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STANFORD -- Physicians who treat patients will team up with scientists who investigate basic biomedical questions in a new Stanford research center devoted to devising innovative strategies against cancer, immune disorders and genetic diseases.

The new Center for Clinical Sciences Research (CCSR) received concept approval from the Board of Trustees this week and is scheduled to open three years from now directly west of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine (see schematic illustration, page x). It will house a diverse group of clinical investigators and basic scientists who will exchange ideas, collaborating on new medical therapies.

"The new building will bring together some of Stanford's most talented scientists to translate basic science discoveries to new approaches to the prevention and cure of cancer and other devastating diseases," said Dr. Eugene Bauer, dean of the School of Medicine.

For example, researchers who study bone marrow and stem cells might team up with scientists involved in genetic engineering to devise new cancer interventions. Or researchers in molecular immunology may bring their insights to new treatment, or even prevention, of diseases as diverse as juvenile-onset diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, or AIDS.

Bauer said faculty housed in the new center will come from 10 different departments: pediatrics, medicine, surgery, anatomy, pathology, radiation oncology, dermatology, pediatric surgery, genetics and molecular pharmacology.

"We envision the new facility as the next step in bridging the basic and clinical sciences at Stanford," said Bauer. "The Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine was the first link in the bridge. The CCSR will extend the span, enabling basic scientists to reach out to clinical researchers in the bench-to-bedside development of the next round of revolutionary therapies.

"It will also allow researchers to investigate ideas that emerge from patient treatment at Stanford - in effect, sending ideas back from bedside to bench," he said.

The project is part of the medical center's long-term program to strengthen research in the clinical sciences. The CCSR plan, expanded under Bauer's leadership, calls for a building encompassing 214,000 gross square feet, where scientists will be organized into three interdepartmental arenas: cancer biology and cancer therapy; immunology and transplantation; and genetics and gene therapy.

The preliminary total project budget for the CCSR is $88.71 million, said University Architect David Neuman. Gift funding has been secured, and the university and medical school have made additional financial commitments. The project is expected to be submitted for program and design approval in early 1997, with a target completion date of early 1999.

The building will feature design elements that promote frequent interaction and impromptu group discussions - such as broad stairways and a central courtyard where researchers are likely to stop and chat.

By providing state-of-the-art laboratories for Stanford scientists, the CCSR will aid in recruitment efforts and allow researchers to move out of the Edwards Building, which will be retrofitted and renovated for non-laboratory use, Bauer said.

"The Center for Clinical Sciences Research carries my most enthusiastic endorsement, for it is critical to bridging the basic and clinical sciences at Stanford," President Gerhard Casper said. "Dean Bauer has developed convincing concepts that have made it possible for the university to help raise and contribute the necessary funds.

"The Center for Clinical Sciences Research exemplifies Stanford's commitment to modern laboratories with sophisticated equipment at the Medical Center, which will accelerate the efforts of our researchers and extend their understanding of life-threatening diseases and their treatments. This specialized facility will strengthen Stanford's capacity to educate future generations of physician scientists."

The London-based architecture firm of Sir Norman Foster and Partners, in association with Fong & Chan of San Francisco, has been retained to design the new facility. Foster is internationally known for designing such buildings as the Hong Kong airport, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank headquarters, the Century Tower in Tokyo, the rebuilding and expansion of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Carré d'Art cultural center in Nîmes.



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