LA JOLLA, Calif., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Faculty members Reuben Shaw and Lei Wang, have been promoted to the position of Associate Professor at the Salk Institute after a rigorous evaluation process by Salk senior faculty, Non-Resident Fellows, and scientific peers. The career milestone distinguishes these two investigators as leading authorities in their respective disciplines who have made original, innovative and notable contributions to biological research. "Awarding promotions to scientists as talented as Reuben Shaw and Lei Wang assures that Salk will continue to bring outstanding leadership, vision and excellence in science and discovery to the global community," said Salk President William R. Brody. Reuben Shaw, a member of the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist as well as the Hearst Foundation Developmental Chair. He studies signal transduction pathways that underlie the development of cancer and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. While investigating one of the most commonly mutated genes in lung cancer, Shaw discovered an energy-sensing pathway that shuts down cell growth and reprograms metabolism when nutrients are scarce. His lab went on to molecularly decode a number of new components of this biochemical pathway, which connects nutrition to both cancer and diabetes. In addition, Shaw's lab uses genetic mouse models to further examine the connections between cancer and metabolic diseases, and to tease out the precise role of each component of the signaling pathway. In the past 5 years at Salk, their studies have lead to the discovery of new therapies for both cancer and type 2 diabetes. Lei Wang, from Salk's Chemical Biology and Proteomics Laboratory and holder of the Frederick B. Rentschler Developmental Chair studies the genetic code and signaling processes in vivo using genetically encoded novel amino acids.