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A Place for Regenerative Medicine

The quality, variety, and sheer volume of stem cell research distinguishes Stanford’s program in stem cell research from all others. Here we briefly review our accomplishments and program objectives to show how the planned facility turns California’s vision for stem cell research into reality. In 2001, Stanford University unveiled a strategic plan to establish five translational Institutes of Medicine: The Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (SISCB/RM), the Neuroscience Institute at Stanford (NIS), the Cardiovascular Institute of Medicine (CVI), The Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection (ITI), and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr Irving Weissman was appointed Director of the SISCB/RM in 2003. Throughout its tenure, the SISCB/RM has had a central goal of maintaining and expanding a strong foundation of basic stem cell research, in order to improve human health through the development of novel stem cell therapeutic applications. We are motivated to reorganize and expand our facilities in order to bring this goal to fruition. The SISCB/RM is based on a strong foundation of stem cell research that encompasses the three CIRM-defined elements: Element X (fundamental discovery), Element Y (preclinical studies), and Element Z (stem cell-based therapies for clinical use). Moreover, our research mission is complemented by excellence in teaching stem cell biology to the next generation of scientists.

Science drives the strategic planning behind Stanford’s stem cell developments and the review of our Part I proposal stated: This is an outstanding proposal with great overall vision for basic stem cell biology. It clearly spells out key strengths within the institution and points towards strong areas of focus and potential for future growth.”

Below, we discuss the program objectives and vision for each Element so that these strengths in research and translation can be reviewed in relation to the building project. These program goals have led to the design of the Lokey Stem Cell (SIM1 -- Stanford Institutes of Medicine 1) building, the facility that will centralize and house the SISCB/RM program on Stanford’s main campus: