As reported in The Daily, this past October saw the grand opening of the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building. The most recent addition to the University’s School of Medicine, this $225 million, 200,000-square-foot project, now the largest stem cell center in the nation, was received with fitting aplomb. In its construction, the University further demonstrated its commitment to staying on the avant-garde of pioneering technology. The University’s work is not going unnoticed, and rightfully so. Reported yesterday, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine awarded $2.3 million to geneticist Michele Carlos for her work on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The motto of Stanford University is “Die Luft der Freiheit weht”–the wind of freedom blows. At the school’s founding, the Stanford family dedicated the University to the education and improvement of California’s sons and daughters. With its bold support of stem cell research, the University is embodying both the motto and the ideals instilled by the Stanfords.
When much of the country lets the stain of partisan fervor shrouded in religious dogmatism consume, and thus hinder, the actual science of stem cells, Stanford has chosen to instead lead on the issue. The winds of scientific freedom thankfully still blow here on the Farm. The potential of this research could improve the lives not only of Californians, but also of citizens around the globe. Researchers at Stanford are already studying the potential effect of stem cells on leukemia, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia and Parkinson’s disease, to name just a few.
There are legitimate concerns the editorial board has with aspects, both trivial and otherwise, about the decisions made by various functionaries within the labyrinthine University structure. However, developments such as the ones listed above should serve as a reminder to both the board and the campus that the institution that we inhabit is world-class and helping to shape the future in bold and exciting ways. Coupled with the recent completion of the Huang Center, the Gunn SIEPER building and the soon-to-be-completed Knight Management Center, the editorial board very much believes the future of this great university will only continue to grow.