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Genesis of the Salk InstituteThe Epic of Its Founders$
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Suzanne Bourgeois

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276079

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276079.001.0001

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Genesis of the Salk Institute

Suzanne Bourgeois

University of California Press

Edward Litchfield, the new president of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), wanted to raise academic standards, including boosting research. In 1957, the Municipal Hospital was purchased by the university, renamed Salk Hall, and made available to Salk to pursue his vaccine work. Salk proposed to create a research center, the Institute for Experimental Medicine, with an administrative and financial structure independent from the university. Negotiations with Pitt came to a standoff, however, and an advisory committee was set up that included Robert Oppenheimer, then director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Oppenheimer and the Princeton institute, founded in 1930 by Abraham Flexner, had a profound influence on Salk’s vision for his future institute and encouraged him to consider leaving Pitt.

Keywords:   University of Pittsburgh, Edward Litchfield, Robert Oppenheimer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Abraham Flexner

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