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Dear Friends,

Moving science forward requires partnerships. So in this season of giving thanks we

highlight and thank our many partners, especially the donors who step up every year

to fund important biological research at Salk. More than just money, though, these

dedicated Salk supporters give of their time and their expertise. And for that we are

particularly thankful.

In this issue of

Inside Salk

, we feature our Innovation Grants Program, one Salk partnership

program that propels the sort of high-risk, high-potential research that confirms the

Institute’s reputation as a world leader. This program enables ambitious scientists such as

Clodagh O’Shea, Satchidananda Panda and Sreekanth Chalasani to pursue novel avenues

of research that might otherwise have been orphaned due to a lack of traditional funding.

I’d like to point out that innovative partnerships are key to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,

the $45 billion organization founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

In September, they announced plans to unite experts from around the world in virtual

institutes dubbed “challenge networks” to tackle urgent scientific and medical problems.

Such interdisciplinary collaboration has always been a tenet at Salk and I envision our

Institute partnering with others within the framework of this new initiative.

Finally, on behalf of everyone here at Salk, I’d like to express our gratitude to two of our

finest partners, IrwinMark Jacobs and his wife, Joan. It is my honor to hold the Irwin

M. Jacobs Presidential Chair, established in 2009 by Qualcomm, the San Diego-based

telecommunications equipment company founded by Irwin. Over the course of a long

and ongoing relationship with Salk, the Jacobses have helped create the Crick-Jacobs

Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology, an interdisciplinary research unit

providing unprecedented insights into the workings of the brain; they endowed two chairs

recognizing Salk Nobel laureates Renato Dulbecco and Roger Guillemin; and they initiated

a highly successful “chair challenge” in which they matched every gift of $2 million with

an additional $1 million toward a goal of fully funding 20 endowed chairs. Now, after

10 years of astute leadership as chairman of the Salk Board of Trustees, Irwin is stepping

down, even as he continues service as chair emeritus. What wonderful partners he and

Joan have been—and continue to be—to Salk.

Read on to learn about all the amazing discoveries supported by our equally amazing

partners. We appreciate each and every one of you, and I wish you a joyous holiday season.


Elizabeth Blackburn

President, Salk Institute

Irwin M. Jacobs Presidential Chair

“More than just money, these

dedicated Salk supporters

give of their time and their

expertise. And for that we

are particularly thankful.”