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In Brief: Irwin and Joan Jacobs give gift to Salk

The Salk Institute announced Irwin and Joan Jacobs have established a $10 million matching fund to support the creation of 10 Senior Scientist Endowed Chairs. By providing a match, this fund enables 10 donors to each make a gift of $2 million to create and name a highly prestigious and permanent chair. The Irwin and Joan Jacobs Leadership Challenge will add a $1 million match to each gift, thus providing each Chair with a $3 million endowment. Each named chair will provide key support to a Salk Institute Senior scientist.

Salk’s Interim President, Nobel Laureate Roger Guillemin, stated that the Jacobs’ gift impacts an issue of high importance at the Institute. “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.”

The Challenge, which will commence immediately, will last until 10 chairs are funded or no later than Dec. 31, 2009. “We are deeply appreciative of Joan and Irwin Jacobs’ generosity and vision. The Chair challenge provides an opportunity to significantly increase the number of endowed chairs at the institute,” said Salk’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Marsha Chandler. “This $10 million leadership gift, together with contributions from other philanthropists, will ensure that Salk’s extraordinary scientists can continue to carry out their groundbreaking work on our campus.”

Chairman of Salk’s Board of Trustees, Irwin Jacobs is a co-founder and chairman of Qualcomm. In 2004 he and Joan Jacobs provided the lead gift to establish the Crick-Jacobs Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology and have since provided additional major gifts for Salk’s very successful Innovation Grants program.

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Currently, the Salk faculty boasts three Nobel laureates, five Howard Hughes Medical investigators, and 14 members of the National Academy of Science.