Lorry I. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire and a regular supporter of education and science, will give $33 million to help build a laboratory for Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. "The important thing to me is that stem cells might not only extend life, but also improve the quality of life, as so many people suffer in their later years," said Lokey, who will turn 80 in March.
Lokey, who has given away much of his fortune to educational institutions, said he turned his attention to stem cells in 2001, after the Bush administration limited federal funding for stem cell research, discouraging the study of these potentially powerful cells.
Lokey’s contribution to the School of Medicine — its largest single gift to date from an individual — will help launch construction of new stem cell laboratories on campus where scientists will probe the power of these elusive cells in treating conditions as diverse as cancer, stroke and diabetes. Lokey hopes the gift will be even more than $33 million, as the funds are being held in an account that is expected to grow before construction begins.
The anticipated schedule for the building calls for groundbreaking in 2009, with completion in 2011. The building, to be located between Campus Drive and the Center for Clinical Sciences Research, will be the first in a series of structures that will house the Stanford Institutes of Medicine.