January 15, 2014
Three Salk discoveries
make "best of the year" lists


Three discoveries at the Salk Institute were recently selected for industry "best of the year" lists. Science magazine honored the work of Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte's lab, naming it a runner-up for 2013 Breakthrough of the Year.  In addition findings published in Science led by Rusty Gage and Joe Ecker earned the number four spot on a year-end list compiled by Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).


Calling the work "spectacular," the editors of Science praised researchers' success in getting pluripotent stem cells to grow into tiny "organoids"-mini-kidney structures-in the lab. 

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte and his team are the first to coax human stem cells into forming actual three-dimensional cellular structures similar to those found in human kidneys, an accomplishment that holds great promise for treating kidney disease.


For the NIMH year-end list, Rusty Gage, Joe Ecker and Terry Sejnowski were lauded for their work uncovering new complexities in the human brain. Using single-cell sequencing, Gage and his colleagues showed that the genomic structures of individual neurons differ from each other even more than expected. Ecker and Sejnowski explored the landscape of DNA methylation, revealing that it is highly dynamic in brain cells during the transition from birth to adulthood. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2013/ten-best-of-2013.shtml
Salk Scientist Rusty Gage named to National Academy of Inventors


Rusty Gage, professor in the Salk Institute's Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on
Rusty Gage 
Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).


Nominated by their peers, NAI Fellows must be a named inventor on at least one patent; Gage joins a number of accomplished innovators in the 2013 class who collectively hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.


Gage's research focuses on modeling diseases in the laboratory using human stem cells. Through reprogramming of human somatic cells from patients with neurologic and psychiatric disease, his work seeks to understand the progression and mechanisms that lead to neuronal and glial dysfunction.

He will be inducted into the NAI by the deputy U.S. commissioner for patents during the academy's annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia, in March.
The science of aging has never been more important. Currently, about 40 million Americans are over 65, and by 2030 those numbers are expected to grow to more than 72 million.  Read about the Science of Healthy Aging in our latest issue of  Inside Salk»

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Meet San Diego's freshest-thinking chefs and learn how to optimize the nutrition in your home meals 

Mingle with Salk scientists who can explain the latest research into the links between nutrition and health-and learn how they've altered their own habits


Sample an extraordinary array of delicious foods


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Join us for Yoonie Han, the third performance in this amazing concert series. Han was a Van Cliburn finalist.

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Salk in the News

Metabolism's Unexpected Role in Cancer

A geneticist at the Salk Institute discusses his incredible discoveries.


Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

The relationship between metabolism, cancer, and genetics was for decades obscured in part by chance, but in the last decade, the relationship has been rediscovered, also at least in part by chance. Reuben Shaw, Ph.D., a geneticist and researcher at the Salk Institute, is at the center of this story, and interestingly, the discoveries made in his lab have not only resulted in new targets for cancer therapy, but longer term, they're also likely to influence how we treat diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even aging itself.


Alumni-Faculty Fund
Salk alumni and current faculty contribute to the future of scientific enterprise by funding an annual fellowship for a gifted postdoctoral scholar. The Alumni-Faculty Fellowship Fund has been established as a way for today's leaders to help the next generation of scientists at Salk, like Kevin Curran, Ph.D., this year's fellowship recipient.  Kevin was also featured in our latest issue of Inside SalkClick here for the article>>

For more information, please contact Megan Shockro at
858 453-4100 ext. 1405 or visit www.salk.edu/alumni/

Salk Institute Board of Trustees elects two visionary business leaders


The Salk Institute is pleased to announce that Alan D. Gold and David F. Hale have been elected to its Board of Trustees.


Alan D. Gold

David F. Hale

"Alan and David each bring outstanding records of entrepreneurial success and business expertise to Salk," said Irwin M. Jacobs, Chairman of the Salk Institute Board of Trustees. "We are greatly pleased to have them join our Board of Trustees."


Alan D. Gold is chairman and CEO of Biomed Realty, a publicly traded REIT specializing in laboratory properties. His previous ventures include leadership roles in Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; GoldStone Real Estate Finance and Investments; Northland Financial Company; and John Burnham Company. He currently serves on the Campanile Foundation Board supporting San Diego State University.

David F. Hale is chairman and CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures, LLC, a private company focused on biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies. In addition to heading up several other enterprises, he serves on the board of directors of BIOCOM, which he co-founded, and the San Diego Economic Development Corporation. A co-founder and director of CONNECT, he acts as chairman of the board of trustees of Rady Children's Hospital, and is a member of the Rady School of Management Dean's Advisory Council.

Science Images 

Add a description
This month's image is courtesy of Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte and the Gene Expression Laboratory.
For the first time, Salk scientists have grown human stem cells into early-stage ureteric buds, kidney structures responsible for reabsorbing water after toxins have been filtered out. In the laboratory, they used mouse embryonic kidney cells (seen here in red) to coax the human stem cells to grow into the nascent mushroom-shaped buds (blue and green). Their discovery is a major step in developing regenerative techniques for growing replacement human kidneys. Downloads»
Question of the Month - Book Giveaway 

UC Press recently published a fascinating new book by Salk Professor Emerita Suzanne Bourgeois about the Institute's early history---- What is the book?


Send us the correct title and we'll pick a random entry and send out a personalized, autographed copy!


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Salk Central  

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Issue: 11    
Salk in the News
Science Images.
Question of the Month
Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events


The Art & Science of Cuisine 

January 22, 2014




Salk Science and Music Series


January 26, 2014

February 23, 2014

March 16, 2014 




Partners in Research Luncheon


February 13, 2014




San Diego Salkexcellerators


February 26, 2014

March 26, 2014 




Women & Science Reception


March 5, 2014



Back to Basics 


March 25, 2014 




Second Annual

Step into Discovery

April 12, 2014  





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