Salk scientist Joanne Chory has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Howard H. and Maryam R. Newman Chair, which was created through a $2 million gift to the Institute earlier this year (see related story page 20).
It is the first endowed chair established as part of the Joan Klein Jacobs and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientist Endowed Chair Challenge. By terms of the Challenge, the Jacobs will augment Newman's gift with an additional $1 million
A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Chory studies the mystery behind how plants compete for and respond to sunlight in their effort to grow and survive. Plant biologists' understanding of these basic mechanics is crucial to ultimately learning how to increase yield in crops such as wheat, corn and rice.
Work in Chory's lab has also led to the discovery of a steroid hormone, brassinolide, that controls plant development in response Martin Hetzer Congresswoman Susan Davis to light, and has identified the plant steroid receptor and signaling pathway.
Launched in 2008 with a $10 million matching fund, the Jacobs Chair Challenge enables donors to create a prestigious and permanent chair in support of senior faculty members at Salk.