Science Market Update

Stem Cell Research Receives Record $100 Million Donation at UCSD

Posted by Dylan Fitzwater on Wed, Nov 20, 2013

UC San Diego Stem Cell Research

Denny Sanford, a South Dakota businessman and philanthropist (image courtesy of the Sanford Consortium), made big news with his recent $100 million donation to UC San Diego stem cell research. This influx in new funding is intended to advance the translation of UCSD's stem cell research into concrete therapies to treat a myriad of human diseases. Sanford aims to support a new and ambitious initiative at UCSD to transform research into new drugs and techniques that will benefit patients with a range of conditions--from Alzheimer's disease to spinal chord injuries.

This is a groundbreaking donation for the University of California, San Diego. According to the University of California, San Diego, the $100 million from Denny Sanford is the second largest donation in the University's history, second only to the $110 million donation from Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs that aided in transforming UC San Diego into a leading institution in engineering. Furthermore, this is a personally significant donation for Denny Sanford himself. This gift to UCSD stem cell research has pushed Sanford past the $1 billion mark in lifetime philanthropic giving.

The $100 million from Sanford will go toward advancing a broader $275 million push by UC San Diego to establish some of the first human stem cell clinical trials. This is one of the most exciting clinical research areas currently at UCSD. Stem cells can transform into many different types of cells and can thus aid in a variety of regenerative and therapeutic processes. The $100 million donation from Denny Sanford will go specifically toward creating the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego. This center will greatly expand the university's clinical and research capacities and will enable the university to hire 20-25 new scientists as well as obtain numerous patients for clinical trials.


UCSD Stem Cell Research(Image of adult stem cell by Robert M. Hunt)

Sanford praised the innovative stem cell research culture at UC San Diego, and in the larger San Diego research community. He said, “There’s a unique opportunity…here because we have a great university — UCSD — working with four other participants: the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology. There’s nothing like this anywhere else.”

Denny Sanford stressed the importance and timeliness of this funding initiative at UC San Diego saying, “It is time to move stem cell research from animals into humans for trials, especially in areas like ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and spinal cord injuries, where I believe we can make a lot of progress.” Sanford obtained his fortune as the owner of several major credit-card companies. He has said that he intends to give away all his money before he dies. His other philanthropic gifts include a $30 million donation toward the construction of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, a central piece of California’s $3 billion stem cell initiative.

The generous donation from Denny Sanford is just one part of the much broader research culture at UC San Diego, and the general San Diego area, that has made Southern California a center for innovative stem cell research. This is one of the most promising areas of medical science today. Although many of the potential therapeutic uses of stem cells remain in the research phase, the potential of this research direction to revolutionize modern medicine is certainly a cause for excitement. The record-setting grant from Denny Sanford will bring the numerous stem cell research projects at UC San Diego closer to becoming clinical realities. This donation has the potential to greatly speed up the creation of new human stem cell therapies.

Biotechnology Calendar Inc. is proud to host its longest-running, largest and best-attended event, the San Diego Biotechnology Vendor Showcase, twice-annually on the UCSD campus. We actively invite all UCSD life scientists, and also reach out to researchers at all of the major San Diego and La Jolla bioscience institutes. This is an exceptional networking opportunity and life science sales opportunity for the whole San Diego bioscience industry. Our next UCSD BVS event will take place on February 14, 2014.

For information on exhibiting in the future and a free funding report, click the button below:

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Tags: 2014, CA, University of California San Diego, 2013, Stem cell research, Southwest, California, San Diego, SDVS, Biotechnology Vendor Showcase, new funding

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