LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute for Biological Studies celebrates another successful year of fundraising with nearly $68 million raised in fiscal year 2014 to support The Campaign for Salk, the Institute’s first-ever capital fundraising campaign.
The extraordinary year of fundraising brings the total amount raised to more than $275 million since the quiet phase of the campaign began in 2009, putting the campaign well on track to reach its goal of $300 million by the summer of 2015.
“This year’s fundraising success is a testament to the importance of the scientific research conducted at the Salk Institute and to the vision and generosity of the many donors who support our scientists’ pursuit of life-changing discoveries,” says Rebecca Newman, vice president of external relations at Salk.
The Campaign for Salk seeks vital funding for the Institute’s cutting-edge research to ensure the steady flow of transformative discoveries well into the future. The campaign’s goals include increasing Salk's unrestricted endowment and supporting four major scientific initiatives: Cancer, Genomic Medicine, Healthy Aging and the Dynamic Brain.
"Thanks to our generous and loyal supporters who recognize the importance of investing in future discoveries for biomedical science, we have had a spectacular year,” says William Brody, president of the Salk Institute. "We are well on our way to meet the goals of our campaign in order to support the brightest minds and allow them to make discoveries that help uncover the secrets to improving human health and the environment."
Among the many generous gifts received in the past year, was a $3 million award from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research for research focused on understanding the biology of normal human aging and age-related diseases. The gift will support the Glenn Center for Aging Research at the Salk Institute, dedicated to rapidly advancing aging research and shedding light on ways to stave off age-related diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
"The biology of aging underlies all the major human diseases," Glenn Foundation President Mark R. Collins says. "To understand the fundamental aging process and to intervene is to delay the onset of disease, to extend the healthful years of life and reduce costs to society."
The year culminated with a $25 million gift from San Diego philanthropist and former Salk trustee Conrad T. Prebys to support cutting-edge biological research on a wide range of diseases. The gift, the single largest to the Salk Institute's unrestricted endowment, will help Salk researchers to advance science and to discover the next generation of breakthrough medical therapies.
"The scientists at Salk are diving deep into understanding how our bodies operate at the molecular level and what happens when we get sick," says Prebys, a prominent real estate developer and stalwart supporter of San Diego institutions. "It is vital work that must be done before we can really conquer disease. We need this foundational science to lay the underpinnings for new therapies and cures. I'm honored to play a role in supporting this important research."
Prebys’ gift will allow the Institute's researchers to take advantage of new technologies and scientific approaches that are rewriting the rules of biomedical research. In addition, the funds will enable Salk to recruit top scientists and provide leverage for seeking other crucial sources of funding, such as federal science grants, by demonstrating a sound financial basis to support the best science.
About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:
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.
Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.