Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of UCSF,

The field of medical research has entered a new era of discovery, thanks to the revolution in stem cell science. It is still early days, but scientists have made great progress in understanding the basic biology of these cells, and how they could be used to benefit human health.

They are showing promise as targets for testing experimental drugs in the laboratory, for serving as vehicles for transporting drugs into the brain, for regenerating damaged tissues and for studying the mechanisms of disease.

At UCSF, we are investigating the potential of stem cells to treat a wide variety of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cancer and spinal cord injury.

We are also moving the field into human clinical trials. We are conducting the nation’s second brain stem cell trial to treat a rare, fatal disease, inherited in boys, known as Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. And we are working toward developing clinical trials for several other diseases – diabetes, brain tumors, epilepsy, and heart and liver disease.

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of philanthropists Ray and Dagmar Dolby and Eli and Edythe Broad, coupled with a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, we are now able to carry out this research in a spectacular new building. The facility has enabled us to provide our faculty with the space they need to carry out their studies, and to recruit other leading scientists to our program. It is a bastion of collaboration – the hallmark of UCSF’s scientific tradition.

The building is the headquarters of a program that extends across all of UCSF. An astounding structure cantilevered off a 65-degree, eucalyptus-lined hillside on the Parnassus campus, it includes 25 labs made up of more than 240 scientists.

We were pleased to celebrate the official opening of the newly named UCSF Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building on February 9, 2011. It was a moment to reflect on the progress made to date and the goals in front of us.

We hope that you will learn about these advances and our goals on this website. Whether you are a patient seeking information about future treatments, a student interested in pursuing studies in stem cell biology, a scientist looking for potential collaborations or a member of the public interested in learning about the research we are conducting, we welcome you to explore and learn how stem cells and regeneration medicine may one day help you, your family and your friends.

I also hope you will consider joining us as a donor and as an active member of the UCSF stem cell community.

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