Silicon Valley Embraces Hospital
Plans for the new Stanford Hospital gained conspicuous momentum in February with the formation of a corporate partners program that links six of Silicon Valley's iconic companies in providing both financial support and technological innovation.
Apple, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Intuit and Oracle plan to contribute as much as $150 million to the $2 billion project over 10 years. The firms also will collaborate on possibilities for improving medical treatment, as well as the quality of the patient and employee experiences, in a rapidly evolving health-care system.
Hospital board member Ron Johnson, '80, is senior vice president of retail at Apple and was instrumental in creating the partnership. "The big idea here," said Johnson in an email to Stanford, "is the goal of improving human health in unimaginable ways, by combining the unique capabilities to innovate that exist here in the valley both with our partner companies and with Stanford medicine."
In talking with the other companies, Johnson said, "it became clear that each leader had a significant personal or immediate family history with health care, many at Stanford. These experiences motivated them to want to provide the best possible health care for their teams and for people in the valley."
Construction of the new hospital is projected to take six years. That will follow utilities upgrades and related work that could begin as early as this year, assuming Stanford gains necessary approvals from the City of Palo Alto.
Fellows Join Elite Group
The American Physical Society has selected three Stanford scientists as fellows in an election that limits the honor to .5 percent of the APS membership annually.
Chosen by their peers were Mark Brongersma, associate professor of materials science and engineering; Igor Moskalenko, senior research scientist in the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology; and Juan Santiago, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Stanford Microfluidics Laboratory. (See photos in slideshow.)
The APS division of laser science nominated Brongersma, who has focused on building and characterizing nanoscale electronic and optical devices that could aid advances in fields ranging from semiconductors and telecommunications to chemistry and biology. Moskalenko, nominated by the astrophysics division for his work in gamma-ray astronomy, is part of the team for the Large Area Telescope, the principal instrument on the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope spacecraft. The division of fluid dynamics nominated Santiago, credited with research applicable to genetic analysis, drug discovery, drug delivery, bioweapon detection and power generation.
Lyman Award To Camarillo
History professor Al Camarillo received the Richard W. Lyman Award for 2010, presented by the Stanford Alumni Association, for his contributions to alumni education and University diversity. Camarillo joined the Stanford faculty in 1975 and is particularly noted for his work in Mexican-American history and Chicano studies. He also serves as special assistant to the provost for faculty diversity.
SAA president Howard Wolf, '80, pointed to Camarillo's stature among both peers and students, adding, "The connections he forges with his protégés as undergraduates lasts long after they've left the University, and well into their alumni lives."
Six Receive Stem-Cell Grants
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has awarded another $10.6 million to Stanford researchers. Their work targets bottlenecks in stem-cell science and supports efforts to translate stem-cell therapies to the clinic. To date, CIRM has granted University researchers $186.5 million.
Sarah Heilshorn, associate professor of materials science and engineering, will receive $1.4 million for efforts to make growing stem cells more efficient and less costly. A grant of $1.6 million goes to genetics professor Michele Calos to develop cellular models of Parkinson's disease.
Four scientists received $1.9 million apiece: Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD '87, associate professor of neurobiology, to develop an in vitro model for a rare form of autism; Brian Rutt, MS '77, professor of radiology, for work on methods of labeling transplanted stem cells for tracking within the body; Marius Wernig, assistant professor of pathology, to generate functional neurons from the skin cells of patients with various brain diseases; and Irving Weissman, MD '65, director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (and professor of pathology and developmental biology), to devise ways to use antibodies to isolate populations of tissue-specific stem cells.