April 10, 2008

The Salk Institute announces $10 million challenge gift from Irwin and Joan Jacobs

Salk News

The Salk Institute announces $10 million challenge gift from Irwin and Joan Jacobs

La Jolla, CA – The Salk Institute announced today that Irwin and Joan Jacobs have established a $10 million matching fund to support the creation of 10 Senior Scientist Endowed Chairs. By providing a match, this fund enables 10 donors to each make a gift of $2 million to create and name a highly prestigious and permanent chair. The Irwin and Joan Jacobs Leadership Challenge will add a $1 million match to each gift, thus providing each Chair with a $3 million endowment. Each named chair will provide key support to a Salk Institute Senior scientist.

Salk's Interim President, Nobel Laureate Roger Guillemin, stated that the Jacobs' gift impacts an issue of high importance at the Institute. "As traditional government funding sources that have supported the scientists of the Salk Institute are stagnant or diminishing, the urgency to address our ability to recruit, support, and retain the very finest of the scientific community cannot be overstated. The creation of 10 endowed chairs will make a transformative difference to the resources available to those whose work is critical to the future of the Institute."

The Challenge, which will commence immediately, will last until 10 chairs are funded or no later than December 31, 2009. "We are deeply appreciative of Joan and Irwin Jacobs' generosity and vision. The Chair challenge provides an opportunity to significantly increase the number of endowed chairs at the institute" said Salk's Executive Vice President, Dr. Marsha Chandler. "This $10 million leadership gift, together with contributions from other philanthropists, will ensure that Salk's extraordinary scientists can continue to carry out their groundbreaking work on our campus."

Chairman of Salk's Board of Trustees, Irwin Jacobs is a co-founder and chairman of Qualcomm. In 2004 he and Joan Jacobs provided the lead gift to establish the Crick-Jacobs Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology and have since provided additional major gifts for Salk's very successful Innovation Grants program. In choosing to establish the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Leadership Challenge, Irwin Jacobs said that "Salk has drawn together an immensely talented cadre of scientists from all over the world. They bring commitment, creativity, and passion to the discovery process. Currently, the faculty boasts three Nobel laureates, five Howard Hughes Medical investigators, and 14 members of the National Academy of Science. Through this matching gift, Joan and I are inviting others to support these superb scientists."

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., whose polio vaccine all but eradicated the crippling disease poliomyelitis in 1955, opened the Institute in 1965 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes.

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