Salk Institute statement on lawsuits filed by Katherine Jones, PhD and Victoria Lundblad, PhD
It has come to attention of the Salk Institute that Katherine Jones, PhD and Victoria Lundblad, PhD have filed suit against the Institute in San Diego Superior Court alleging gender discrimination.
Salk is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all. Institute policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age, disability and sexual orientation or any other protected classification. The Institute will vigorously defend itself through the legal system against any allegations of gender discrimination with full confidence in prevailing.
Drs. Jones and Lundblad, whose laboratories have received over $5 million in support from the Institute over the past 10 fiscal years, have been treated generously by the Institute, including relative to their male peers. Each scientist’s lucrative compensation package is consistent with well-recognized metrics that have been applied to all Salk faculty in a nondiscriminatory manner. Additionally, the Institute has always strived in partnership with faculty, and within a very competitive environment, to secure the government and foundation grants that are the cornerstone of our funding and which support the research pursued by Drs. Jones and Lundblad and other faculty members.
Female scientists at Salk have conducted acclaimed research programs since the Institute’s founding, and in the past ten years Salk has appointed an additional eight women scientists to its elite faculty. The Institute is headed by a female President, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, and the majority of the executive leadership team is female. Salk’s Women & Science program, currently in its fifth year, provides a stimulating forum for community leaders to engage with Salk scientists and has raised over $450,000 to support the advancement of women in science. Salk denies that Dr. Jones or Dr. Lundblad have suffered any harm or adverse employment action based on their gender.
Throughout its 57-year history, the Salk Institute’s collaborative work environment has enabled Salk scientists to conduct innovative and daring research into the most serious biological questions of our time. The Salk Institute takes pride in a culture driven by a shared passion for tackling some of the most challenging problems facing humanity. Salk employees hail from 46 countries around the globe, speak numerous languages and possess a wide range of perspectives, skills, experience and knowledge. As Dr. Blackburn notes, “We must draw on the whole of humanity for the best ideas.” That includes and will always include talented female scientists.
At this time, the Institute will provide no further comment on this matter.