Sean Parker, Silicon Valley entrepreneur (Napster, Facebook, and Spotify are among his ventures) and philanthropist has pledged $24 million to Stanford University School of Medicine to fund the development of a new research center focused on allergy research.
The Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research will be led by Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., an immunology researcher at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the School of Medicine. Dr. Nadeau’s accomplishments include developing the first combination, multifood-allergy therapy that has been shown to safely desensitize food-allergic patients to up to five different allergens at the same time.
“We need to make catalytic changes in the field of allergy research by studying immune mechanisms in order to apply discoveries in real time to new safer and more durable therapies for adults and children,” said Mr. Parker, whose firsthand experience with life-threatening allergies led him to found the Center.
The Center will include Stanford specialists in diverse fields including immunology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, chemistry, bioengineering, pathology, pulmonology, and genetics. Through laboratory and computational research, clinical trials, community outreach, and other efforts, the team will work toward finding rationally based therapies to provide the safest and best treatments for allergies. Research at the center may have implications for a wide array of immune dysfunctions including asthma, eczema, food allergies, eosinophilic disorders, drug allergies, gastroenterological diseases, and more.
Mr. Parker's $24 million gift will provide both expendable and endowed support for innovative clinical research and care, state-of-the-art equipment, and top-ranked research scientists. Of the $24 million total, $4 million will be used to establish a dollar-for-dollar challenge match for all other new gifts to the center.
Last year, Mr. Parker donated $1 million to The Cancer Research Institute to help fund the development of immune system based cancer treatments.