Message from Tony Hunter – Salk C3 founding member and Cancer Center Director (2008-2016)
The Salk Institute Cancer Center is a basic research cancer center with 30 faculty members organized into two research programs (Genetic, Epigenetic, and Immune Circuits in Cancer; Animal Models of Cancer and Therapeutics). The Salk Cancer Center’s mission is to understand the molecular basis of cancer through a multipronged approach, making use of model systems, primary tumor samples and cancer cell lines with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets. The environment of the Cancer Center fosters intellectual freedom, creativity and a willingness to engage in high-risk research. The members of the Cancer Center are highly interactive and their combined expertise enables rapid advances in our understanding of this complex disease. We are now on the threshold of a new era in cancer research, and the Cancer Center is poised to lead the way in deepening our understanding of cancer with the goal of making and translating breakthrough discoveries that will lead to successful therapies to treat or eradicate cancer. To achieve our vision of a world where cancer is a curable disease, our ability to collaborate and share resources with the outstanding scientists and clinicians at the other two NCI-designated Cancer Centers in San Diego, the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, a comprehensive clinical and basic research cancer center, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute Cancer Center, also a basic research cancer center, both within a square mile on the La Jolla mesa, will be vital. This goal is greatly facilitated by the San Diego Cancer Center Council (C3) initiative, and we are excited to be able to make use of the unique core services available through the other cancer centers, and to interact with their members. As part of Cancer Center Council we want to take advantage of the great strength in cancer research in San Diego and establish interactions with the rest of the academic research community on the mesa and with local biotech and pharma companies to accelerate our efforts to find cures for cancer.