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
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 belowSPARK Scholars
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
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
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.Watch on YouTube
Dr. Daria Mochly-Rosen quoted in BioCentury article on Bay Area shelter-in-place
SPARK was not involved in a circulating Google research paper touting chloroquine as potential treatment for COVID-19 despite its claims.
SPARK is honored to receive the 2020 Janet Davison Rowley Patient Impact Research Award!
The SPARK manual was published by co-founders Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes to help other academic institutions develop their own SPARK Programs.Learn More
SPARK is thankful for the continued support of the Maternal and Child Health Research Institute at Stanford. Through their funding, SPARK has been able fund numerous projects in the field of Child and Maternal Health with 11 projects reaching clinic or commercial sectors.Learn More