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About Our Organization

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

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Salk Science

The key to Salk's prestigious record of discovery is its outstanding faculty. Our scientists are ranked among the global leaders in neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics, and plant biology.

The Institute's scientific priorities include:


Salk scientists are pursuing several promising avenues, including identifying the cellular pathways of growth and metabolism in tumors, unraveling how cancers override cellular controls and developing intelligent nanomachines that diagnose and destroy cancers.

Dynamic Brain

Salk scientists are pioneering methods of studying multiple neurons simultaneously to chart these dynamic connections—a historic step in the effort to understand complex psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, and diseases and injuries that impair movement, vision and cognition.

Genomic Medicine

The possibilities in genomic medicine are enormous, but they depend upon understanding how genes and environmental factors work together to produce disease. Genomic research at Salk is aimed at identifying common genes and signaling pathways activated in all chronic diseases and at uncovering new targets for therapies.

Healthy Aging

Drawing on their in-depth knowledge of age-related diseases and biological pathways, Salk researchers are working to understand the common mechanisms of aging to help people enjoy a high quality of life in their advanced years.

Plant Biology

Securing the world's food supply in a changing climate is a huge challenge, making basic plant science more important than ever. Salk is working to understand the molecular underpinnings of how plants develop, adapt to challenging environments and defend themselves against insects and fungal infections.

For information about the scientific initiatives, click here to visit the Campaign for Salk website».

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