La Jolla News Nuggets: Munk house, $14 million for UCSD, Community Center fundraising, more

The late Walter Munk’s La Jolla Shores house, Seiche, has been nominated for historic designation.

City’s Seiche historic designation hearing not held

The proposed historic designation of the La Jolla Shores home of late oceanographer Walter Munk was unable to be heard at the San Diego Historical Resources Board meeting April 22 due to a “noticing issue.” It is still on the agenda for the State Historical Resources Commission meeting Friday, April 30.

The home, named Seiche, was built by Munk, who died in 2019, and his second wife, Judith, who died in 2006. As part of Munk’s estate, two years after his death the house would be donated to UC San Diego.

Munk’s third wife, Mary Coakley Munk, and the La Jolla Shores Association support the historic designation. But UCSD and Munk’s daughters say Munk opposed such a designation.

The proposed historic designation of the La Jolla Shores home of late oceanographer Walter Munk has raised objections from his daughter Kendall, who says he did not want such a designation and that renovations have made the home “not a historical structure.”

Kendall Munk, one of Walter and Judith’s two daughters, cited a 2006 letter from Walter that stated “it is my wish that [Seiche] not be considered or designated a historical site.”

But Coakley Munk said last month that Walter changed his mind after “some of his friends made it clear to him that because he had to donate [Seiche to UCSD] as an endowment, there was some concern that the university would either sell it … or that they would change it significantly.”

Irwin and Joan Jacobs give $14 million to UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy

Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan — whose donations have helped turn UC San Diego into a national power in health, engineering and medicine — gave the campus $14 million April 23 to boost its presence in politics and economics.

The gift was made to the university’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.

The Jacobs have been supporting GPS since 2006 and have committed more than $300 million to UCSD projects since the late 1990s.

The new gift “will help [GPS] look at questions like whether it is more important for America to be a leader in electrical battery technology or quantum computing if it wants to remain a premier center for innovation,” GPS Dean Peter Cowhey said. “We also could look at whether the public health systems of low-income countries can be vastly improved by 5G,” or fifth-generation broadband technology.

The gift also will support Pacific Leadership Fellows, a program in which leaders from around the world live in San Diego for a while to share knowledge about their home countries. —The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla Community Center launches fundraising campaign for new computer lab

A rendering depicts a planned computer lab at the La Jolla Community Center.

The La Jolla Community Center has launched its SeniorConnect campaign to raise funds for a new computer lab. The lab is designed to provide equipment and instruction for senior citizens who may be isolated and seeking to learn how to use technology.

Campaign funds will be used to create a modern computer lab with new furniture, equipment and storage; provide multiple levels of computer instruction to help seniors gain greater access to health, financial and other online services; and expand current transportation service to reach more seniors in the community.

Four levels of corporate involvement are available. The Community Center also welcomes private donations. For more information, visit

Circulate San Diego signs posted at Torrey Pines Road crosswalk

Circulate San Diego, in partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety and the city of San Diego, installed temporary educational signage at Torrey Pines Road and Princess Street in La Jolla, which has a HAWK crosswalk, where traffic remains uninterrupted unless the crossing is activated by a pedestrian.

The goal is to highlight new Vision Zero walking and bicycling infrastructure and educate residents on how to use it safely.

“Increasing safety on our roadways through safe street design is a foundation of Vision Zero principles,” said Danielle Berger, director of planning at Circulate San Diego. “But we also need to educate our residents on how to use this infrastructure properly and communicate with them throughout the process so that they are aware and involved.”

The temporary signs will be installed until May 24.

UCSD scientists find way to ID therapies for those with rare cancer mutations

UC San Diego and Fore Biotherapeutics scientists recently published a paper that highlights for the first time a way to identify effective precision therapies for people with rare cancer mutations. The paper was published in the European Journal of Cancer.

The research was conducted by scientists at UCSD’s Moores Cancer Center — including Dr. Shumei Kato — in collaboration with researchers at Fore Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company that specializes in using functional genomics to match potentially lifesaving therapies to patients with rare cancer mutations.

The study indicated that patients with rare mutations can be grouped together and treated with the same type of medicines, as long as their mutations have the same effect. As a result, treatments may be developed.

Three from UCSD faculty chosen to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Three members of the UC San Diego community, including two professors and one professor emeritus, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honorary societies in the nation.

Ananda Goldrath, a professor in the division of biological sciences and former chair of the molecular biology section; Eileen Myles, a professor emeritus of fiction writing who was at UCSD from 2002 to 2007; and Stefan Savage, a cybersecurity researcher who is a professor in the department of computer science and engineering, are among the academy’s 2021 class of 252 members. — City News Service

Athenaeum’s new exhibit to feature works created in quarantine

Wick Alexander's "The Terrible (Airstream) Dream" will be part of the Athenaeum's "Marking Time" exhibit.
Wick Alexander’s “The Terrible (Airstream) Dream” will be part of the Athenaeum’s “Marking Time: What Athenaeum Artists Create in Quarantine” exhibit.

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla will open its next exhibit, “Marking Time: What Athenaeum Artists Create in Quarantine,” on Saturday, May 15.

An artists-only reception is scheduled for May 14.

The exhibition in the Joseph Clayes III gallery will feature 49 artists who previously had solo shows at or created concert programs for the Athenaeum and were invited to participate.

The artists will display works created since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, artists’ books, 3D works, collages and photography. The exhibit will run through Friday, July 9.

Athenaeum members can visit the exhibit during regular operating hours; non-members by appointment. To schedule an appointment, email Jocelyn at or call (858) 454-5872.

Local science consortium announces grants for studies of aging

The San Diego Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, a consortium among La Jolla’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and UC San Diego, has announced the first class of pilot grant recipients at the center’s inaugural training workshop, held virtually March 26.

Six recipients, each from a different institution, will receive up to $15,000 to pursue research that advances understanding of how humans age, with the ultimate goal of extending the number of years of healthy life.

The grant winners will receive subsidized access to the Nathan Shock Center’s shared research facilities, necessary supplies and access to training workshops offered by the center. They also will be paired with an established research investigator on aging.

The six awardees are Ana Chucair-Elliot, staff scientist at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Vanessa Delcroix, postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Research; Maria Clara Guida, staff scientist at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; Adam Konopka, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lara Labarta Bajo, postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute; and Maria Mihaylova, assistant professor at Ohio State University.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff