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Salk scientists awarded new chairs created as part of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chair Challenge

On November 16, Edward M. Callaway and Joseph P. Noel were honored at the Board of Trustees Luncheon and Recognition Ceremony and selected as the inaugural holders of two new endowed chairs. Colleagues and patrons convened at the special reception to celebrate with the scientists, who were heralded for their contributions to research.

The Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science and the Arthur and Julie Woodrow Chair were both created under the Joan Klein Jacobs and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientist Endowed Chair Challenge. In 2008, the Jacobses established a challenge grant to encourage donors to establish endow chairs for senior scientists. For every $2 million that a donor contributes toward an endowed chair at the Institute, Joan and Irwin Jacobs will add $1 million to achieve the $3 million funding level required to fully endow a chair for a Salk senior scientist. To date, 15 chairs have been established.

Marsha A. Chandler, Edward M. Callaway, Audrey Geisel

Marsha A. Chandler, Edward M. Callaway, Audrey Geisel

Edward M. Callaway, a professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, was appointed the inaugural holder of the Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science. Geisel, one of San Diego's most renowned philanthropists, began her commitment to Salk in 1978 as a member of the Women's Association of Salk Institute, helping to increase awareness about the importance of basic research, providing support for the Salk Scholars Fund, and raising funds for many projects. A longstanding patron of the Institute, Mrs. Geisel is also one of the founding donors for Symphony at Salk.

Callaway's research has revealed important insights into the organization and function of neural circuits in the visual cortex and enhanced our understanding of how these circuits give rise to perception and behavior. His lab has pioneered novel molecular, genetic and viral tools for revealing the detailed structure and function of neural circuits, including a method that allows scientists to trace a single neuron's connections to its neighbors. Callaway's current studies capitalize on these and related tools to explore the neural circuit mechanisms that underlie the function of the cerebral cortex.

From left to right: Darlene Shiley, Arthur Woodrow and Bill Brody. Seated: Joseph Noel

From left to right: Darlene Shiley, Arthur Woodrow and Bill Brody. Seated: Joseph Noel

Joseph P. Noel, director of Salk's Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology and Proteomics, is the inaugural holder of the Arthur and Julie Woodrow Chair. Woodrow created the chair in memory of his late wife and has been an active supporter of the Salk for over a decade, both as a Partner in Research and a member of the Chairman's Circle.

Noel explores the roots of biological diversity at the chemical level and seeks to understand the natural chemical factories that plants and microbes use to produce a vast array of compounds that allow them to survive and prosper in the challenging ecosystems found all over the earth. Through this research, he seeks to harness and alter the biosynthetic pathways needed to produce complex molecular scaffolds that will expedite the development of effective medicines and provide new strategies to increase the nutrition and sustainability of the world's food supply.

"We are proud of these two exceptional scientists and this well-earned recognition for their scientific leadership," said Salk president William R. Brody. "The donors who endow these chairs know that they are ensuring the excellence of the Salk's research today and in the future. We thank Audrey Geisel and Arthur Woodrow for their crucial support and Joan and Irwin Jacobs for their continued generosity."