Where cures begin.
New collaborators fromdivergent fields are tackling
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THE MOST INNOVATIVE IDEAS OFTEN COME FROM SURPRISING
places—and that’s especially true in science. Biologists and computer
scientists, for instance, see the world in very different ways, but the
happy collision of those worldviews can lead to something entirely new.
The Salk Institute has always embraced and encouraged such cross-
pollination, and Salk scientists often mention this “culture of collision”—
to coin a phrase—as a big part of why they chose to come here.
The feature story in this issue of
—“The Power of
Connections”—examines some significant advancements produced by
these interdisciplinary partnerships.
for example, are uniting their respective expertise in biology and chemistry
to better understand cancer metabolism. In our “Next Generation”
article, you’ll learn how Salk researchers and spouses
, though working in separate labs, collaborate to study plant
survival mechanisms, an issue vital to future crop production. And you’ll
see how rewarding partnerships often extend beyond the Salk campus. A
case in point is
, who recently teamed up with researchers
at Harvard Medical School to identify a neural mechanism in the spinal
cord that appears to be implicated in sending erroneous pain signals to
the brain, a major discovery that could benefit patients who suffer from
such disorders as fibromyalgia and phantom limb pain.
A number of other notable discoveries are featured in the “Discovery
has uncovered details about how
cancer uses a diversification strategy to develop drug resistance and
has found a way to identify previously undetectable protein
interactions, which could provide new targets for cancer therapeutics.
, also investigating proteins, has identified a protein
integral to active HIV replication and one that enables the disease to strike
the immune system years after lying dormant. Two discoveries, from the
, drew worldwide attention.
Panda’s study found that confining caloric consumption to an 8- to 12-hour
period—as people did just a century ago—might stave off high cholesterol,
diabetes and obesity. Evans’ team developed a new compound, fexaramine,
that can trick the body into thinking it has consumed calories and burned
calories, thus raising hopes of a successful diet pill.
No scientific advancement occurs without tremendous teamwork and
one partnership I am cognizant of on a daily basis is the one we share
with you. Your interest in and support of fundamental biological research
buoys our determination and drives our discoveries. For that, we are
William R. Brody, MD, PhD
President, Salk Institute
Irwin M. Jacobs Presidential Chairwww.salk.edu
Inside Salk 4 | 15
ON THE COVER
The field of single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) enables researchers to reconstruct biological macromolecules in 3D,
revealing more about their form and function. This image shows a small portion of a 3D reconstruction of a large ribosomal subunit
of a multi-protein complex responsible for cellular protein synthesis.
The wire me h displays reconstructed density from cryoEM data. The data can be interpreted in terms of atomic coordinates,
which are displayed in ball-and-stick form. Regions displayed without an atomic model are areas that have not yet been modeled
and require further interpretation.
Courtesy of Dmitry Lyumkis