August 23, 2018

Salk’s donors give $48.5 million to support
scientific innovation in FY18

Philanthropic funds help accelerate discoveries in cancer, plant science, neuroscience and more

Salk News


Salk’s donors give $48.5 million to support scientific innovation in FY18

Philanthropic funds help accelerate discoveries in cancer, plant science, neuroscience and more

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute announced today that it received more than $48 million from 1,100 individual donors and private grant makers in fiscal year 2018 to support the Institute’s groundbreaking science. In addition, government partners (e.g., the National Institutes of Health) provided 47 federal grants totaling more than $55 million to Salk researchers working in the areas of cancer, plant science, neuroscience, metabolism and others.

“The amount of generosity and confidence that our donors and partners show us through their investments speaks volumes to the caliber of research taking place here,” says Salk President Rusty Gage. “It takes significant resources to enable Salk’s many scientific leaders to make important discoveries against some of the most challenging biological issues of our time. The individuals and groups that come alongside us are crucial collaborators in our efforts.”

“It is inspiring to see how our philanthropic partners have invested in our mission,” says Rebecca Newman, vice president of external relations. “The partnership of our donors allows us to move forward and continue to make progress in addressing humanity’s greatest challenges—from cancer and neurodegenerative disease to climate change.”

Salk’s fundraising was highlighted by several key gifts throughout the year, with many coming from the Institute’s leadership. These included a gift of $2 million from Salk Board of Trustees member Howard Newman in support of the Harnessing Plants Initiative, a new endeavor that will focus on Salk’s research into using plants to address global issues such as climate instability, demand for food and energy needs.

In the area of cancer research, Salk Board member Corinne Mentzelopoulos’ $1 million gift seeded the Cancer Center Director’s Endowed Fund in support of Salk Cancer Center’s areas of greatest need. The gift is particularly timely; in December, Salk launched its Conquering Cancer Initiative, a broad strategy spearheaded by Salk’s leadership to take on five of the deadliest cancers: triple-negative breast, pancreatic, lung, ovarian and brain (specifically glioblastoma).

In addition, Richard Heyman and Anne Daigle donated $1.5 million to establish the Richard A. Heyman and Anne E. Daigle Endowed Developmental Chair, awarded to Assistant Professor Diana Hargreaves, who is tackling ovarian and other cancers. “It is a pleasure,” says Heyman, “to be able to contribute to the work of the scientists who have taken up the torch for Salk. Anne and I want to foster the next generation of researchers and allow them to push the frontiers of medical science.”

In the area of neuroscience, the Korea-based company NANOS Co., Ltd., made a $1.5 million gift to establish the NANOS Alzheimer’s Disease Stem Cell Suite. This suite will be a dedicated laboratory space that will serve as a cell bank focused on Alzheimer’s. This cell bank will house both stem cells and somatic (body) cells from human donors, critical for analysis and testing of therapeutic drugs.

In addition, significant gifts encompassing important areas of research and need at the Institute were provided by several organizations, including the W. M. Keck Foundation, the Getty Foundation, Padres Pedal the Cause and Stand Up to Cancer, in addition to federal grants.

“The interplay between public funding and private giving is critical to Salk’s success. Our partnerships with different funding agencies enable high-risk, high-reward research projects across the entire spectrum of science at Salk, the importance of which can’t be overstated,” says Martin Hetzer, Salk’s vice president and chief science officer.

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The Salk Institute For Biological Studies:

Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk’s mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer’s, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin.