Collaboration within the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building

Moving from outside the building through the distribution system and into each individual lab, the building is designed with human interaction and collaboration as a key planning parameter. All traffic into the building is funneled into the backbone of the building, past the two outdoor courtyards that form natural gathering places for building occupants and visitors. It is expected that from this main interchange point, 90% of all foot traffic will use the main elevator or the open air stairs located in the center of the building. These two elements are designed to open up at each floor into a communal sitting area, where more focused collaborative discussions can be spontaneously arranged. More intimate community spaces planned throughout the corridors to allow for seating of up to four or five researchers. All of these collaboration “hot spots” have been strategically located and designed to facilitate and maximize scientific interactions.

Collaboration Features

SIM1 has been designed with great attention to the needs of the researchers and the institutional goals of promoting information sharing and collaboration. These social innovations manifest themselves in the following:

Collaborative Translational Benches

To accelerate translational stem cell research, and to provide opportunities for all Stanford stem cell researchers to take advantage of the scientific and material resources of Lokey Stem Cell (SIM1), up to 60 benches in SIM1 will be dedicated to hosting collaborations between basic scientists and clinical researchers working on targeted disease areas. Researchers at these benches will be mentored by two faculty members, one from a basic science, and one from a clinical discipline. In some cases the benches will host a physicist or engineer and a stem cell biologist collaborating on the development of novel technologies. These translational benches have attracted the interest of donors. We have partnered with the University of California-Berkeley in a new collaboration generously supported by a joint private donor to build interaction networks between Berkeley, Stanford, and visiting scholars, especially in fundamental stem cell science and bioengineering. Other donors are supporting our translational efforts in cancer stem cell research. Reviewers have remarked that “The proposed translational benches concept is highly innovative and exciting and likely to lead to unanticipated but highly productive learning and new collaborations.”