Sanford Consortium celebrates opening of stem cell research ‘Collaboratory’


The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM), on Tuesday marked completion of the “Collaboratory,” a 150,700-square-foot biomedical research laboratory at 2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive.

As part of the celebration the center is hosting the 2011 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa. In its sixth year, the symposium is including its first investor and partnering event to showcase the leading companies and investigators in regenerative medicine.

In remarks at the event, UC President Emeritus Richard Atkinson noted that “50 years ago, this coastal mesa was an empty place. It had no buildings and no infrastructure. But it did have a few visionary scientists, like Jonas Salk and Roger Revelle. And they had a very big idea. They believed that collaboration across scientific disciplines was the key to confronting society’s toughest challenges. And they set out to create an environment where there would be no silos separating the sciences.”

Today, he added, their ideas show the fruits of the roots they planted and “a new culture of collaboration was born here, and it has flourished far more than in any other place in the world.

“Today, we dedicate a magnificent 21st-century facility that embodies our collaborative culture,” he said. “For the first time anywhere, top researchers from five world-class institutions will team up under the same roof, in the same flexible labs and workspaces, to pursue breakthroughs in the exciting field of stem cell science.”

The nonprofit SCRM is a consortium of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Scripps Research Institute, the Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute, UCSD, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Designed by Fentress Architects, in association with Davis Davis Architects, the project was developed by Lankford & Associates, Inc. and Phelps Development.

A press release from Fentress Architects says “Sanford marshals the intellectual resources of five organizational world-leaders in life sciences research, bringing scientists from each institution together to conduct joint research and training programs in one of today’s most promising arenas of science. Scientists from the five collaborating organizations plan to focus on stem cell growth and differentiation, neuroscience, cardiovascular biology, and blood cell development. They will develop innovative diagnostics and therapies, and invent tools and technologies to advance stem cell research.”

The release notes that “Circulation throughout the Collaboratory is designed to cause unplanned “creative collisions” intended to spark serendipitous opportunities for dynamic collaboration.”

Read more about the event later this week.