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The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla announced a new fundraising effort today to support the research of some of its top scientists.

The Irwin and Joan Jacobs Foundation has promised to provide $1 million for every $2 million donated to the creation of 10 senior scientist endowed chairs, in what is called a challenge gift. They hope to raise $30 million total. In return for their matching contribution, donors will have a chair created in the name of their choice.

Each of the Salk Institute’s senior scientists, who conduct research on a range of human diseases, will be eligible to receive funding for their research endeavors from these 10 chairs. Currently the Salk Institute operates on a budget of approximately $100 million dollars per year.

“As traditional government funding sources that have supported the scientists of the Salk Institute are stagnant or diminishing, the urgency to address our ability to recruit, support, and retain the very finest of the scientific community cannot be overstated. The creation of 10 endowed chairs will make a transformative difference to the resources available to those whose work is critical to the future of the Institute,” said Roger Guillemin, Salk’s interim president, in a statement.

Marsha Chandler, Salk’s executive vice president, said that scientific research institutions like Salk are in a position where they will be increasingly aggressive in their efforts to obtain funding from philanthropists and collaborate with the private sector in order to make up for the decline in financial support coming from government agencies, particularly the National Institutes of Health.

JOAQUIN SAPIEN

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