On the heals of developing the first effective polio vaccine, Dr. Jonas Salk envisioned creating an institute to pursue basic life sciences research in a highly collaborative environment.
Salk received a pledge of $20 million from the grateful leaders of the March of Dimes to build his institute. He explored locations on both coasts, eventually focusing on San Diego, where an oceanfront parcel of land on the Torrey Pines Mesa was donated by the city.
Salk and famed architect Louis Kahn designed the institute, and broke ground for construction in 1962.
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutes where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative and creative way.
Focused on both discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes, birth defects and cardiovascular disorders by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology and related disciplines.
Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and election of 25% of our faculty to 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.