Salk Institute where cures begin.
Researchers learn how to grow old brain cells

Fibroblasts from donors are directly converted into induced neurons, shown.
For the first time, scientists from the Gage lab can use skin samples from older patients to create brain cells without rolling back the youthfulness clock in the cells first. The new technique, which yields cells resembling those found in older people's brains, will be a boon to scientists studying age-related diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Mobile app records our erratic eating habits
Satchin Panda developed an app called MyCircadianClock that tracks when people eat
as opposed to what they eat. The app analyzes the timing of users' eating patterns to record when they might experience "metabolic jet lag"----when differences in meal times cause metabolic organs to become out of sync with the body's overall circadian rhythms. The details were published in Cell Metabolism.

Science News
Can your sense of smell predict when you'll die?

Sreekanth Chalasani
Sreekanth Chalasani measured the neural responses of worms exposed to a chemical that gives off an almond-like smell.
Shrek Chalasani published work in eLife tying a worm's sense of smell to its longevity. Like many animals (including humans), worms often lose their sense of smell as they get older. His team showed that the loss of smell results from a breakdown in signaling between two clusters of sensory neurons. By detailing how circuits in the brain change as an animal ages, the discovery points to potential targets for mitigating the effects of aging on cognition..
New grant will fund collaborative effort to build reproducible assays to model autism

Salk professor Ed Callaway is part of a team awarded $13 million by the National Institutes of Health to develop and disseminate new stem cell-based technologies and assays for studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other mental health diseases. The consortium, which also includes labs at the University of California, San Diego, will collaborate closely with companies in the biotechnology sector.

Clodagh O'Shea
Clodagh O'Shea awarded $3 million to unlock the "black box" of the nucleus

Clodagh O'Shea, with collaborators at the University of California, San Diego, will receive an NIH award totaling $3 million over the next 5 years to develop new imaging and tagging technologies to understand how the structure of packaged DNA changes in health, infection, aging and cancer.

The award is part of a $120 million, 5-year national effort called the 4D Nucleome Program. The project will develop novel technologies, resources and data to understand the genetic architecture of the nucleus, as well as how aberrations contribute to human health and disease.

Tatyana Sharpee
Sharpee tapped for NSF olfaction team

Tatyana Sharpee, associate professor in Salk's Computational Neurobiology Laboratory and holder of the Institute's Helen McLoraine Developmental Chair, has been chosen by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research the intricacies of olfaction. NSF has awarded more than $15 million for three projects that will support Sharpee and 16 other researchers striving to advance a broader understanding of the brain.

Sharpee will be part of a team using natural odor stimuli to crack the olfactory code. She will receive $492,500 in support for her research on the project.

Janelle Ayres
Janelle Ayres receives Young Faculty Award from DARPA

Salk scientist Janelle Ayres has received an award of $500,000 over two years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to further her research on bolstering a person's microbiome to help their body overcome an infection. The award comes with the possibility of an additional $500,000 for a third year.

Ayres, assistant professor in Salk's Nomis Foundation Laboratory for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, is one of 24 to receive DARPA's Young Faculty Award (YFA).

Salk News
Patrick Hsu
New Salk-Helmsley Fellow brings cutting-edge gene editing technologies to the Salk Institute

Salk welcomes the newest Salk-Helmsley Fellow, Patrick Hsu. Hsu, who made this year's Forbes "30 under 30" list, hails from Harvard University and MIT's Broad Institute. He aims to develop the next generation of medical therapeutics using new gene-editing technology.
Rebecca Newman
AFP to honor Newman

Rebecca Newman, Salk's vice president of External Relations, has been named the 2015 Outstanding Development Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter. She was chosen for her overall financial development career as well as her successful leadership of the Campaign for Salk, which exceeded its $300 million goal a year ahead of schedule.

Newman will be honored at an AFP awards luncheon on National Philanthropy Day, November 9. She was also recently profiled in the La Jolla Light's "10 Questions" column.


Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Carnegie Medals of Philanthropy Winners Are Awarded

Congratulations to Salk's Chair of the Board of Trustees Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan Jacobs, who were both honored on October 15, 2015 in New York with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for their generous support to San Diego area organizations and institutes, including the Salk.

SELECT MEDIA COVERAGE: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Mayor Kevin Faulconer
San Diego's innovation economy

The Salk Institute courtyard was the backdrop for a press conference held jointly by the San Diego Economic Development Corporation and the San Diego Mayor's Office. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke about the findings of a study of San Diego's research institutions and how they play a critical role in the local economy. The press conference was followed by a panel discussion, which included Salk President William Brody.


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Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, author of Jonas Salk - A Life

Thursday, October 29 at 4:00 p.m.
Jonas Salk Lecture
Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium

Based on hundreds of personal interviews and unprecedented access to sealed archives, Jacobs' biography offers a rare and vivid portrait of Dr. Salk. This is Jacobs' second biography, which the Chicago Tribune wrote in a review, "With an unerring sense of pace...Jacobs relates the story of this complex man." Her first biography--Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease--was deemed one of the "five best books on doctors' lives" by The Wall Street Journal.

Each of the concerts in the Salk Science & Music Series feature stunning performances by some of the hottest established and emerging musicians, as well riveting talks on the latest scientific discoveries by Salk scientists.
  • November 8, 2015 - Victor Stanislavsky (piano) and Asi Matathias (violin) with Janelle Ayres
  • January 24, 2016 - Victor Goines Quartet with Sreekanth Chalasani 
  • February 21, 2016 - Cicely Parnas (cello) and Noreen Polera (piano) with Beverly Emerson
  • March 20, 2016 - Julia Bullock (soprano) and Renate Rohlfing (piano) with Geoffrey Wahl
  • April 24, 2016 - Sean Chen and Karen Joy Davis (duo piano) with Julie Law 

Tickets available:
  • Single Concert - $45.00
  • Five Concert Series - $200.00

December 2, 2015
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
For more information:
Betsy Reis (858) 500-4883

Salk science images for your desktop, tablet or smartphone

Salk scientists developed a new technique to grow aged brain cells from patients' skin. Fibroblasts (cells in connective tissue) from elderly human donors are directly converted into induced neurons.---  Courtesy Fred H. Gage lab

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