Inder Verma


Laboratory of Genetics

American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology

Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Science

Inder Verma
Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Videos


Memory relies on astrocytes, the brain’s lesser-known cells

When you’re expecting something—like the meal you’ve ordered at a restaurant—or when or when something captures your interest, unique electrical rhythms sweep through your brain.

These waves are called gamma oscillations and they reflect a symphony of cells—both excitatory and inhibitory—playing together in an orchestrated way. Though their role has been debated, gamma waves have been associated with higher-level brain function, and disturbances in the patterns have been tied to schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epilepsy and other disorders. Read more »

Immune system-in-a-dish offers hope for “bubble boy” disease

For infants with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), something as simple as a common cold or ear infection can be fatal. Born with an incomplete immune system, kids who have SCID–also known as “bubble boy” or “bubble baby” disease–can’t fight off even the mildest of germs. They often have to live in sterile, isolated environments to avoid infections and, even then, most patients don’t live past a year or two. This happens because stem cells in SCID patients’ bone marrow have a genetic mutation that prevents them from developing critical immune cells, called T and Natural Killer (NK) cells.

Now, Salk researchers have found a way to, for the first time, convert cells from SCID patients to a stem cell-like state, fix the genetic mutation and prompt the corrected cells to successfully generate NK cells in the laboratory. Read more »

New Drug Combo Shows Promise For Cancer Treatment

A combination of two unexpected drugs targets tumors.

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a powerful one-two punch for countering a common genetic mutation that often leads to drug-resistant cancers. The dual-drug therapy–with analogs already in use for other diseases–doubled the survival rate of mice with lung cancer and halted cancer in pancreatic cells. Read more »

Discovery links breast cancer gene to brain development

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and BRCA1, a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Read more »


MSc, Biochemistry Lucknow University, India
PhD, Biochemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology, (with David Baltimore), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Fellow, American Association for Cancer Research
  • 2011 Editor-in-Chief, Proceedings fo the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
  • 2010 Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Award for Cancer Research
  • 2010 Spector Prize
  • 2009 American Society of Gene Therapy's Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 2008 Vilcek Foundation Prize in Biomedical Science
  • 2007 Cozzarelli Prize
  • 2006 AAAS Fellow
  • 2006 American Philosophical Society

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