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PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Dear Friends,

Thoughts of rejuvenation arrive with spring and in this issue of

Inside Salk

you’ll

find that much of our current work at the Institute focuses on innovative ways to

achieve vibrancy and health.

You’ll meet Janelle Ayres, one of our rising star faculty members, who is challenging

the traditional use—and sometimes overuse—of antibiotics to fight infectious

diseases. As anyone who reads the headlines knows, diseases that have long been

controlled by antibiotic medications are staging a worldwide resurgence. According

to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected

with antibiotic-resistant diseases each year and around 23,000 die. Janelle proposes

a new way of tackling this problem: rather than trying to kill the invading bacteria,

she aims to harness the body’s own “good” bacteria—its microbiome—to counter

the damaging effects of pathogens. Her studies, already proving successful, are

redesigning the protocol for how we deal with infectious disease.

In headlines of another kind, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, professor in the

Gene Expression Laboratory, is being hailed internationally for his work addressing

the chronic shortage of donor organs by coaxing human cells to grow inside another

species. You’ll read about this and many more groundbreaking findings in our

Discoveries section.

Here on the Salk campus, we’re undergoing rejuvenation of an architectural nature.

A months-long project to restore the teak components of our buildings, in partnership

with The Getty Conservation Institute, is nearing completion. Filmmaker Nathaniel

Kahn, son of famed architect Louis Kahn, who designed the Institute, and Dr. Jonathan

Salk, Jonas Salk’s son, speak in this issue on the importance of the architectural icon

their fathers worked together to create some 50 years ago.

Finally, you’ll get a peek inside the inventive mind of Ted Waitt, Salk’s new chairman

of the Board. Ted, who founded Gateway, Inc., and guided it to a multibillion-dollar

corporation, has been immensely successful applying innovative strategies to drive

businesses forward. We are working closely with him here at Salk as we begin

implementing an ambitious strategic plan to propel Salk forward for the next 50 years.

That’s just about the time we’ll be returning our attention to the teak.

Be well!

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Blackburn

President, Salk Institute

Irwin M. Jacobs Presidential Chair

“Thoughts of rejuvenation

arrive with spring and in this

issue of

Inside Salk

you’ll find

that much of our current work

at the Institute focuses on

innovative ways to achieve

vibrancy and health.”