The Stanford SPARK program was established in 2006 to advance new biomedical research discoveries into promising new treatments for patients.
SPARK emphasizes new ways of thinking about bridging the gap between bench and bedside.
Building upon Stanford’s tradition of technological innovation and entrepreneurship, Chemical and Systems Biology Professor, Daria Mochly-Rosen, founded the SPARK program to provide a cost-effective model to generate proof of concept using industry standards.
Since 2006, SPARK has advanced scores of new diagnostics and drugs to the clinic and commercial sectors and educated hundreds of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students on the translational process. The majority of SPARK projects address the neglected areas of child and maternal health, global health, and orphan diseases.
SPARK is a unique partnership between university and industry experts.
SPARK provides access to specialized knowledge and technical expertise regarding drug and diagnostic development, dedicated core laboratory facilities, and sources of funding to support translational efforts.
SPARK at Stanford includes graduate level courses about the drug development process as well as a program for “SPARK Scholars” which provides funding for their product proposals and mentoring for participants. Mentoring is provided by advisors with expertise in product development, clinical care, and business, preparing participants for careers that link investigation with important new therapies.
Product proposals are reviewed annually by an expert panel of faculty and industry advisors. The panel reviews new, unlicensed disclosures made to the University Office of Technology Licensing as well as proposals submitted from across the university. SPARK Scholars (AKA “SPARKees”) are funded for an average of two years and participate in weekly seminars with industry and academic experts.
SPARK at Stanford is open to professors, clinicians, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. Our industry advisors play a vital role in the program through their mentorship and counsel. Other academic institutions have successfully replicated the Stanford SPARK model and we are committed to supporting their work.
SPARK at Stanford
The SPARK Program at Stanford includes education, mentorship, and funding for promising product proposals.
Celebrating SPARK's 10 Year Anniversary
In 2016 the SPARK people from across the globe gathered at Stanford to celebrate ten years of successful programs in translational research.