Stanford University this week announced the creation of an interdisciplinary institute for cancer/stem cell biology and medicine, funded by a $12 million contribution from an anonymous donor. The institute, to be headed by Irving Weissman, MD, professor of cancer biology, proposes to unite the fields of stem cell biology and cancer cell biology to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases. In addition, Stanford medical school students will be able to take options in the fields of stem cell and cancer biology and medicine.

"It will be short of a full MD/PhD program," said Weissman, "but one that allows the med school to include both med students and PhD students in these areas of basic and translational medicine."

The institute's planned work will look for insights into the self-regenerative abilities of cancer cells in the similar properties of stem cells, Weissman told The Scientist, as well as furthering...

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