William Brody will retire at the end of the year as president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, opening up a third major leadership position in San Diego’s science community.
The institute will hold a nationwide search to find a replacement for Brody, 71, who joined the Salk in 2009 after serving 12 years as president of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Brody took over the Salk at a time of financial straits for the private, nonprofit institute. Previously, Salk relied on government grants from the National Institutes of Health for its primary source of capital. But in 2012, Brody launched the Campaign for Salk, the first major capital campaign in the institute’s history. The goal was to raise $300 million by June 2015 – which the institute surpassed – enabling Salk to expand beyond its core work in biology and chemistry into computer science and physics.
On top of raising capital, Brody brought the Salk Institute to new heights in science. He worked with institute faculty to help the Obama administration develop the BRAIN Initiative, a national effort to find new ways to map and monitor the brain. He was also influential in deepening Salk’s research collaborations with UC San Diego in areas ranging from diabetes to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Brody’s retirement creates a third major leadership opening in San Diego’s science cluster. Paul Viviano recently announced that he is stepping down as chief executive of the UC San Diego Health System to become president and chief executive of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And the Scripps Research Institute has been operating with an interim president for almost one year. The institute is expected to name a new president over the new couple of months.