Salk Institute Medals go to Jacobs, Roeder

The Salk Institute recently presented its research excellence and public service awards for only the second time in its 50-year history.

Gene expression pioneer Robert G. Roeder of The Rockefeller University will receive the Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence, and Irwin M. Jacobs, the renowned engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, will receive the Salk Institute Medal for Public Service.

The medals were awarded on Oct.29 as the concluding event of a Salk/Nature/Fondation Ipsen Symposium on Biological Complexity at the Institute. The Symposium, organized by Prof. Inder Verma, will feature many internationally prominent life scientists (including three Nobel Laureates and many members of the National Academy of Sciences) focusing on emerging concepts and trends in biology today.

Salk President William R. Brody in announcing the honors, said, “The Salk Institute medals are a fitting tribute to their ongoing, vital contributions to science and society. And our founder, Jonas Salk, would have been absolutely delighted by the medalist selection.”

Roeder, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is internationally regarded for his work on how genes are expressed in healthy cells, and how this process breaks down in diseases like cancer. He heads the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Rockefeller, and holds the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Chair

Jacobs is the co-founder of Qualcomm, Inc., which developed and commercialized CDMA mobile wireless technology, now in use by more than 800 million consumers worldwide. Jacobs led the company’s growth from startup to Fortune 500 company.

He is Past Chair of the University of California President’s Engineering Advisory Council, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute, and Chair of the National Academy of Engineering. Jacobs and his wife, Joan, have made many charitable gifts, prompting

Business Week

and the

Chronicle of Philanthropy

to include the couple among the 50 most generous philanthropists in the United States.