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$100 million gift launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
Date:11/4/2013

ions, including cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and spinal cord injury. I see it in the amazing collaborative advances by researchers and doctors in the Consortium and across the La Jolla mesa," said Sanford. "I believe we're on the cusp of turning years of hard-earned knowledge into actual treatments for real people in need. I want this gift to push that reality faster and farther."

In 2008, Sanford donated $30 million for the development and construction of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine facility, which opened in 2011. His gift to create the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center is the second largest donation received by UC San Diego in its 53-year history, following only the $110 million gift by Joan and Irwin Jacobs to endow the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Since 2006, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state's stem cell agency, has awarded UC San Diego scientists more than 60 grants totaling almost $138 million, with millions more given to other area institutions. Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, professor in the Departments of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Neurosciences, director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program, and scientific director of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, said funding from CIRM and elsewhere has already helped push some stem cell-based projects into early clinical trials, with more nearing readiness.

"Clinical trials are not the finish line, but they are essential to advancing the science and ultimately creating much-needed drugs and therapies," said Goldstein, who will also serve as director of the new Sanford Center. "We have made profound progress in understanding the basic nature and abilities of stem cells. We know a great deal about how they work and differentiate and, in a number of cases, how to make them become the kinds of cells we think we need. Now we have to put that knowledge to the test in people, for people."

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Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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