Our game-changing research happens at the intersection of human ingenuity and cutting-edge technology, housed within Stanford's institutes and centers. Here are some of the ways in which we are tackling medicine's and the biosciences' greatest problems:
Imagine having a linear accelerator in your backyard.
Operated by and located at Stanford, work at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) has led to 4 Nobel Prizes and over 1,000 papers annually. Stanford biosciences professor Dr. Roger Kornberg used SLAC's synchotron X-rays in his Nobel Prize studies of the structural basis of transcription. The free electron laser developed at SLAC also helped solve the structure of proteins that don't crystallize well. Stanford biological scientists continue to use SLAC to solve molecular structures and create new technologies. Currently, Stanford Biosciences labs are collaborating with SLAC to generate stop-motion atomic-level movies of enzyme function.
Stanford boasts the largest facility in the world for stem-cell research and the first stem-cell graduate program in the nation.
A leader in stem-cell research for the past quarter century, the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine was established in 2002 to build on Stanford's leadership in stem-cell science and to set the foundations for the creation of a new field: regenerative medicine. The institute is devoted to exploring how stem cells are created, the mechanisms by which they are regulated, and how they devolve into specialized cells. The ultimate goal is to translate this knowledge into dramatic new medical therapies for some of the world's most serious and intractable afflictions. As part of the Stanford School of Medicine, the institute is dedicated to training the next generation of stem-cell researchers.
The new Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building houses 33 labs as well as a cell and tissue bank, microfluidics core, in vivo imaging core, flow cytometry core, and an animal-research facility. The microfluidics core, invented by Stanford professor Stephen Quake, allows labs to profile individual rare cells. An education core trains researchers in stem-cell techniques.
The Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) focuses the world-class expertise of more than 300 researchers and clinicians on the most critical issues in cancer research and medicine today. The SCI brings cancer researchers together for collaborative studies, with teams seeking to transform the latest detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention discoveries into the most advanced patient care possible. The SCI supports Biosciences students interested in studying cancer, with core facilities and SCI seminars providing research support and education.
An interdisciplinary collection of biologists, biochemists, physicians, physicists, computer scientists, engineers, chemists, and mathematicians, the Stanford Genome Technology Center (STGT) develops and implements new technologies to study the genome and its links to disease.
New genome-analysis technologies reduce costs and add tools to study the genome, making them more accessible to labs around the world. Since sequencing the first yeast genome as part of an international collaboration, the SGTC has participated in collaborations to sequence Malaria, Arabidopsis thaliana (a widely studied model plant), and additional bacterial and yeast genomes. SGTC technologies yielded improved blood collection tools, an assay of cancer markers, and detection methods for TB, avian influenza, HPV and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab, and Stanford Nanofabrication Facility provide shared facilities for scientists to build nanodevices for their research.
Several Stanford Biosciences labs use the nanoscience facilities to study single molecule forces and motions, biomolecule nanostructures, and microfluidics technology.
Focusing on the human immune system, the Institute for immunity, Transplantation and Infection (ITI) brings together researchers to study immunology in relation to autoimmune disease, infectious disease, and transplant rejection.
In the search for biomarkers, the institute set up the Human Immune Monitoring Center to provide resources for monitoring the immune system, developing new technologies, and mining data. Researchers can submit samples for analysis by the center's technologies. Also within the institute, the Center for Clinical Immunology at Stanford works to implement new therapies and preventative treatment to immune-related diseases.
This new, campus-wide brain research initiative will catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations at the boundaries of neuroscience and a broad array of disciplines. Researchers are generating massive amounts of data on the brain thanks to technological advancements, and the partnerships that will be fostered by this institute will tackle the challenges of collecting more precise data, interpreting and analyzing them, and finding creative ways to apply what is learned.
This institute will seek to attract new faculty and to catalyze collaborations with researchers in biology, applied physics, statistics, engineering, molecular biology, and genetics as well as clinicians, lawyers, educators, and ethicists. Another major focus will be to support young researchers, specifically to encourage graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to cross disciplines, learn a new field, and add richness to the study of the brain.
Established in July 2013, the Institute for Chemical Biology's mission is to strengthen the chemical foundations of biomedical science and to accelerate molecular discoveries that transform human health. It is a partnership of the schools of Medicine, Humanities and Sciences, and Engineering, and it is engaged with the schools of Law, Education, and Business.
The institute will provide an unparalleled training ground for the brightest young physicians, scientists, and engineers who are motivated by the goal of reinventing health care and the health-care industry. A main goal of the new institute will be developing ways to use chemistry and engineering to understand human biology, and thereby fuel breakthroughs. In doing so, the institute hopes to endow students with the skills necessary to integrate concepts from biology, chemistry, and engineering into biomedical research.
Near Monterey Bay Aquarium 90 miles south of the main campus, Stanford's marine lab hosts 9 research labs with 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Here, scientists study topics from genes and physiology to behavior and the effects of climate change. Following a year of classes on the main campus, students can relocate to the Hopkins Marine Station campus for their thesis.