Research Areas

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Research Areas


Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting sicker. We are committed to discovering the fundamental causes of aging and finding new ways to prevent and treat age-related diseases.

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We are rapidly demystifying cancers and leading the search for the next generation of targeted cancer therapies. We see a future where transformational treatments destroy tumors before they develop drug resistance.

The Salk Cancer Center is a basic research National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center.

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Computational Biology

Modern scientific research has yielded massive amounts of data-but few good ways to understand the information. We are developing mathematical and analytical frameworks to uncover new connections in biological systems.

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In many ways, we are our genes. At Salk, we explain the role of genes in everything from how tumors form to why certain people are at higher risk for neurological disorders.

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Immune System Biology

In a world full of dangers, from bacterial infections to cancer, our immune system is our fortress. We study the immune system to boost our ability to fight off numerous diseases.

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Infectious Disease

Viruses, bacteria and parasites are among the many infectious challenges humans face. At Salk we seek to understand infection and immunity in new ways, from finding novel techniques to image and decode the structure of infectious agents to treating pathogens less as enemies to be vanquished and more as potential allies on the road to health.

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At Salk, we seek to understand human metabolism and what happens when this biological system breaks down. The problem is important as diabetes becomes more prevalent and more of a burden on an already-taxed healthcare system.

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We are entering a new era in neuroscience where our knowledge is beginning to meet the urgent need to prevent and treat diseases of the brain.

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Plant Biology

To support human population growth, world agricultural production must double over the next quarter century. We study plants so that humans will have the food, clothing, energy and medicines they need now and in the future.

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Protein Interactions

Proteins—large, complex molecules—catalyze virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place in the body. We study their interactions to discover how they heal or how they harm.

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Many disorders and life-threatening diseases could be cured by replacing or fixing dysfunctional cells. We aim to uncover novel ways to transplant new cells, tissues and even organs while minimizing their rejection.

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