The Nomis Foundation, a European foundation being established by Salk Board of Trustee G.H. "Heini" Thyssen, has donated $11.5 million to fund appointments for new investigators specialized in microbial pathogenesis and viral and cellular immunology. The gift, which will launch the Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program, fulfills a critical component of the Institute's strategic scientific plan.
"The opportunity created by this most generous gift to recruit new scientists who will combine their expertise with that of existing faculty will create a critical mass of investigators that will allow the Salk Institute to contribute in entirely new ways to combating human disease," said Salk Interim President Roger Guillemin. "Additionally, the in-depth study of inflammation has many crossover links to other areas of research, creating opportunities for synergistic benefits."
Under the Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program, scientists at Salk will take a multi-pronged approach to conducting research on the pathophysiology of disease that arise from chronic infections, and will seek to understand the role of the immune system in preventing microbially induced disease.
The new principal investigators will also work closely with a number of current Salk Institute scientists who are studying the molecular basis of cancer, obesity, and heart disease as well as those studying innate immunity, the first line of defense; and adaptive immunity, the sustained immunity to fight pathogens.