November 16, 2012

Salk faculty members honored as recipients of new endowed chairs

Philanthropists create two chairs as part of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chair Challenge to support Institute's innovative research

Salk News

Salk faculty members honored as recipients of new endowed chairs

Philanthropists create two chairs as part of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Chair Challenge to support Institute's innovative research

LA JOLLA,CA—The Salk Institute announced today that professors Edward M. Callaway and Joseph Noel have been appointed to endowed chairs in acknowledgment of their outstanding contributions and dedication to scientific research.

The Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science and the Arthur and Julie Woodrow Chair were both established under the Joan Klein Jacobs and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientist Endowed Chair Challenge. In 2008, Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs created a challenge grant to encourage donors to establish endowed 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.

“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.”

Ed Callaway, professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, has been selected as the inaugural holder of the Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science. Audrey Geisel, one of San Diego’s most renowned philanthropists, began a longstanding commitment with the Salk in 1978 as a member of the Women’s Association of Salk Institute where she helped increase awareness about the importance of basic research, provided support for the Salk Scholars Fund, and raised funds for many projects. Mrs. Geisel is also one of the founding donors of the Symphony at Salk.

Callaway’s research has revealed important insights into the organization and function of neural circuits in the visual cortex and understanding of how they 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 the tracing of a single neuron’s connections to its neighbors. Callaway’s current studies capitalize on these and related tools to explore and understand the neural circuit mechanisms that underlie the function of the cerebral cortex.

Joe 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. Mr. Woodrow created the chair in honor of the 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 as 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 plants and microbes use to produce a vast array of compounds that allow them to survive and prosper in the multitude of 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.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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