TIME’s powerful series, “TIME Firsts: Women Who Are Changing the World,” profiles Salk Institute President Elizabeth Blackburn, the first woman president of the institute. Blackburn won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving genetic information, and for co-discovering telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomere ends. Both telomeres and telomerase are thought to play central roles in aging and diseases such as cancer, and her work helped launch entire new fields of research in these areas. Blackburn has been president of the Salk Institute since January 2016.
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- Research grantsThe majority of the programs and projects supported by the NOMIS Foundation are based on research grants provided to support research projects or teams led by respected scientists, scholars and other ground-breaking investigators. These grants are intended to provide a “spark” by helping to initiate or provide bridge-funding for high-risk/high-reward foundational research in areas of great relevance and importance. NOMIS research grants are primarily designed as one-time grants and are not intended to provide long-term or on-going funding. NOMIS places great emphasis on the relevance and excellence of the research programs it supports, but the Foundation places equal importance on the collaborative spirit and willingness of the scientists and scholars involved to share their thoughts, ideas and insights and to engage with the broader NOMIS community of researchers. Candidates for NOMIS Research Grants are nominated by the Foundation’s own nominators.
- AwardsThe objective of this award program, established in 2015 as part of the NOMIS Foundation’s goal of “creating a spark in science”, is to identify and support distinguished and exceptional senior scientists, researchers and scholars working at respected research institutions in the fields of biological and medical science, economics, the social sciences and humanities. Special preference will be given to scientists and scholars who are interested in exploring new approaches and collaborations. The Foundation will encourage such collaborations by organizing special symposia and seminars, by supporting joint publications and by acting as a platform where its distinguished scientists can share knowledge, ideas and inspiration. The Foundation may also, at its discretion, award younger up-and-coming scientists and researchers who show exceptional originality and promise in their work and who have taken especially novel approaches to difficult challenges. NOMIS Distinguished Scientists & Scholars are proposed exclusively by nominators in or associated with the Foundation. All nominees are selected through a carefully defined evaluation and selection process, and final choices and decisions are made by the Board of Directors. The Foundation does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations.
- PartnershipsThe NOMIS Foundation has created, and continues to create, long-term partnerships with established research institutions, by endowing research positions, supplying facilities or equipment, jointly hosting conferences and publications or by otherwise providing crucial institutional support in pursuit of goals which are compatible with NOMIS’ vision and values. Good examples of such an institutional partnership are: the NOMIS Chair and Laboratory at the SALK Institute in La Jolla, California, and the Foundation’s partnership with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. As with the Foundation’s research grants to individual scientists or to research projects and their teams, NOMIS requires that all discoveries, new knowledge or ideas generated as a direct or indirect consequence of its support be made accessible to the public and wider scientific community. It is the Foundation’s firm belief, and one of its core principles, that communicating, sharing and collaborating should be among the most important new priorities in science – for the greater good of all.
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