To the Stars: Stem Cell Research Lifts Off with an Historic Investment

Chancellor Khosla with Cat Jamieson and Denny Sanford

From left, T. Denny Sanford, Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, and Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla celebrate the establishment of the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Institute, made possible by a historic gift from Sanford.

Last week, we were delighted to announce the largest single gift ever to UC San Diego – a $150 million commitment from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford to establish the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Institute. Adding to his previous $100 million gift, these combined resources will significantly boost research capabilities and solidify UC San Diego as a global leader in stem cell research and discovery. Simply put, this visionary investment will transform the future of human health.

Stem cell research has the potential for extraordinary applications, including regenerative medicine and the development of treatments and cures for devastating diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. New discoveries made possible by this partnership will undoubtedly benefit countless patients worldwide. It will also give many a renewed chance at life.

This funding not only lays the groundwork for revolutionary discoveries on Earth – it will significantly expand UC San Diego’s stem cell research in space. Soon, stem cells will be launched into low-Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station as part of the Sanford Stem Cell Education and Integrated Space Stem Cell Orbital Research Program (ISSCOR). The possibilities are endless at this pivotal moment.

Since UC San Diego’s founding, interdisciplinary partnerships have been at the heart of our mission. We know that when great minds come together for a common purpose, they generate innovative and transformative new discoveries that would not be possible separately. And we have proven time and again that collaboration among many disciplines is how excellence in research is achieved. It is what we do best. With these new resources to empower researchers from across our institution to work collaboratively, we will markedly advance the study of stem cells for the greater good.

Thanks to this historic investment in UC San Diego’s world-class research enterprise, we are advancing our collective capacity to lead the way in stem cell research. We are revolutionizing standards of care around the world. And we are driving discoveries that will reach unprecedented heights. I cannot wait to see what’s next.