Salk Institute Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuits with 2 Professors

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The Salk Institute at sunset. File photo courtesy of the institute

The Salk Institute announced Tuesday it has settled lawsuits with two of three female professors who had accused the world-renowned institution of discriminating against them on salary, promotions and access to grants.

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Dr. Rusty Gage, the institute’s president, issued a joint statement along with Drs. Kathy Jones and Vicki Lundblad, who had individually brought lawsuits.

“When each of us joined the Salk Institute, we signed on to a bold and collective mission far bigger and far more important than our work as individual scientists,” the three said in the statement. “Productive conversations have led to a resolution of all claims between these parties that will enable us to put our disagreements behind us and move forward together at Salk for the collective good of the institute and science.”

The short statement did not mention a third plaintiff, biologist Beverly Emerson, who left the La Jolla-based institution in December when her contract expired. It also did not disclose settlement terms in the year-old lawsuits.

The lawsuits rocked the San Diego scientific community and were followed by the unexpected, early retirement of Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel laureate.

In addition, Inder Verma, a prominent cancer researcher, resigned amid allegations that he had sexually harassed eight women.

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