Roddenberry Center for<br />Stem Cell Biology and Medicine
Gladstone founded the Roddenberry Center for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine in 2011 with a $5M gift from the Roddenberry Foundation. Today led by Heidi and Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr., the Roddenberry Foundation supports and inspires efforts that create and expand new frontiers for the benefit of humanity. It funds innovative solutions to critical global issues in the areas of science and technology, the environment, education and humanitarian advances.
Deepak Srivastava, MD, leads the Center at Gladstone, which was set up to honor Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. In part, the Center builds on pioneering work done by Gladstone Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD—who currently divides his time between Gladstone and Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA). Dr. Yamanaka's 2006 discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, has altered the fields of cell biology and stem cell research—opening promising new avenues for both personalized and regenerative medicine. The Center, which collaborates with CiRA, houses all stem cell research being performed by Gladstone scientists. Center scientists are currently creating human, iPS-based disease models needed to accelerate drug development for a host of devastating cardiovascular, viral and neurological illnesses. They are also devising new ways to reprogram cells to become functional cells that could regenerate damaged organs such as the heart and brain.
Scientists working at the Center focus on applying pioneering principles of stem cell biology for the advancement of human health. The Center provides them with resources for both blue-sky and de-risking work: blue-sky research follows up on promising but uncertain scientific leads; while de-risking research is necessary to move a promising biomedical discovery through all the rigorous tests required for clinical applications. With tools such as the Roddenberry Clinical-Therapy Accelerator at Gladstone—also made possible with generous support from the Roddenberry Foundation—scientists are already making significant strides towards executing a regenerative medicine program from basic discovery to clinical treatment.