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$33 million donation to help build Stanford stem cell institute site

A $33 million donation will help build a home for Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

Lorry I. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire and a supporter of education and science, will

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A $33 million donation will help build a home for Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

Lorry I. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire and a supporter of education and science, will provide the donation for the construction. The anticipated schedule for the building calls for groundbreaking in 2009, with completion in 2011. The building, to be located between Campus Drive and the Center for Clinical Sciences Research, will be the first in a series of structures that will house the Stanford Institutes of Medicine.

Lokey, who has given away much of his fortune to educational institutions, said he turned his attention to stem cells in 2001, after the Bush administration limited federal funding for stem cell research, discouraging the study of these potentially powerful cells.

"The important thing to me is that stem cells might not only extend life, but also improve the quality of life, as so many people suffer in their later years," said Lokey, who will turn 80 in March. "But I think stem cells will have applications across the entire life span."

Lokey's contribution to the School of Medicine - its largest single gift to date from an individual - will help launch construction of new stem cell laboratories on campus where scientists will probe the power of these elusive cells in treating conditions as diverse as cancer, stroke and diabetes. Lokey hopes the gift will be more than $33 million; the funds are being held in an account that is expected to grow in value before construction begins.

"Lorry Lokey is a remarkably brilliant and committed individual," said Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. "He has become a passionate and highly informed advocate for stem cell research, and is excited by the extraordinary work that is proceeding at Stanford under the banner of our Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine."

Lokey, a native of Portland, Ore., graduated from Stanford in 1949 with a degree in journalism and credits the university with jumpstarting his career.

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

Source: CSRwire