Salk Press Releases

The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness

LA JOLLA—Scientists have known for a while that SARS-CoV-2’s distinctive “spike” proteins help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells. Now, a major new study shows that the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself.

Read more »


Salk appoints biophysicist Uri Manor as Assistant Research Professor

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute has appointed Uri Manor to the position of assistant research professor, a non-tenure faculty position, as part of its ongoing commitment to attract and retain top talent. Manor has been a Salk staff scientist and director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Core Facility since 2016. He will lead an independent research group and continue his work developing cutting-edge imaging techniques to illuminate biologically relevant targets.

Read more »


New method could democratize deep learning-enhanced microscopy

LA JOLLA—Deep learning is a potential tool for scientists to glean more detail from low-resolution images in microscopy, but it’s often difficult to gather enough baseline data to train computers in the process. Now, a new method developed by scientists at the Salk Institute could make the technology more accessible—by taking high-resolution images, and artificially degrading them.

Read more »


Salk’s Uri Manor to receive over $690,000 from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to advance biological imaging

LA JOLLA—Salk Staff Scientist Uri Manor, director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Core Facility, will receive $690,116 over three years from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as one of 22 CZI Imaging Scientists, to develop new open-source imaging tools and data sets while expanding his educational outreach.

Read more »


Imaging method highlights new role for cellular “skeleton” protein

LA JOLLA—While your skeleton helps your body to move, fine skeleton-like filaments within your cells likewise help cellular structures to move. Now, Salk researchers have developed a new imaging method that lets them monitor a small subset of these filaments, called actin.

Read more »


Mysterious tuft cells found to play role in pancreatitis

LA JOLLA—Persistent inflammation of the pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) is a known risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer, the third-deadliest cancer in the United States. Tuft cells—cells sensitive to chemical (chemosensory) changes typically found in the intestines and respiratory tract—had previously been discovered in the pancreas, but their function has largely remained a mystery. Now, a team of Salk scientists led by Professor Geoffrey Wahl and Staff Scientist Kathleen DelGiorno has uncovered the formation of tuft cells during pancreatitis and the surprising role of tuft cells in immunity, using mouse models of pancreatitis. The findings, published in Frontiers in Physiology on February 14, 2020, could lead to the development of new biomarkers to test for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Read more »


Mysterious microproteins have major implications for human disease

LA JOLLA—As the tools to study biology improve, researchers are beginning to uncover details into microproteins, small components that appear to be key to some cellular processes, including those involved with cancer. Proteins are made up of chains of linked amino acids and the average human protein contains around 300 amino acids. Meanwhile, microproteins have fewer than 100 amino acids.

Read more »


New study targets Achilles’ heel of pancreatic cancer, with promising results

LA JOLLA—Advanced pancreatic cancer is often symptomless, leading to late diagnosis only after metastases have spread throughout the body. Additionally, tumor cells are encased in a “protective shield,” a microenvironment conferring resistance to many cancer treatment drugs. Now, Salk Institute researchers, along with an international team of collaborators, have uncovered the role of a signaling protein that may be the Achilles’ heel of pancreatic cancer.

Read more »


Salk’s Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center partners with imaging giant ZEISS

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute’s Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and ZEISS announced today a global partnership to accelerate the frontiers of microscopy and imaging technologies.

Read more »