South Dakota businessman T. Denny Sanford has donated $30 million to a stem cell consortium in San Diego to help build a stem cell research facility that will be the first of its kind in the nation, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Sanford will pay the consortium, which will be renamed the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, $10 million up front and $2 million annually thereafter for the next decade. Made up of interdisciplinary teams of scientists from the University of California San Diego, the Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute, and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the consortium was formed in 2005 to help unlock the mysteries of stem cells and how they can be used to address critical health issues.
The gift from Sanford builds on his $20 million donation to the Burnham Institute in November 2007 to facilitate collaboration with researchers and clinicians at Sanford Health, a Sioux Falls healthcare system that received a $400 million donation from Sanford in February 2007. The consortium also has received a $43 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for construction of the facility, which, as a provision of the grant, must be completed by 2010. Construction is scheduled to begin in January.
"I am excited to support this unique collaboration of four world-class institutions," said Sanford. "I believe that by working together, these researchers will quickly bring forward novel scientific developments that ultimately help patients with limited or no treatment options today."