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Researchers Sue Salk

Two researchers are suing the Salk Institute for gender discrimination, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

In their lawsuits, Vicki Lundblad and Katherine Jones allege that they and other women have faced discrimination at the institute, which they describe as an "old boys' club" where "women are paid less, not promoted, and denied opportunities and benefits simply because they are women."

In particular, Lundblad and Jones say that no woman has been promoted to the level of full professor since 1999 and that they've been retaliated against after lodging complaints, the Union-Tribune says. Additionally, they allege that despite bringing in research money, they've been pressured to downsize their labs.

"Because of the lack of formal governing guidelines to ensure equitable treatment of women faculty, the Salk Institute's administration has historically demonstrated a lack of desire to address, or even admit, the problems encountered by its tenured women professors," the suits say.

In a statement, the Salk Institute tells the Union-Tribune that Lundblad and Jones "have been treated generously by the institute, including relative to their male peers. Each scientist's lucrative compensation package is consistent with well-recognized metrics that have been applied to all Salk faculty in a nondiscriminatory manner."