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Statement by Stanford President John Hennessy on Jim Clark`s stem cell announcement

Today, Aug.31, Jim Clark has announced that he will suspend payment on $60 million of his $150 million pledge to create a center for biomedical science and engineering research at Stanford. The suspension of his pledge is to protest evolving federal policies and restrictions on stem cell research and potentially on non-reproductive cloning. While we are saddened by Mr. Clark`s decision, we are deeply grateful for the $90 million he already has committed to The James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and we appreciate his strong feelings on this subject.

The Clark Center is at the core of a broad-based interdisciplinary initiative at Stanford, called Bio-X. Bio-X will bring together researchers from the biosciences, physical sciences and engineering to focus on interdisciplinary biomedical research. The past two years have seen tremendous growth in the Bio-X program. Construction of the 225,000-square-foot Clark Center is underway. When occupied in 2003, the center will accommodate about 50 faculty from a wide range of disciplines. Mr. Clark`s initial $90 million gift will allow us to continue to build this vital center and accelerate important interdisciplinary research at Stanford.

Most of the activities planned for Bio-X and the Clark Center will be unaffected by the recent federal decisions. As Channing Robertson, co-director of Bio-X and Professor of Chemical Engineering, points out, stem cell research is only one component of a much broader vision for the program. ``The Bio-X executive committee is considering a number of research areas: molecular biophysics, proteomics, genomics, microbial biology, complex systems and neurosciences, biocomputation, biodesign, robotics, and molecular and cellular imaging,`` he reports.

Paul Berg, a professor emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his pioneering work with recombinant DNA, observed that ``Stanford`s efforts in
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Contact: Elaine Ray
elaineray@stanford.edu
650-723-7162
Stanford University
31-Aug-2001


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