Sanford Consortium Opening



Sanford Consortium Opening Celebrates Stem Cell Research on the Mesa

The Scripps Research Institute joined four other institutions on San Diego’s Torrey Pines mesa November 29 in a ceremony celebrating the opening of The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

The event formally launched California’s newest facility dedicated to stem cell science, which brings together the forces of Scripps Research, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology to pursue collaborative projects.

“We’re delighted to participate in this far-sighted initiative,” said Richard A. Lerner, Scripps Research president and member of the Sanford Consortium board of directors, “and we look forward to the opportunity to strengthen our partnerships advancing innovative science.”

“Top researchers from multiple institutions and disciplines will team up here in unprecedented ways,” said Edward W. Holmes, the Sanford Consortium’s president and chief executive officer. “The collaborating organizations aim to revolutionize the field of stem cell science and deliver new discoveries that translate into new treatments.”

The new 150,000 square-foot facility—dubbed the “collaboratory”—is located around the corner from the Scripps California campus on Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, north of the Salk Institute. The building, designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects and Davis Davis Architects of San Diego, houses laboratories, equipment, conference rooms, and other facilities.

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. In September 2008, the project received a $30 million donation from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. 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, co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Qualcomm Incorporated; and John Moores, founder of BMC Software. In addition to Lerner and Holmes, other board members are William R. Brody, president of the Salk Institute; Marye Anne Fox, chancellor of UC San Diego; and John Reed, chief executive officer of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. 

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Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who gave $30 million to support the new consortium, welcomes the audience into the new building after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.