About the Broad Center

Innovative and collaborative research to understand and treat the world’s most devastating diseases

Director's Vision

These are exciting times for the Center. Our remarkable, growing faculty of developmental and stem cell biologists is accelerating the pace of scientific discovery about how organs and diseases develop and, in turn, helping to translate our findings into more precise patient therapies. We are among the world’s leaders in leveraging new technologies and generating new knowledge that enables us to cultivate customized cell lines, regenerate damaged tissue, grow replacement organs and test experimental drugs, which have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases. Medicine does not get more precise or personalized than that.

To accelerate our work, we are recruiting new faculty members and forging fruitful collaborations with colleagues at UCSF and around the world. We are funding seed grants that encourage innovative, high-risk proposals. And we are developing and enhancing core resources to make promising technologies more accessible to multiple investigators. These include: a genomic core to accommodate single cell RNA sequencing through 10X Genomics; an induced pluripotent stem cell/organoid core, which can standardize and automate the engineering of mutations, gene editing using CRISPR technology, and various cell culture approaches; and a molecular imaging core to enable sub-cellular localization of multiplexed RNA imaging in single cells.

We are also speeding up the progression from “bench to bedside” through clinical trials and promising start-up companies, which have emerged from our research and aim to treat everything from rare blood and brain diseases to epilepsy, heart failure and pain. These initiatives speak to the vital necessity of basic science research as the indispensable foundation for advancing medicine.

Much of this work has been made possible by the generosity of our donors and by funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), for which we are enormously grateful. We are hopeful that a pending state proposition will renew CIRM funding for another decade, and we are thankful that we can rely on the ongoing support of the UCSF campus and our donors to continue our important work.

Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD
John G. Bowes Distinguished Professor in Stem Cell and Tissue Biology
Director, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF

History

Since 1981, when UCSF's Gail Martin, PhD, co-discovered embryonic stem cells in mice, coining the term “embryonic stem cell” in the process, UCSF has been a key player in the stem cell field.

Beginning in the late 1990s, UCSF’s Roger Pedersen, PhD, was one of two university scientists nationwide – the other being James Thomson, DVM, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin – to pioneer the human embryonic stem cell field. Following Thomson’s 1998 discovery of a technique for deriving human embryonic stem cells from embryos following in vitro fertilization efforts, Pedersen’s lab derived two of its own lines of cells using the same technique.

Today, the Broad Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the United States.

In more than 140 labs across UCSF, basic science researchers carry out studies in cell culture and animals aimed at understanding healthy cell function and disease progression, and developing treatment strategies for a broad spectrum of disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases – such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury – and cancer. Building on this work, clinical research teams have begun one of the first early-stage stem cell clinical trials in the United States, and other potential trials are on the horizon.

The Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building

The $123 million building, designed by New York architect Rafael Viñoly, is a series of split-level floors with terraced grass roofs and solar orientation. Open labs flow into each other with office/interaction areas located on the circulation route between the labs, allowing the building’s research community to interact. Groundbreaking for the building, occurred in late August 2008 and was completed in late 2010.

The building is the headquarters of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF, which includes scientists across all UCSF campuses. It is located on the Parnassus campus near the UCSF Medical Center, supporting the long-term goal of translating basic research findings to clinical trials. It has 46,000 assignable square feet and four split-level floors; at full capacity, it houses 25 principal investigators and their teams.