The Sanford Consortium's principal purpose is to bring together basic, translational and preclinical research teams in space that can enable and facilitate their collaboration to hasten the realization of the goals of the science program, which are:
- To stimulate creative approaches to complex medical problems, we must promote collaborations between biologists, physicians, engineers, physicists, chemists, computer scientists and ethicists.
- To support our research and development goals we must invent the next generation of tools and instrumentation.
- To ensure sustained leadership and creativity, we must recruit and train the next generation of scientists whose approach to solving medical problems is interdisciplinary.
- To maximize community support and engagement, we must develop a communications and outreach effort that informs and educates the public about our scientific and medical progress and aspirations.
Collaboration is vital to hasten the pace of progress in science. As a result of the extraordinary growth in the body of scientific knowledge, life scientists have had to focus, to compromise breadth for depth of understanding of narrow, specific disciplines. Complex biological problems, however, raise questions that span disciplines. Development of solutions to complex problems requires that scientists collaborate. The Sanford Consortium is the only organization anywhere in the world created expressly to lower any and all barriers to inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists. The Sanford Consortium facility is intended to house biologists, chemists, technologists, bioengineers, computer scientists and clinicians in open laboratories and is designed to facilitate and encourage collaboration among them as required to translate the basic understanding of stem cell science into tools useful to diagnose and treat human disease. The facility will also serve as a hub of an extensive outreach program affording the community access to stem cell related resources and education opportunities.