Media advisory: Stanford to open nation's largest stem cell research building

- By Ruthann Richter

Mark Tuschman description of photo

The new Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building will be officially dedicated Oct. 27.

The Stanford University School of Medicine will officially open the doors Oct. 27 to the largest dedicated stem cell research building in the country, if not the world. The new, 200,000-square-foot Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building was built entirely with state and private funding, buffering it from the vagaries of federal embryonic stem cell politics. The building was financed in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and is one of the first CIRM-funded research facility to open in the state.

The opening ceremonies will include a scientific symposium and remarks by philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey (pronounced low-kay), the building’s major benefactor; Robert Klein, JD, chairman of the board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Stanford President John Hennessy; and medical school Dean Philip Pizzo, MD. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire and a longtime friend of Stanford, made a $75 million gift to construct the building, while CIRM provided a $43.6 million in a major facilities grant for the project.

The day’s events begin with the symposium, “Translating stem cell biology into regenerative medicine and novel cancer therapies,” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Paul and Mildred Berg Hall of the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. It will feature presentations by six scientists leading research in the building, including Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. A one-hour media tour of the stem cell building will begin at 3 p.m. Formal ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. under the tent adjacent to the building.

The four-story, red-roofed structure will house 550 researchers, including more than 45 faculty, working in 33 different laboratories on the full range of stem cell projects, including embryonic and adult cell cells, cancer stem cells and the development of disease-specific stem cell lines. The researchers will focus on conditions as diverse as cancer, spinal cord injury, heart problems and autoimmune disease. Their work will be supported by a number of advanced technologies, including state-of-the-art imaging, the latest in genome sequencing machinery, a microfluidics laboratory and an unprecedented cancer tissue bank with the capacity for rapid analysis, among other things.

One of the unique design features in the building is a two-ton, 33-foot glass chandelier that cascades down three stories in the main lobby. The chandelier was created by Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly and was donated by the My Blue Dots Foundation.

Free parking for the day’s event is available on the top floor of Parking Structure 5 on Stock Farm Road and Oak Road. Shuttles will be available from the structure to the research building.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit