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$220M grant helps La Jolla scientists study human performance

Salk Institute, UC San Diego part of research project
Posted at 5:51 AM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 16:40:33-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - Two premier research institutions in La Jolla are part of a $220 million grant to fund studies on human performance.

UC San Diego and the Salk Institute will join the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance to optimize health and recovery. The grant comes from Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation.

"It's a unique opportunity," says Salk Institute Professor Dr. Satchin Panda. His research will focus on circadian rhythms, the body's internal clock. By studying them at a molecular level, Dr. Panda hopes to discover how muscle cells and immune cells work during recovery.

"We know that people who were injured need better nutrition, they need better sleep, but we don't know why," says Dr. Panda. "By understanding circadian rhythms, we can figure out what is the best time to eat, sleep, or exercise, so that we can improve our health and increase our resilience."

The Salk Insitute and UC San Diego will join the University of Oregon, the University of Kansas, Stanford University, and the Boston Children's Hospital in the Alliance.

According to a statement given to ABC 10News, the goal of the Alliance is to "pursue a set of scientific "moonshots" to uncover the fundamental principles of human performance and pioneer new technologies to transform how people train, heal, and perform throughout the lifespan."

By collaborating on their research, the Alliance hopes to provide results faster.

"This particular arrangement gives us the unique opportunity to do the experiment in the lab," says Dr. Panda. "At the
same time, we have partners who can try and test it in the next level."

The research results will be free for anyone to access as part of the Alliance's goal of improving health around the world.