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Salk News


Salk Institute establishes architecture endowment

LA JOLLA—The Institute announces today the launch of the Architecture Conservation Program, designed to address ongoing preservation of the nearly 60-year-old Modernist structure considered to be a masterwork of American architect Louis Kahn.


New method to rapidly map the “social networks” of proteins

LA JOLLA—Salk scientists have developed a new high-throughput technique to determine which proteins in a cell interact with each other. Mapping this network of interactions, or “interactome,” has been slow going in the past because the number of interactions that could be tested at once was limited. The new approach, published June 26 in Nature Methods, lets researchers test millions of relationships between thousands of proteins in a single experiment.


Prominent scientists in immunobiology and aging research to join Salk Institute

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute is honored to welcome two new faculty with the rank of full professor, both of whom are highly respected and accomplished leaders in their fields. Susan Kaech and Gerald Shadel will inspire fresh collaborations and bring experienced perspectives to bear on Salk’s approaches to health and disease.


Grammy legend David Foster & Friends headline at 22nd Symphony at Salk

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute will celebrate 22 years of Symphony at Salk, its signature concert under the stars, with Grammy-winning songwriter, composer and producer David Foster and the incomparable San Diego Symphony on Saturday, August 26.


Salk Institute scientist Eiman Azim named Pew Scholar and Aging Brain Scholar

LA JOLLA—The Pew Charitable Trusts announced today that Eiman Azim, an assistant professor in Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, is one of 22 researchers to be named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Each scholar receives $240,000 over four years. Additionally, Azim is one of a subset of five Pew Scholars selected for support by the Kathryn W. Davis Peace by Pieces Fund, which focuses on investigating health challenges in the brain as it ages.


How the brain recognizes what the eye sees

LA JOLLA—If you think self-driving cars can’t get here soon enough, you’re not alone. But programming computers to recognize objects is very technically challenging, especially since scientists don’t fully understand how our own brains do it.


Salk’s Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center partners with imaging giant ZEISS

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute’s Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and ZEISS announced today a global partnership to accelerate the frontiers of microscopy and imaging technologies.


How cells divide tasks and conquer work

LA JOLLA—Despite advances in neuroscience, the brain is still very much a black box—no one even knows how many different types of neurons exist. Now, a scientist from the Salk Institute has used a mathematical framework to better understand how different cell types divide work among themselves.


A star is born: lesser-known brain cell takes center stage

LA JOLLA—Neurons have long enjoyed the spotlight in neuroscience—and for good reason: they are incredibly important cellular actors. But, increasingly, star-shaped support cells called astrocytes are being seen as more than bit players in the brain’s rich pageant.


A better dye job for roots—in plants

LA JOLLA—(June 1, 2017) Once we start coloring our hair, we may be surprised to learn that we begin to have a problem in common with plant biologists: finding the right dye for our roots. In the case of the biologists, just the right chemical is needed to measure exactly how plant roots grow. Now, a researcher at the Salk Institute has discovered a fluorescent dye that, paired with other imaging techniques, reveals root growth to be influenced by a major plant hormone more than previously thought.


Brain’s immune cells linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia

LA JOLLA—Scientists have, for the first time, characterized the molecular markers that make the brain’s front lines of immune defense—cells called microglia—unique. In the process, they discovered further evidence that microglia may play roles in a variety of neurodegenerative and psychiatric illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases as well as schizophrenia, autism and depression.


Helping plants pump iron

LA JOLLA—Just like people, plants need iron to grow and stay healthy. But some plants are better at getting this essential nutrient from the soil than others. Now, a study led by a researcher at the Salk Institute has found that variants of a single gene can largely determine a plant’s ability to thrive in environments where iron is scarce.


Novel tool confers targeted, stable editing of epigenome in human stem cells

LA JOLLA—(May 4, 2017) Salk Institute scientists have developed a novel technology to correct disease-causing aberrations in the chemical tags on DNA that affect how genes are expressed. These types of chemical modifications, collectively referred to as epigenetics or the epigenome, are increasingly being considered as important as the genomic sequence itself in development and disease.


“Exercise-in-a-pill” boosts athletic endurance by 70 percent

LA JOLLA—Every week, there seems to be another story about the health benefits of running. That’s great—but what if you can’t run? For the elderly, obese or otherwise mobility-limited, the rewards of aerobic exercise have long been out of reach.


Salk promotes two dynamic scientists who study the microbiome and neurobiology

LA JOLLA—Two Salk Institute faculty members have been promoted based on their innovative and notable contributions to biological research.


Salk Institute welcomes new trustees Jay T. Flatley and Joon Yun

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute Board of Trustees welcomes its newest trustees, Jay T. Flatley, MS, and Joon Yun, MD. Chaired by Ted Waitt, the Salk Board helps drive the strategic direction of the Institute founded by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk in 1960.


Identical twins; not-so-identical stem cells

LA JOLLA—Salk scientists and collaborators have shed light on a longstanding question about what leads to variation in stem cells by comparing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from identical twins. Even iPSCs made from the cells of twins, they found, have important differences, suggesting that not all variation between iPSC lines is rooted in genetics, since the twins have identical genes.


Salk’s research center on aging receives additional $3 million award from Glenn Foundation for Medical Research

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute has received a $3 million award from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research for the second time in 4 years, enabling the Institute to continue investigating the biology of normal human aging and age-related diseases.


Salk scientists expand ability of stem cells to regrow any tissue type

LA JOLLA—When scientists talk about laboratory stem cells being totipotent or pluripotent, they mean that the cells have the potential, like an embryo, to develop into any type of tissue in the body. What totipotent stem cells can do that pluripotent ones can’t do, however, is develop into tissues that support the embryo, like the placenta. These are called extra-embryonic tissues, and are vital in development and healthy growth.


Salk researcher Eiman Azim named Searle scholar

LA JOLLA—Eiman Azim, assistant professor in Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, has received the prestigious Searle Scholar award, which each year is given to only 15 researchers in the fields of chemical and biological sciences.