SPARK Program in Translational Research

Our Mission: Advance Academic Discoveries from Laboratory to Patient Care

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Academic

SPARK Emphasizes New Ways To Bridge The Gap Between Academic Discoveries And Products That Benefit Patients.

SPARK’s mentorship and funding program provides hands-on advising and funding to Stanford affiliates whose product proposals have been accepted for development. Our "SPARKees" benefit from world-class counsel from industry advisors and academic experts who work closely with them to provide the industry knowledge necessary to move their projects from bench to bedside.

About SPARK

Light Your
SPARK!

Academic

Learn About Career Opportunities And Find Your New Passion

The primary purpose of SPARK is education of the greater Stanford community about drug development and advancing discoveries. Beyond attending weekly SPARK lectures, students can take CSB240: A Practical Approach to Drug Discovery and Development, the biannual SPARK Class where students may develop their own SPARK projects. Each year, the class focuses on unmet needs in a particular therapeutic area and interdisciplinary teams are charged with conceiving of and then serially de-risking a novel therapeutic approach for an unmet medical need. Approximately one third of the student projects are licensed or move into clinical study at Stanford. Learn more about our process below

SPARK Scholars

Ignite Your
Own SPARK!

Academic

We’re in the Business of Saving Lives

For many SPARK projects, the optimal path to the clinic is through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and the development of new startups. With showcases at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Investor Forum and connections with venture capitalists in the region, we do our part to bring SPARK projects forward. As of 2018, thirty-two projects have rolled out into startups and sixteen projects were licensed to existing companies. Some startups raised over $50 million in series A funding and others went public. Half of successful SPARK projects are in clinical studies. Read on to learn more about our successes and potential opportunities.

Commercializing SPARK

The SPARK Opportunities

Academic

SPARK Succeeds With Help From People Like You!

Since 2006, over 50% of SPARK projects have moved to the clinical and commercial sectors through the support of over 200 volunteer industry experts and a few, generous donors. Learn more about how you can support SPARK to advance biomedical research discoveries into new treatments for patients.

Get Involved

Turn SPARK
into a Flame!

TEDMED: SPARKing a new generation in translational research

Founder and Director of Stanford University’s SPARK program Daria Mochly-Rosen shares how she has liberated potential drug discoveries from academic research to industry, and discusses the countless, surprising lessons she has learned along the way.

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News

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Grimes, who has joined The Kenneth Rainin Foundation as a Scientific Advisory Board member!

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Grimes, who has joined The Kenneth Rainin Foundation as a Scientific Advisory Board member!

“I look forward to providing input that may help the Foundation’s outstanding group of researchers progress their discoveries.” – Dr. Kevin Grimes

SPARK Profiled by ABC News

SPARK Profiled by ABC News

In developing new drugs for rare diseases, this non-profit steps in when pharmaceutical companies won't

Sparking drug discoveries

Sparking drug discoveries

Stanford Medicine Magazine profiles SPARK and Dr. Jane Tseng's work

More From SPARK

Title
SPARK: A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia

The SPARK manual was published by co-founders Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes to help other academic institutions develop their own SPARK Programs.

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Title
Supporting Child and Maternal Health

SPARK has a special focus on the often neglected area of Child and Maternal Health. Thanks to funding from the Stanford Child Health Research Institute, 11 projects in this area have reached the clinic or commercial sectors

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Title
Start-Ups Spun out of SPARK

SPARK has instigated the formation of numerous start-ups working to bring research from bench to bedside

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