Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

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Coordinates: 32°54′04″N 117°14′31″W / 32.901192°N 117.241937°W / 32.901192; -117.241937

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute logo
Established 1976
President Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.
CEO Perry Nisen, M.D., Ph.D.
Budget $149 million (2015)
Location United States La Jolla and Orlando
Address 10901 North Torrey Pines Road
Website sbpdiscovery.org

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is an non-profit medical research institute with locations in La Jolla, California and Orlando, Florida. There are more than 850 scientists at SBP blending cutting-edge fundamental research with robust drug discovery to address unmet clinical needs in the areas of cancer, neuroscience, immunity, and metabolic disorders.

Research at SBP is supported by funding from National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation among others, and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development.[1] In 2008, SBP was awarded a $97.9 million grant by NIH to establish a high-throughput screening screening center.[2]

History[edit]

Former Burnham Institute for Medical Research logo

William H. Fishman, M.D., Ph.D., and his wife, Lillian Waterman Fishman, founded the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation in 1976 after retiring from Tufts University School of Medicine. The Foundation focused on oncodevelopment, the study of developmental biology in conjunction with oncology as a means to better understand cancer.

In 1996, the Foundation was renamed The Burnham Institute in honor of San Diego businessman Malin Burnham after he joined with an anonymous donor to contribute $10 million. The Institute was renamed the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in 2006. In 2007, T. Denny Sanford gave the Institute $20 million through Sanford Health, a hospital which received significant donations from T. Denny Sanford previously, allowing it to create the Sanford Children's Health Research Center, which has sites in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and La Jolla, CA, the latter within the campus of SBP. In 2010, the Institute adopted the name Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute following a $50 million pledge of support from Sanford.[3] An anonymous gift of $275 million was made in 2014. In 2015, the Institute changed its name again to Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute following a $100 million gift from philanthropist Conrad Prebys.

Research[edit]

SBP was founded with its primary focus on cancer research. The institute employs more than 1,000 people, of which over 850 are scientists. The scientists who work at SBP include biologists, chemists, biophysicists, engineers, and computer scientists. SBP ranks consistently among the world's top 25 organizations for its research impact, according to Thomson Scientific data. It also ranks among the top four research institutes in the United States in National Institutes of Health grant funding.

The institute now conducts a broad array of medical research activities and is home to five research centers:

Stem cell research[edit]

SBP is one of four institutes that have joined together to carry out stem cell research in a partnership renamed for T. Denny Sanford after he donated $30 million to the effort in 2008. The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in December 2009 broke ground on a $126 million research facility following more than a year of financing delays wrought by California's budget problems.

Select scientific achievements[edit]

  • 1971: Eva Engvall, one of the scientists who invented ELISA in 1971, worked at SBP. She continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.
  • 1984: Discovered cell adhesion regulator RGD (Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • 1988: Collaborative discovery of the role TGF beta plays in tissue scarring. Based on this research, two clinical trials are underway: one for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis and another for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and melanoma (Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • 1992: Observed that the activity of common anti-cancer drugs requires “cell suicide” of the cancer cells (apoptosis) and subsequently discovered novel proteins important in apoptosis (John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • 1997: Discovered peptides that home to specific organs. These peptides were later used as targeting elements to deliver nanoparticles into tumors and other sites of disease (Erkki Ruoshlahti, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • 2001: Solved the 3-dimensional structure of the anthrax toxin, leading to the creation of the world’s most potent chemical inhibitor of anthrax (Robert Liddington, Ph.D.)
  • 2009: Solved the crystal structure of the influenza hemagglutinin (H5) in complex with a broad spectrum neutralizing antibody (Robert Liddington, Ph.D.)

Florida Campus[edit]

SBP expanded operations in 2008 [4] to Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. The Lake Nona campus is home to the Center for Metabolic Origins of Disease. It is located in Lake Nona Medical City.

The Institute's partners and collaborators include the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida, the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, the Tavistock Group, Lake Nona, the University of Florida, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Florida's Blood Centers, Florida Hospital, Orlando Regional Healthcare, Orlando VA Medical Center, Nemours, Epcot Center, and the Orlando Magic.[5]

The architectural design is by Perkins+Will, with mechanical engineering by Affiliated Engineers, and building commissioning by SEQUIL Systems, Inc.

Collaboration and partnerships[edit]

A robotic arm used in high-throughput screening in operation at the La Jolla campus.

SBP scientists routinely collaborate across disciplines and campuses. For example, SBP’s high-throughput screening center, the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, has robotics at both the La Jolla and Lake Nona campuses.

In addition, SBP has strong working relationships with a number of other organizations, including the University of California, San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Duke University's Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center.

SBP also collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to move research breakthroughs from the lab out to the public. Recent agreements include partners such as Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, Pfizer, Daiichi-Sankyo, and Takeda.

Training and education[edit]

SBP offers postdoctoral training for scientists who have completed their Ph.D. There are typically around 250 postdocs training at SBP at any time.

Established in 2006, SBP's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Medicine or Integrated Biosciences. The Graduate School trains students for careers in basic and translational research through a curriculum of focused, multi-disciplinary instruction. In 2015, SBP achieved accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Endowment[edit]

The endowment was recorded at as low as $15.2 million, a 13 percent drop from nearly $17.5 million in February 2008, due largely to losses on investments. Its endowment stood at $22.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]