It was founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine; among the founding consultants were Jacob Bronowski and Francis Crick. Building did not start until spring of 1962. The institute consistently ranks among the top institutions in the US in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world’s top biomedicine research institute, and in 2009 it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch in the neuroscience and behavior areas.
The institute employs 850 researchers in 60 research groups and focuses its research in three areas: Molecular Biology and Genetics; Neurosciences; and Plant Biology. Research topics include cancer, diabetes, birth defects, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, and the neurobiology of American Sign Language. The March of Dimes provided the initial funding and continues to support the institute. Current research is funded by a variety of organizations, such as the NIH, the HHMI and private organizations such as Paris-based Ipsen and the Waitt Family Foundation. In addition, the internally administered Innovation Grants Program encourages cutting-edge high-risk research. The institute appointed genome biologist Eric Lander and stem cell biologist Irving Weissman as non-resident fellows in November 2009.
The campus was designed by Louis Kahn. Salk had sought to make a beautiful campus in order to draw the best researchers in the world. Salk and Kahn having both descended from Russian Jewish parents that had immigrated to the United States had a deeper connection than just mere partners on an architectural project. The results of their connection is seen in the design that resulted from their collaboration. The original buildings of the Salk Institute were designated as a historical landmark in 1991. The entire 27-acre (11 ha) site was deemed eligible by the California Historical Resources Commission in 2006 for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies research articles from Innovation Toronto
- Experimental drug J147 targeting Alzheimer’s disease shows anti-aging effects – November 14, 2015
- Salk scientists use sound waves to control brain cells – September 16, 2015
- Scientists discover key driver of human aging – May 1, 2015
- Breakthrough in ‘editing’ mitochondrial disease DNA – April 27, 2015
- Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells – September 22, 2014
- Simple Method Turns Human Skin Cells Into Immune-Fighting White Blood Cells – September 22, 2014
- Salk Scientists Uncover New Clues to Repairing an Injured Spinal Cord – August 5, 2014
- One injection stops diabetes in its tracks – July 17, 2014
- Salk scientists develop faster, safer method for producing stem cells – May 25, 2014
- Drug blocks light sensors in eye that may trigger migraine attacks
- Surviving Drought
- Neurons Derived from Cord Blood Cells May Represent New Therapeutic Option
- Study May Offer Drug-Free Intervention to Prevent Obesity and Diabetes
- Discovery May Lead to Safer Treatments for Asthma, Allergies and Arthritis
- Long-Lived Fruit Flies Offer Clues to Slowing Human Aging and Fighting Disease
- Studying Mental Illness in a Dish