Salk Institute

Institute News

One on one with...Geoff Wahl

A professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair, Geoff Wahl has been involved in various aspects of cancer research for his entire 40-year career. At the Salk, he and his team are studying the genetic basis of the origin and progression of cancer and developing new strategies to tailor-make drugs based on the genetic signature of a patient' s tumor. [Read more]

The Howard Hughes impact

Today, HHMI has more than $16 billion in assets and is the nation's largest private supporter of academic biomedical research. In 2012, it granted $78 million toward science education and $695 million in support of basic research. Three hundred scientists at 70 institutions are HHMI investigators, and among their ranks are 17 Nobel laureates. HHMI has been one of the largest funders of Salk researchers, providing more than $75 million in support—a fact that is celebrated on the list of donors posted at the entrance to the Institute. [Read more]

The Art and Science of Cuisine: Inaugural wellness event serves up fine food and research

The idea that we are what we eat was put into sharp focus at the inaugural Art and Science of Cuisine, presented by the Salk Institute on January 22. Talented chefs and scientists pooled their experience to inform and entertain a sold-out crowd of over 300 people eager to pursue healthier lifestyles in 2014. [Read more]

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Next Generation

Sound instincts: Ignacio Sancho-Martinez specializes in crossing boundaries

A native of Spain, Sancho-Martinez holds degrees in several fields. He graduated from the University of Oviedo with a bachelor's in biology and a master's in genetics and biotechnology before moving to the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. There he studied the migration of cancer cells, especially glioblastoma, eventually identifying a new signaling pathway of this deadly cancer. His team's findings are currently being used by a biotech company in clinical trials. Eager to expand his sphere of knowledge, he went on to earn a doctorate in mathematics and natural sciences, then moved to the United States and the Salk Institute in 2010.
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Discovery Roundup

Pluripotent stem cells Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal differences between humans and great apes

It's now also possible to compare iPSCs from humans to those of our closest living relatives—great apes. Recently, scientists working in the lab of Fred Gage, who holds the Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, took chimpanzee and bonobo skin cells and for the first time turned them into iPSCs.
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Salk scientists identify factors that trigger ALT-ernative cancer cell growth

Recently, scientists in the laboratory of Jan Karlseder, holder of the Donald and Darlene Shiley Chair, reported in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology the first experimental induction of an ALT telomere-building program in human cells.
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Discovery Roundup

Missing molecule in chemical production line discovered

Noel and his group used bioinformatics to find all organisms with the IPK enzyme, suspecting that these would all also have the decarboxylase they were looking for, and the approach worked. In an unusual type of bacteria that live in hot springs, he and his colleagues pinpointed a decarboxylase that works in conjunction with IPK. First it removes carbon, and then IPK adds a phosphate—the process, reversing the last two steps of the classic mevalonate pathway, still ends in IPP.
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Connecting the dots between genes and human behavior

Williams syndrome is caused by the deletion of one of the two usual copies of approximately 25 genes from chromosome 7, resulting in mental impairment; nearly everyone with the condition is missing these same genes. The condition affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people around the world, including an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 in the United States.
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