment from many of our longtime donors, especially those who are members of the President's Club, constitutes an invaluable base of support. The unrestricted funds received have enabled Salk to remain flexible in addressing emerging priorities and to share its advancements in research by funding scientific seminars and community outreach programs.

Most encouraging is that several of you increased your commitment to become charter members of the Chairman's Circle, a new Annual Fund giving level (starting at $25,000) we launched earlier this year. Your investment demonstrates your confidence in the work of the Institute and helps Salk scientists expand their research into promising new areas of discovery in state-of-the-art laboratories where the next generation of researchers is trained.

While increasingly important, philanthropy is just one component that helps keep the Salk Institute on its course of success. Our Board of Trustees provides leadership and a range of perspectives to the Institute, and I am thankful for their commitment and support of Salk's research and cutting-edge innovation.

Salk's International Council contributes in myriad ways, from increasing public awareness around the world about the Institute's groundbreaking work, to attracting private support among individual donors, foundations, and corporations. Last, but not least, we are appreciative of Salk's Nonresident Fellows, who offer academic counsel to our faculty. The expertise and renown that each has achieved in their respective fields of research makes their guidance an invaluable asset to our scientific programs.

I am sure that without each of you — our donors, the Board of Trustees, the International Council and Nonresident Fellows – the Salk Institute would be a much different place, and its efforts to move science forward would become increasingly more difficult. Whether through your personal financial commitments, serving as Institute ambassadors, or providing ideas and counsel, your collective support contributes to Salk's mission of scientific excellence and discovery. For that, you have my ongoing appreciation.

Marsha Chandler