Success Stories


Since its founding, 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.


SPARK's Successes

Bridging the gap between bench and bedside is a challenging endeavor. There is an inherent risk that early-stage programs will fail during development, no matter how promising the science.

Such nascent programs are unlikely to attract interest from industry until they have reached significant milestones, and very little funding is available from the NIH, foundations, or private enterprise for this critical transition.

Chemical and Systems Biology Professor Daria Mochly-Rosen founded the SPARK program in 2006 to provide a cost-effective model to generate proof of concept using industry standards. Since its founding, 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's Focal Areas

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SPARK Global

SPARK programs have been established or are under development in a dozen academic institutions throughout the world, increasing the likelihood that new treatments will be developed from research across the globe.

Featured SPARK Projects:

Multiplexed Diagnostic to Predict and Detect Pre-Eclampsia

Novel diagnostic to help obstetricians and pregnant women. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine, Pediatrics. 


Gene Corrected Autologous Hematapoietic Stem Cells for the Treatment of IPEX Syndrome

Precisely correct and replace the mutated FOXP3 gene in its physiological genomic site. Rosa Bacchetta, MD, Associate Professor (Research) of Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)


Novel Pathway to Treat Huntington's Disease and Other Poly-Q Diseases

Identifying and developing drugs that may be effective in treating inherited neurodegenerative diseases. Stanley Cohen, MD, Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in the School of Medicine and Professor of Medicine; Professor of Genetics


Global Opportunities to Collaborate

There are numerous SPARK projects open for partnering and business opportunities. Explore the projects and reach out.

SPARKing Industry in Start-Ups

SPARK has instigated the formation of numerous start-ups working to bring research from bench to bedside.

SPARK Manual

SPARK: A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia, was published by SPARK co-founders Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes to help other academic institutions develop their own SPARK Programs.