February 15, 2023
LA JOLLA—Salk Professor Christian Metallo has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to advancing science by being named the next holder of the Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair, effective January 1, 2023. Professor Geoffrey Wahl previously held this chair position.
“We are happy to see Christian receive this chair in honor of his exemplary work during his career,” says Salk President Rusty Gage. “The generous, continued support of our institution by both Dan and Martina Lewis enables us to support outstanding members of our research community like Christian.”
Metallo, who is part of Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, studies metabolism—how the constant breakdown of energy within cells works and, importantly, doesn’t work. By carefully studying healthy metabolic pathways, disease-causing pathways become clear, such as those that drive cancer progression and vision loss. His research advances the field of metabolism and provides a foundation for the development of metabolism-related therapeutics. Most recently, Metallo discovered that altered amino acid metabolism significantly contributes to peripheral neuropathy, a condition that is common in people with diabetes. The discovery opens new possibilities for identifying people most at risk for the condition, as well as potential treatment options.
“It is a tremendous honor to be the next Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair,” says Metallo. “Moving forward, this support will advance my lab’s research and allow us to break new ground in our understanding of metabolism and its relationship to diseases like cancer, diabetes, and neuropathy.”
The Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair, which was established 11 years ago, is a designation made possible by the generosity of Daniel and Martina Lewis. They established the chair to promote the excellence and innovation of Salk faculty members, intending for the chair to benefit the area of highest scientific priority, according to the President’s guidance.
In addition to founding the chair, Daniel Lewis has been a member of Salk’s Board of Trustees since 2012, where he previously served as chair and on the Executive Committee. He is personally aware of the impact of Salk’s science. Gleevec, a drug developed based on an early scientific discovery made by Salk Professor Tony Hunter, allowed Lewis to survive his leukemia diagnosis.
“Salk has made such an impact on my life, I am honored to contribute to the continued success of Salk’s science,” says Daniel Lewis. “Christian has enormous potential, and I cannot wait to see how his research contributes to the excellence of Salk’s legacy.”
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