Noted philanthropist and credit card czar T. Denny Sanford has pledged $100 million for the establishment, at the University of California, San Diego, of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center. The new facilities will greatly speed the growth of drug- and cell-therapy from research into the use of stem cells to repair defects and treat and cure genetically-based diseases.
The new Center will actually consist of research clinics located at four separate sites:
- Jacobs Medical Center at UCSD, to open in 2016 on the UCSD campus
- A new clinical facility, as yet unnamed, to be built close to UCSD and to open in 2016
- The Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine, at 10300 Campus Pt. Dr.
- Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, across the street from UCSD
The integration of these clinics, once completed and staffed, will allow the needed personnel and equipment to be made available to the entire Sanford Consortium. This organization is a collaboration of scientists, physicians, researchers and others from the following, previously separately-functioning institutions:
- Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
- Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- Scripps Research Institute
- La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology
- other clinical facilities in the Torrey Pines area, like the J. Craig Venter Institute
The giver of this significant contribution is Thomas Denny Sanford. He was born in 1935 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been a very successful businessman and philanthropist based in South Dakota. Sanford is the current CEO of United National Corporation
He made his money, estimated around 1.3 billion dollars, as the owner of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, which are one of the most used providers of credit in the United States. Premier Bankcard provides credit cards with low limits and high interest rates to people with poor credit ratings. Most clients only stay signed up for an average of one and a half years. After that, with the improvements to their credit scores gained by using and paying off credit to Premier, they are able to gain access to higher limit cards, at lower interest rates.
Listed by BusinessWeek as one of the top 50 most generous philanthropists in the world, Sanford’s total contributions to charities have exceeded 500 million dollars. Most of his gifts have been given with the intent of helping children better their quality of life. T. Denny Sanford is now 77 years old, and lives in homes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Arizona, California and Colorado.