July 22, 2013

Salk Institute raises a record $93 million in 2012 fiscal year

First-ever Campaign for Salk on track towards $300 million goal

Salk News

Salk Institute raises a record $93 million in 2012 fiscal year

First-ever Campaign for Salk on track towards $300 million goal

LA JOLLA,CA—The Salk Institute received a record-setting $93 million from individuals, foundations and corporate donors during fiscal year 2012 to support the Campaign for Salk, the Institute’s first major fundraising campaign.

The extraordinary year of fundraising brings the total amount raised to nearly $215 million since the quiet phase of the campaign began in 2009. The campaign seeks to increase Salk’s unrestricted endowment and support four major scientific initiatives: Cancer, Genomic Medicine, Healthy Aging and the Dynamic Brain.

“We are grateful for the vision and generosity of our donors who have joined us to achieve this milestone,” says Rebecca Newman, vice president of external relations at Salk. “The Campaign for Salk will ensure that our scientists can continue to make discoveries that will benefit human health for generations to come.”

The Campaign for Salk is helping the Institute’s researchers take advantage of new technologies and scientific approaches that are rewriting the rules of biomedical research, even as federal support declines for basic science. These advances are allowing scientists to discern what is happening at the deepest molecular level in our bodies and make sense of the bewildering complexity of our physiology and diseases.

“The ability to understand cells at a small scale is revealing the big picture of how they operate as complex systems,” says Inder Verma, holder of the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Science at Salk. “This is crucial to developing better therapies, since you can’t understand how a machine works—or how to fix it—without mapping out all the gears, switches and wires.”

Soon after the public launch of the Campaign for Salk in January, the Institute announced the largest gift in Salk’s history and one of the largest ever to an independent research institution: an award of $42 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to establish the Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine.

In another first, Salk opened its campus to the community by hosting Step into Discovery, a day that included the inaugural 5K Walk for Salk and Explore Salk, a fundraising event and open house that offered exclusive tours of the Institute’s science labs. More than 1,200 people took part in the events, helping to raise $60,000 for research and the Institute’s Education Outreach program.

The Institute has also made great progress over the past year in fulfilling a major priority of the Campaign for Salk by establishing seven new endowed chairs for exemplary Salk faculty. The Joan Klein Jacobs and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientist Endowed Chair Challenge was created by Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs to encourage donors through a matching funds program to establish endowed chairs for senior scientists. To date, 17 chairs have been established as a result of this program.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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