Salk Institute uses $1 million gift to support world class cancer researcher

The Salk Institute received a matching $1 million gift from the BioMed Realty Management Team, which was used to fund the recruitment of award-winning cancer researcher Christina Towers and to support her research and that of the Salk Cancer Center.

The challenge match--where BioMed Realty matches, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million--will also support Salk's bold Conquering Cancer Initiative, which is harnessing cutting-edge approaches to fight some of the deadliest cancers, including pancreatic, ovarian, lung, colon, brain (glioblastoma) and triple-negative breast cancer.

Spearheading the gift was BioMed Realty's president and CEO, Tim Schoen, who is a Salk Trustee and chairman of the Institute's Conquering Cancer Initiative Advisory Committee.

The BioMed Management team is excited to support a world class researcher such as Dr. Towers as she joins the leading scientists at Salk to tackle cancer," says Schoen. "Now, more than ever, investments in innovative science are needed to help win the war against deadly diseases."

Tim Schoen, President and CEO, BioMed Realty

Towers, who joined Salk's renowned NCI-designated Cancer Center as an assistant professor in December, examines how cancer cells recycle both their own nutrients and the power-generating structures called mitochondria in order to survive. By using a combination of gene-editing techniques, light-based genetic manipulation (optogenetics), three-dimensional miniature organs ("organoids"), and detailed imaging, she aims to identify the best ways to target the recycling pathways that tumors use to survive. Her research aims to lead to new targeted cancer therapies that can improve patient outcomes and survival. Read more about her work here: https://www.salk.edu/scientist/christina-towers/.

"The Institute is incredibly grateful for the support and leadership shown by BioMed Realty," says Salk President Rusty Gage. "This generous gift enabled Salk to add an innovative cancer researcher to our faculty. We are thrilled to have Christie working with us."

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