Thanks to a $20 million gift, the School of Medicine is launching the Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine. Irving Weissman, MD ’65, a professor of pathology who was the first to identify blood-forming stem cells in humans and mice, will direct the center. Michael Clarke, a professor of medicine who first identified cancer stem cells in breast cancer, will serve as deputy director. The New York-based Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund donated a total of $120 million to Stanford and five other academic centers nationwide. At Stanford, researchers hope to develop therapies that target and destroy cancer stem cells.

“The Ludwig Fund is synonymous with excellence in cancer research and we are honored to have been designated a Ludwig Center,” says Medical School dean Philip Pizzo. “The six new Ludwig Centers offer an unparalleled opportunity to foster interactions and collaborations among some of our nation’s most distinguished institutions and leading investigators.”