Sanford Consortium Opens New “Collaboratory” Nov. 29

First-Of-Its-Kind Stem Cell Science Facility Will Harness Intellectual Capital of Five World-Class Research Institutions

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine will open a new collaborative research building on Tuesday, November 29, at a 9:00 a.m. ceremony that will formally launch California’s newest facility dedicated to stem cell science. 

The Sanford Consortium “collaboratory” will bring together five of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions to pursue collaborative research projects that advance the search for breakthrough cures. The Collaboratory is set in La Jolla on the Torrey Pines mesa and is centrally located among the consortium’s collaborating organizations: the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; The Scripps Research Institute; the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego); and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

“When we open the Collaboratory on November 29, we will launch a new era rich with promise for scientific achievement,” said Edward W. Holmes, M.D., Sanford’s president and chief executive officer. “Top researchers from multiple institutions and disciplines will team up here in unprecedented ways. By harnessing their intellectual capital under a single roof, the collaborating organizations aim to revolutionize the field of stem cell science and deliver new discoveries that translate into new treatments.”

Designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects and Davis Davis Architects of San Diego, the $127 million Collaboratory includes 150,000 square feet of spaces specifically designed to support both focused individual and collaborative team research. Circulation throughout the Collaboratory is designed to cause unplanned “creative collisions” intended to spark serendipitous opportunities for dynamic collaboration.

“The Collaboratory was designed to be functional, flexible, innovative, and wholly supportive of stem cell science,” said Louis R. Coffman, vice president and chief operating officer. “We hope that the Collaboratory will create conditions sufficient to enable an entirely new culture of scientific research to emerge.” Development of the project began in 2007 and was led by a partnership between Lankford & Associates and Phelps Development. In May 2008, the consortium, known then as the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, received a $43 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state agency created to disburse $3 billion in funding from Proposition 71, the stem cell research ballot measure approved by voters in 2004.

“With the passage of Proposition 71, California became the world’s largest funder of stem cell research,” said Larry Goldstein, Ph.D., director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Research Program and chair of the Sanford Consortium’s Scientific Steering Committee. “The Collaboratory is the only site in California where five institutions have joined forces to create a research facility with Proposition 71 funds.”

In September 2008, the project received a $30 million donation from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford of South Dakota. In recognition of his generous gift, the consortium was renamed the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Sanford serves as co-chair of the consortium’s board of directors along with Malin Burnham, retired chairman of John Burnham & Company Insurance; Irwin M. Jacobs, Sc.D., co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Qualcomm Incorporated; and John Moores, founder of BMC Software. Other board members are William R. Brody, M.D., Ph.D., president of the Salk Institute; Marye Anne Fox, Ph.D., chancellor of UC San Diego; Richard A. Lerner, M.D., president of The Scripps Research Institute; John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology; and Holmes, president of Sanford Consortium.

Sanford will be among the speakers at the November 29 ceremony, which will feature a keynote address by Richard C. Atkinson, President Emeritus of the University of California, on “No One of Us Is as Smart as All of Us.” Other speakers on the program are:

• Edward W. Holmes, M.D., who will serve as Master of Ceremonies
• San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders
• Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., J.D. , Chair, Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
• Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D, Director for Stem Cell Research, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
• Lorraine Stiehl, Patient Advocate Coordinator, CIRM

Contact: Karen Hutchens