UCSF stem cell building: generating therapies and making news

The new UCSF stem cell building has made the news again. The September 19 issue of The New Yorker, architecture critic Paul Goldberger features UCSF’s Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine as one of three new science buildings in the United States “crafted with the specific intention of fostering interaction and connections, as a means of generating ideas.”

A press release from UCSF says:

Constructed on what Goldberger called an “eye-poppingly impossible site,” the building is home to some 300 scientists studying the earliest stages of cell and tissue development, with the goal of understanding and developing cell-based treatment strategies for such diseases as heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, spinal cord injury and cancer.

This is one of the buildings CIRM partially funded back in 2008, when the agency realized that a critical component of generating new therapies was providing scientists with a place to work. CIRM’s investment of $271 million leveraged $560 million from private donors and $322 million in commitments from the institutions themselves. UCSF has this to say about funding for the building:

The $123 million building was paid for with state and private funds. In 2006, Ray and Dagmar Dolby contributed $16 million to launch the university’s fundraising campaign for the facility. In 2007, UCSF received a highly competitive $34.9 million grant from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). In 2008, UCSF received a $25 million grant from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.  Last winter, UCSF received an additional $20 million donation from the Dolbys. The university has $12 million left to raise.

When Eli and Edythe Broad made their donation to UCSF CIRM made this video about our hopes for the stem cell buildings:

A.A.

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