PALO ALTO (KCBS) – A new building dedicated entirely to stem cell research at Stanford University School of Medicine is the largest of its kind in the country and possibly the world. It offers rich opportunities for collaboration, said Stanford officials.

The Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research facility houses laboratories for more than 500 scientists. Director Irving Weissman said putting the researchers in close proximity should foster collaboration in a field already growing by leaps and bounds.

“Real new ideas come when people who are close to each other bump into each other and start talking about what’s new. And suddenly what’s new in one lab brings on ideas from somebody else,” he said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Weissman noted that his own research and that of other colleagues had, in less than five years, reached a stage where clinical trials of a potential therapy were on the immediate horizon.

Stanford has managed to evade the controversy over federal financing of stem cell research thanks largely to the abundance of state money.

The uncertain fate of federal money for stem cell research has made the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, created when voters approved Prop 71 several years ago, a vital source of funding for researchers.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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