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The Stanford Biomedical Innovation Initiative

Stanford is uniquely poised to lead the biomedical revolution and secure its promise for future generations. Over the last 60 years, our unrivaled atmosphere of interdisciplinary exploration and collaboration has produced many of the innovations that sparked this revolution: MRIs, gene splicing, and stem cell medicine were all born on our campus. Today, that same atmosphere, amplified by the astounding intellectual, technological, and financial capital that surrounds us in Silicon Valley, gives us an unprecedented opportunity. Together, in this place and at this moment, we have the chance to change human health forever.

The Biomedical Innovation Initiative is a collection of philanthropic investments in disruptive research, visionary faculty, and promising young scientists. With this targeted, flexible funding, we will drive biomedical innovation forward around the world. Through the generosity of our philanthropic partners, we will power a simple idea, proven time and again on our campus: when you set the best minds free to explore to the limits of their talent and imagination, they will deliver a brighter, better future. Read on, and you’ll discover just a few examples of the kinds of innovation your philanthropic vision can fuel.     


“We don’t think outside the box because we never see one to begin with.”

Lucy Shapiro, PhD
Stanford Professor of Developmental Biology and 2013 National Medal of Science recipient

Collaborations that change the world

Lucy Shapiro, PhD, untangles the genetic circuitry that makes life possible.


A new awareness of what it means to be healthy

Mark Davis, PhD, illuminates the “black box” of the human immune system.

receptor4 flatb
A chance to solve the mysteries of life

Brian Kobilka, MD, scrutinizes how cells receive the signals we need to send.


nanopurple light
Unexpected ways
of looking at

Adam de la Zerda, PhD, lights up tumors with lasers, sound, and nanoparticles.

chip alien
Precious insight from oceans of information

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, explores huge datasets to find life-saving patterns.


macrophage alien
Faster translation of research into treatment

Ravi Majeti, MD, PhD, rips away cancer’s disguise so the body can eat it.

The Profound Impacts of Basic Science