July 6, 2012
LA JOLLA, CA—The Salk Institute is pleased to announce that faculty member Greg Lemke has been named the inaugural holder of the Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair, in recognition of his significant research accomplishments and scientific leadership.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a global, specialty biopharmaceuticals company that recently donated $10 million to provide funding for the highest research priorities at the Salk Institute, established the endowed chair in honor of Françoise Gilot-Salk –the internationally acclaimed artist and the widow of Dr. Jonas Salk.
“Selecting Greg as the recipient of this chair is further acknowledgement of his exceptional scientific accomplishments” said Salk president William R. Brody. “He epitomizes the Salk Institute’s legacy of excellence and innovation and I congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition”
Lemke, a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, is renowned for his distinguished contributions to understanding the roles that receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathways play in regulating nervous system development and immune system function. The endowment will help support his research on the role that TAM receptors play in immune regulation. These receptors, which were discovered in Lemke’s lab, are central inhibitors of the innate immune response to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Diminished activity of the TAM system is associated with systemic Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other human inflammatory syndromes, while activation of the TAMs facilitates virus infection.
Lemke is currently investigating agents that either activate or inhibit TAM receptor signaling to develop new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of human autoimmune diseases and viral infections.
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.