Salk Central March Newsletter
March 22, 2013

William R. Brody

Thank you all for your best wishes and comments on our first issue of Salk Central. My congratulations to those who correctly answered our first caption contest, and to those who provided imaginative guesses! The answer is: a macrophage engulfing a dead cell. The image, taken in Salk's  Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center, comes from the laboratory of Greg Lemke, and is featured in our 2013 Salk calendar.


Next month, on April 13, the Institute will celebrate Step Into Discovery Day, which features Explore Salk, the first open house in Salk history, as well as our inaugural 5k Walk for Salk.


There are many charity walks for important causes, but there has never been a walk for what ultimately impacts human health the most: basic biomedical research. We hope you will join us to walk for what Salk does and what Salk's time to Walk for Salk!



Yours in Discovery,

 William R. Brody

Step into Discovery

We are excited about April 13, when hundreds of Salk scientists, staff, family and friends will Step Into Discovery! Please join us for a full day of activities beginning with our new annual event, Walk for Salk, the 5k fundraising walk.

Walk for Salk


Registration for the walk begins at 8:00 a.m., and the walk begins at 9:00 a.m. from our campus and follows a loop around the beautiful Torrey Pines Mesa. We encourage you, your friends and your family to participate individually or as a team. We have prizes for the top fundraisers, both individuals and teams. If you want to measure yourself or your team against the competition----or just see their clever names----please visit the Walk for Salk web page.


There's a free, extra-special event after the walk. Explore Salk is our first-ever community open house. It will feature a health and wellness festival with vendor booths, speakers and family activities. Guided lab tours will be offered throughout the day and will provide guests an opportunity to meet our scientists and learn about specific areas of our research, including: Cancer, Dynamic Brain, Genomic Medicine, Healthy Aging, Plant Biology and core technologies. Pre-registration is required for the lab tours, which start at 11:00 a.m. The last tour is at 3:30 p.m.


Step Into Discovery: Walk for Salk! Explore Salk! Make a day of it, and come for both! 


Read more>>
A first: Salk to open labs to public
San Diego Union Tribune    

Friends of Salk

Jonas Salk and Francis Crick in the courtyard
Jonas Salk and Francis Crick

The late Francis Crick, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins for the discovery of DNA, was a much beloved faculty member at the Salk Institute. Now, his son Michael is honoring that relationship with a historic donation.


On March 15, 1953, Francis sent a letter to then 12-year-old Michael, which begins, "Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery." The letter, signed affectionately, "Lots of Love, Daddy,"  is the first complete description of DNA, including how it copies itself to pass on the genetic code.


The letter will be auctioned at Christie's on April 10. Michael Crick and his wife, Barbara, have generously donated a half-interest to Salk to support research in his father's memory. "The Salk allowed Francis to continue doing research for another 27 years after he had reached mandatory retirement age at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England," Crick told the New York Times.


All of us at Salk thank the Crick family for this tremendous gift.


Salk in the News
Scott Peters

Congressman Scott Peters held a press conference at Salk on February 20 to highlight the severe impact that the Sequestration budget plans would have on science and research. Geoff Wahl, along with a patient advocate from his lab, Bianca Kennedy, and Mark Cafferty from the San Diego Economic Development Council, also participated in the discussion
for a solution to the sequester that will allow our scientists to continue their cutting-edge research to benefit health and humanity.

Read more>>
Federal Cuts Akin to Amputation: Cancer Researchers
NBC7 San Diego


Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Twice a year, Salk presents "Back to Basics," a program introducing the Institute's science to the general public. On April 3, 2013 Marc R. Montminy and Satchidananda Panda will speak about their research. The title of Dr. Montminy's talk is "Diabetes and the Obesity Epidemic" and the title of Dr. Panda's talk is "Tuning Our Clock for a a Healthy Lifespan."

For additional information, please contact:

Cheryl Dean, Esq.
Sr. Director, Planned Giving
Phone: 858 453-4100 ext. 2068


Science News 


Our scientists continue to make local and international news with their leading-edge research.


Hu Cang wrote software that helps crunch a vast quantity of data in hours, instead of days and weeks, to produce images of single molecules in detail. 
  • Cloud helps image molecules in detail
    MSN News   

Joanne Chory and Joseph Noel discovered a possible explanation for how organisms, including humans, directly regulate chemical reactions that quickly adjust growth rates.

Joseph Ecker identified patterns of epigenomic diversity that not only allow plants to adapt to various environments, but could also benefit crop production and the study of human diseases.

  • Hidden layer of genome unveils how plants may adapt to environments throughout the world
    Red Orbit   



We honored 20 staff members who have achieved service milestones of between 10 and 40-or-more years of employment at the 4th Annual Salk Service Ceremony and Brunch celebration on March 14. Everyone from the Salk community would like to extend a special thank you to these dedicated employees and their long-term contributions, hard work and commitment to the Institute.


Question of the Month

Francis Crick and James Watson* used this X-ray diffraction image to develop the first model for DNA, but they did not take it. Who did----and why wasn't this scientist included on their historic 1962 Nobel Prize?
 Question of the Month Photo copyright: Nature

Post your answer to our FaceBook page: or email us at  


One random winner from the entries with the correct answer will win a special momento of Salk merchandise. (Your choice of a t-shirt or hat.) 


Congratulations to last month's winners: Anide Johansen from Trondheim, Norway and Susan Joachim, RN from Chula Vista, CA.


*March Bonus: Jim Watson will give a talk at Salk titled "Oxidants and Antioxidants in Cancer and Diabetes" on March 21st at 11:00 am.

Issue: 2
Step into Discovery
Friends of Salk
Salk in the News
Back to Basics
Science News
Question of the Month

Upcoming Events



Back to Basics
Lecture Series 

April 3, 2013
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Step into Discovery

Walk for Salk

Explore Salk

April 13, 2013
9:00 am - 4:00 pm



San Diego Salkexcellerators Reception
with Fred "Rusty" Gage
May 15, 2013
6:00 pm



41st Annual Tax Seminar for Private Foundations

May 15-17, 2013







Wallpaper Photos

Each month our featured image will provide a shot of art and science. Download the image and use it as your desktop wallpaper, smartphone background or facebook timeline photo. Download>>   


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