Almanac

News - March 7, 2007

Lorry Lokey pledges $33 million for stem cell research center

Lorry Lokey of Atherton, has pledged a minimum of $33 million to build a home for Stanford University's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, the university announced Feb. 27.

Mr. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire, has been a strong supporter of education and science and turned his attention to stem-cell research in 2000 when the federal government limited funding for such research, the university said in a press release.

"The important thing to me is that stem cells might not only extend life, but also improve the quality of life, as so many people suffer in their later years," Mr. Lokey said. "But I think stem cells will have applications across the entire life span."

Groundbreaking for a new building for stem-cell laboratories is expected to occur in 2009, with completion in 2011.

Medical School Dean Philip Pizzo said: "Because of this wonderful gift, we will be able to proceed with planning the space and facilities to house superb faculty and foster the process of basic discovery that ultimately leads to the translation of this knowledge to improve the lives of patients suffering from cancer, neurodegenerative processes, heart failure, immune dysfunction and others.

"This is an extraordinarily exciting time in science and medicine, and I am deeply appreciative to Larry Lokey for his confidence in us and his support for Stanford."

Mr. Lokey is a 1949 Stanford journalism graduate. He had worked on the Stanford Daily and became its editor. After graduation, he went to work for United Press, which later became UPI, and launched Business Wire in San Francisco in 1961. The agency distributes an average of 17,000 corporate and academic press releases each month.

When Mr. Lokey sold Business Wire last year, it was valued at more than $500 million.

Mr. Lokey told Stanford he is enjoying giving away his fortune, donating about $300 million to various educational institutions, including Stanford, in recent years.

— Don Kazak, Palo Alto Weekly

Comments

Posted by Linda Della, a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I don't know Mr Lokey, but I was so moved his recent $75 million donation that I had to find a way to send him my gratitude and thanks. And thus I am writing it here.

My husband died of ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease this year. He was only 62. Sadly, my husband's father also died of ALS in 2002. And my husband's grandfather died of ALS in the 1950s. Many people don't know ALS is hereditary in about 10% of its victims. But regardless of whether it is sporadic or hereditary, it is a horrible, terminal disease.

Stem cell research is the only hope for people facing this disease. Although scientists have been studying ALS since the 1930s, there is still not a single treatment or cure. Mr Lokey's donation to the Standford Medical Center for stem cell research goes beyond the definition of a gift. It defines life itself.

Especially for families like mine, who now face an uncertain future. Will this horrible disease present itself again in our son? Or can some breakthough in medical research give us hope? Thank you Mr. Lokey. What else can I say.


Posted by Marvelous!, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 8, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Wonderful generosity that can make a huge difference. Thank you, Mr. Lokey.


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