Inside Salk 12 |15
HEN BILL BRODY RETIRES AS PRESIDENT OF
the Salk Institute at the end of December 2015,
it will mark the close of a fruitful chapter for the
Institute and the beginning of a new era. An acclaimed physi-
cian-scientist entrepreneur and university leader, Brody joined
Salk in 2009 after serving 12 years as president of Johns
Hopkins University. During Brody’s six years of leadership at
Salk, he navigated the Institute through challenging waters,
weathering a global financial crisis while launching Salk’s first
major fundraising campaign. The Campaign for Salk significantly
boosted the Institute’s outreach efforts to raise its profile and
attract private philanthropic support. This included a number of
new public events, including the Salk Science & Music Series,
Brody’s brainchild and an offshoot of his classical piano training.
As Brody steps down as president this month, the campaign
comes to a close, having exceeded the goal of raising $300
million and more than doubling the Institute’s endowment
from $132 million in 2009 to $356 million in 2015—laying a
financial foundation critical to long-term stability and flexibility.
In addition to shoring up its financial footing, the Institute
has boasted a run of scientific successes during Brody’s tenure,
including recruiting a new cadre of highly sought-after faculty
and expanding its research facilities, outfitting them with the
most cutting-edge scientific technologies. Most important of
all, Salk’s scientists continue to produce a steady stream of
remarkable scientific discoveries that are changing how we
see the world and how we tackle the many challenges facing
humanity, from climate change to Alzheimer’s disease to cancer.
THE FUTURE ALWAYS HOLDS
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES.
– BILL BRODY
What do you see as the best opportunities
for the Salk Institute?
We have so many opportunities—too many, really. We’re living in
a renaissance of biomedical science. People say this is the ‘era
of stem cells’ or ‘neuroscience’ or ‘cancer.’ And that’s all true.
One challenge at Salk is all the technologies we have to deal
with. We are the Salk Institute for Biological Studies—not tech-
nological studies—but it’s critically important that we invest in
technology. Technology is really driving the science now. Another
promising trend I’ve seen at Salk is the merging of basic and
translational research. It used to be that someone who discovered
Bill Brody and Irwin Jacobs, chairman of Salk’s Board of Trustees