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Understanding vision, depression and other mysteries of the brain
Tatyana Sharpee video
Tatyana Sharpee is developing a unifying theory of "biological control" to understand the universal principles of behavior----how animals sense and adapt to their environment as well as make predictions and decisions. To do this, Sharpee applies mathematical strategies, like statistics and probability models, to chart the principles by which the brain's billions of neurons exchange energy and information.
Power up: growing neurons undergo major metabolic shift

Tony Hunter and Rusty Gage
The labs of Tony Hunter and Rusty Gage published follow-up research in the journal eLife on July 12 showing how neurons manage energy. The team identified the workings of a dramatic metabolic shift in developing neurons that make them oxygen dependent. The research informs how normal neurons develop and may help better reveal how this metabolic process goes awry in cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
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Neuroscience-related breakthroughs from Rusty Gage's team

Neurons derived from people with autism spectrum disorder.
The brains of some people with autism spectrum disorder grow faster than usual early on in life, often before diagnosis. A new effort co-led by Gage's team has employed a cutting-edge stem cell technique to unravel the mechanisms driving the mysterious phenomenon of excess brain growth, which affects as many as 30 percent of people with autism, detailed in the journal Molecular Psychiatry (pictured, right).

Additionally, Gage's lab discovered that a small stretch of ribonucleic acid (called microRNA) guides the placement of new neurons in the adult brain, and the molecule is disrupted in cells from patients with schizophrenia. The findings, published in the journal Neuron, pave the way toward a better understanding of how the adult brain controls the growth of new neurons and how it can go wrong.

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Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer's proteins from brain cells

David Schubert
David Schubert's team found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with  Alzheimer's disease. While these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the laboratory, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease and could provide clues to developing novel therapeutics for the disorder.

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Extensive variation revealed in 1,001 genomes and epigenomes of Arabidopsis

Joe Ecker
An international team of scientists has sequenced the genomes and epigenomes of more than 1,000 Arabidopsis thaliana plants, sampled from geographically diverse locations. Salk Professor Joseph Ecker directed the 1,001 epigenomes project, which will reveal more information about plant adaptation and evolution.
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Salk scientists to speak at TEDx San Diego

Tom Albright and Janelle Ayres
Salk faculty Tom Albright and Janelle Ayres have been tapped to talk about their research at the seventh annual TEDx San Diego on October 22 at Copley Symphony Hall. They are among 10 speakers for this year's event, "The Age of Magic," which aims to celebrate aspects of life that produce a sense of awe and wonder.

Registration is now open and an early bird discount is available through July 31.
Helmsley-Salk fellow takes Palade award

Congratulations to Helmsley-Salk Fellow Dmitry Lyumkis, who has garnered the 2016 George Palade Award by the Microscopy Society of America for distinguished contributions to the field of microscopy and microanalysis in the life sciences. Lyumkis was awarded the prize in recognition of his work using and developing single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to gain deeper insight into the complex roles macromolecules play in human diseases such as cancer and HIV.
World changers

San Diego World Changers
Francis Crick. Renato Dulbecco. David Baltimore. Sydney Brenner. And, of course, Jonas Salk. These Salk pioneers were among a group of 40 illustrious citizens of San Diego profiled recently in a special section of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In memoriam

John Codey
The Salk Institute lost a visionary supporter with the death of John Codey. A trustee of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Codey played an integral role in accelerating research at Salk in diverse areas of science, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

Through Codey's advocacy and the support of the other trustees and staff, Salk received a $42 million award from the Helmsley Trust in 2013----the largest in the Institute's history----enabling Salk's scientists to use genomic data and powerful technologies to understand how certain cellular pathways serve as lynchpins for chronic diseases and to pave the way to new powerful therapies. Other Helmsley gifts included a $5.5 million grant to establish the Salk Center for Nutritional Genomics, and $15 million to create a collaborative stem cell project involving Salk and Columbia University. 

An active member of the Salk International Council and a raconteur with a warm personality, Codey will be greatly missed by the entire Salk community.


Salk Women & Science

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Salk research associates Amandine Chaix, Maryam Ahmadian and Sheila Rao will share their latest discoveries influencing the future of human health during "Nutritional Genomics: Health and Well-being," a Salk Women & Science program hosted by Assistant Professor Janelle Ayres on July 20 at the Institute.

For more information on the Salk Women & Science program, contact Betsy Collins, director of Donor Relations, at or (858) 453-4100 x1426.
Tickets on sale now

Kelli O_Hara
Tickets to the hottest ticket in town----Symphony at Salk----are on sale now. The August 20 concert under the stars will showcase Tony Award-winning actress Kelli O'Hara and the San Diego Symphony under the direction of guest conductor Maestro Thomas Wilkins.

Make sure you don't miss out on this Broadway experience by purchasing your tickets now. In addition to O'Hara performing tunes from The Great American Songbook, your ticket includes a cocktail reception and gourmet supper.

To purchase tickets, visit or contact Makena Diaz at (858) 453-4100 x2111 for more information.

Padres Pedal the Cause

Training has commenced for Team SCC, Salk's Cancer Center cycling group, for the annual Padres Pedal the Cause to benefit cancer research at the Salk Institute and three other local research centers. This year's cyclo-thon is November 12-13, with courses beginning and ending at Petco Park. To join the team and learn more, visit or contact Jamie Simon at or x1121.

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Courtesy: Ed Callaway laboratory
Salk Institute science

Download some amazing Salk science images for your smartphone, tablet or desktop. 

A Salk team builds upon their rabies virus technology to better map neurons across large swaths of the nervous system. Neurons providing monosynaptic inputs to cortical inhibitory neurons are traced via rabies (blue). Purple counterstaining shows surrounding cellular architecture. 

Salk Institute | 10010 N Torrey Pines Rd | La Jolla | CA | 92037 |

Salk Institute | 10010 N Torrey Pines Rd | La Jolla | CA | 92037