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Salk Institute in La Jolla

La Jolla Community | 13th Nov 2012

La Jolla, California houses an independent, non-profit, scientific research institute which is known as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. This was founded by Jonas Salk, thus the name, in 1960. For those who don’t know, this man is the developer of the polio vaccine that helped millions of people worldwide. Other founding consultants were Francis Crick and Jacob Bronowski. Although it is non-profit, it still ranks as one of the top institutes in all of United States when it comes to research quality in life sciences. And just recently, in 2009, it was ranked as the number one by ScienceWatch in neuroscience and behavior areas. It is surely not the ordinary science institute people can find today.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies gives work to more than 850 researchers in about 60 groups. The focuses of each research are on three areas, these are on Genetics or Neuroscience, Molecular Biology and Plant Biology. Common research topics are on birth defects, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and more. These researches get their funds through March of Dimes, NIH, HHMI, Ipsen and the Waitt Family Foundation.

The Three Nobel Laureates

Salk Institute is a home to three Nobel Laureates. They are Elizabeth Blackbum, Sydney Brenner, and Roger Guillemin. And now, more scientists in the institution are aiming to win Nobel prizes, in fact, five have already gone to win such honorable prize.

Salk’s Research Centers

The institution has several research centers dedicated to develop and discover more for each field. Here are some of the centers found in Salk Institute.

  • NCI Cancer Center
  • Crick-Jacobs Center
  • Glenn Center for Aging Research
  • Center for Neurobiology of Vision
  • Nomis Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Center for Nutritional Genomics
  • Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology
  • Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center

The institute runs under the leadership of Dr. William Brody. Overall, there are 59 faculty members, 8 are members of the HHMI, and a quarter are from the NAS. When it comes to the research output based on both publications and citations, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is indeed recognized as the world’s leading research facility, not just in a single area, but several areas in biology.

Sadly, Salk Institute does not grant a degree to interested young minds, however, it offers a graduate program and works together with the UCSD. There is a number of the faculty members too that are affiliated with programs like the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Cellular and Molecular Medicine. This is indeed a place that nourishes great minds to be better than ever and offer something worthwhile for the world.

The Architecture

The place is not just for giving food for the brain, it also provides an aesthetic purpose because of the beautifully-structured buildings. The founder, Jonas Salk, was quite particular about the creation of the Institute. He appointed the architect Louis Khan to provide huge spaces on the laboratories, as well as the outdoor areas. The place is indeed worth visiting.

To contact the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, refer to the following:

  • Mailing Address:

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Post Office Box 85800
San Diego, CA 92186-5800

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